Posted on 22 February, 2023 by Irika
Intellectual property rights are legal privileges given to an individual for his or her creations, such as original artwork, literary works, symbols, or slogans, for a specific period of time. One of the intellectual property rights is copyright.
Copyright infringement refers to the unauthorised commercial exploitation of another person's creative work. It leads to the violation of the copyright holder's rights, including the right to distribute, reproduce, perform, or exhibit the protected work. Owners create new works and get copyright protection to guarantee that they can profit from their efforts. However, if someone copies or reproduces the work of a copyright holder without the latter's permission, this can result in copyright infringement, in which case the owner may pursue legal action against the infringer. The owner has the sole right to sell or licence his work to the third party who may use it. Two of the most well-known entertainment mediums that experience a lot of copyright violations are music and movies. Contingent liabilities—amounts set aside in case of a potential lawsuit—can result from infringement cases.
According to Section 51 of the Copyright Act of 1957, a copyright has been infringed if:
- Without the consent of the copyright owner, a person performs any activity that only the copyright holder is permitted to perform
- A person allows the use of a location for communicating, selling, distributing, or displaying an infringed work unless he is unaware or has no cause to think that such consent would result in a copyright violation.
- Copyright infringement occurs when someone downloads films from an unauthorised source.
- It constitutes copyright infringement when someone utilises a television serial clip without providing acknowledgment in a youtubevideo and poststhe clip on the website.
- A person brings/imports unauthorized/ copyrighted work.
- Without the permission of the copyright holder, a person replicates his creation in any manner.
- Making copies of copyrighted works for rent or sale without authorization or consent, such as internet piracy
- Copies that are infringing are disseminated for financial and commercial advantage.
- Copyrighted material is performed in a public setting.
What Does Not Amount to Copyright Infringement?
There are some actions that do not constitute copyright infringement. To guarantee that copyright infringement has not taken place, a few requirements must be met. These criteria cover the use of a copyrighted work for research, study, criticism, reviews, news reporting, usage in libraries, schools, and legislation. Some copyrighted works may be used in this way without the owner's consent.
Exceptions to copyright infringement -
- Fair Use - According to this legal theory, various restrictions may apply to the use of copyrighted material, based on both the original work's nature and the secondaryuse's character. Its precise reach, like that of other parts of copyright law, is primarily established by court precedent. Unlicensed use of copyrighted material can be considered fair use if:
- It is done for charitable, educational causes.
- it alters the original work sufficiently to alter its meaning and personality.
- only a little percentage of the original work is utilised.
- The value of the copyright is not diminished.
- Direct Licensing- The best approach to use protected content without violating copyright laws is in this fashion. In addition to contacting the copyright holder to obtain permission, a potential user may identify existing standard licence conditions to abide by. The owner of the copyright can impose restrictions on permission, such as payment, and retain ownership of the work regardless of the types of licences (generic or otherwise) that are granted.
- Reproduction of work in a judicial proceeding
- performance of a dramatic, literary, or musical work in a school setting by the students and faculty, or the duplication of a sound recording and cinematograph film with just faculty and students in attendance.
- Publishing an unpublished theatrical, literary, or musical work that is stored in a museum, library, or another institution that the public may access, or reproducing a work for private study or research.
- Publication or creating a photograph, engraving, painting, exhibition, or sketch of an architectural work.
Shamoil Ahmad Khan v. Falguni Shah and Ors., High Court of Bombay, 2020
The author of the well-known short novel "Singardaan" is the plaintiff in this instance. In contrast to the plaintiff's book, the defendant is the author of the web serial Singardaan. The court found that if the similarities exist on crucial or major elements of the mode of expression utilised in the copyrighted work, a copyright infringement would have taken place. This conclusion was reached after reviewing the circumstances and the available evidence. This would depend on how the piece affects the readers, observers, or viewers. The defendant was ordered to stop adapting or using their web series "Singardaan" in a new format after the court found significant similarities between the narratives of both works.
Remedies For Copyright Infringement
- Civil remedy:In accordance with Section 55 of The Copyright Act, 1957, the owner of the copyright is entitled to all available remedies, including injunctions, damages, and accounts, where the copyright in any work has been violated.
- Criminal remedy:Section 63 of the Copyright Act of 1957 allows the copyright holder to pursue criminal charges against the infringer. These charges carry a minimum sentence of six months' imprisonment, which may be increased to three years, and a minimum fine of Rs. 50,000, which may be increased to Rs. 2 lakhs.
The plaintiff shall not be entitled to any remedy for the entirety or a portion of the profits made by the defendant by the sale of the infringing copies as the court may in the circumstances deem reasonable if the defendant establishes that at the time of the infringement he was unaware and had no reasonable basis for believing that copyright existed in the work.
Anil Gupta And Anr. v. Kunal Dasgupta And Ors
An injunction was granted by the Delhi High Court in Anil Gupta and Anr v. Kunal Dasgupta and Ors in 2002 in favour of the plaintiffs for their concept in the reality television programme Swayamvar, which depicts matchmaking in Indian culture, against the defendants, who planned to launch a television programme called Shubh Vivah based on the plaintiffs' concept. According to the court, while an idea cannot have a copyright by itself, if it is evolved into a concept with sufficient specifics, the concept can be registered as a copyright and would be protectable as such. A copyright infringement would consequently result from the illegal use of this notion in a setting of competition and the secret information it contains.
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