What are the Ways of Initiating Copyright Transfer in India?
1. Copyright Licensing
Types of Copyright Licenses
- Voluntary license: A license signed voluntarily by two parties, the licensor and the licensee is a Voluntary License. It should contain the following details.
- Rights licensed and nature of the work.
- Geographical extent of the license.
- Terms and conditions relating to the termination, revision, and extension of the license.
- Total amount of royalty to be paid in exchange of the license
- Compulsory License: A compulsory license is granted by the copyright board to third parties without the permission of the Copyright Owner. This is usually done when the owner refuses to make the work available in the public domain. Specific circumstances may include:
- If a copyright owner has already published his work once, and is refusing to republish it in order to make it available in the public domain.
- If a copyright owner has refused to allow the performance of a work in public, which has already been performed previously, and as a result, restricting its availability in the public domain.
- If a copyright owner has refused the communication of a work in the public domain by broadcast.
2. Copyright Assignment
- The terms and conditions regarding the revision and termination of the assignment should be explicit.
- The total amount of royalty paid for the assignment should be mentioned.
- The assignment agreement should be in writing duly executed by the copyright owner (Assignor).
- The copyrighted work and the rights assigned should be mentioned clearly.
- If the term of assignment is not mentioned, then the term shall be taken as 5 years from the date of assignment by default. If the geographical limit is not stated, then it is assumed to the extent within India.
3. Copyright Transmission
4. Copyright Relinquishment
Q1: What is the difference between Copyright licensing and Copyright assignment?
Licensing involves granting specific rights of usership to others while retaining ownership to oneself, whereas assignment involves transferring complete ownership rights to the other party.
Q2: Can copyright transfer be partial, or does it have to be complete?
Copyright transfer can be partial, allowing creators to retain certain rights while granting specific rights to third parties as outlined in a specific agreement.
Q3: Are there any legal requirements or formalities for copyright transfer?
While specific legal requirements may vary by jurisdiction, copyright transfer often requires a written agreement, signed by the parties involved to establish the intent and terms of the transfer.
Q4: What are the essential elements to be included in a copyright assignment agreement?
A copyright assignment agreement should include explicit terms and conditions mutually agreed by both parties, total royalty amounts, clear identification of the copyrighted work, and the assigned rights, to ensure clarity and enforceability of the agreement.
Q5: Can copyright transfer be revoked or reversed after it has been executed?
In general, once copyright transfer has been executed, it is binding. However, there may be circumstances, such as mutual agreement or legal disputes, where copyright transfer can be challenged or invalidated.