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Copyright Transfer

Copyright subsists with the owner of the copyright for a term of sixty years, The rights can be transferred in the following manner Copyright Transfer

Table of Contents

Licensing of Copyright

The licensing of copyright involves the transfer of some or all of the rights to a licensee to utilize his work for financial benefits by the copyright owner or licensor. However, there is a distinction between the licensing and assignment of copyright.
In licensing, the ownership rights do not vest with the licensee whereas, in the case of assignment, the owners do not vest with the assignor anymore.

Types of Copyright Licenses

a) Voluntary license
copyright license agreement should have the following features:

i) Time period for which the license is granted.
ii) Rights licensed and nature of the work.
iii) Geographical extent of the license.
iv) Terms and conditions relating to the termination, revision, and extension of the license.
v) Total amount of royalty.
b) Compulsory License
The compulsory license is granted by the copyright board in some special circumstances which are:

i) If a copyright owner for an Indian work, which has already been published, has refused to republish the work and is not giving allowance for the same.
ii) If a copyright owner for an Indian work has refused to allow the performance of the work in public, which has already been worked in public, and as a result, the work is withdrawn from the public.
iii) If a copyright owner for an Indian work has refused the communication of the work to the public by broadcast.
The “Indian work” includes:

i) A cinematographic film or a sound recording made in India.
ii) An artistic work created by a citizen of India.

Assignment of Copyright

The rights of a copyright owner can be assigned by him to any other person by way of an assignment. As soon as a work is created or comes into existence, a copyright owner naturally gets entitled to assign his rights. Further, a copyright owner is entitled to multiple rights i.e both economic rights and moral rights.
According to the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 a prospective owner of the copyright of the future work may also assign his rights partially or wholly. The assignment will have an effect only when the work would come into existence.

The assignment should have the following features

  1. The terms and conditions regarding the revision and termination of the assignment should be explicit.
  2. The total amount of royalty should be mentioned.
  3. The assignment should be in writing duly executed by the copyright owner (Assignor).
  4. The copyrighted work and the rights assigned should be mentioned clearly.
  5. 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.

Transmission of Copyright

If the owner of the copyright dies, who was working on a manuscript of dramatic, literary, artistic, or musical work and was unable to publish the manuscript before dying, then, in that case, the copyright owner is transmitted to the person stated in the will.

Relinquishment of Copyright

All or any of the right vested in the copyright of work can be relinquished by an author of a work, by giving notice to the Registrar of Copyrights in a prescribed form. The rights shall cease to exist from the date of the notice. The registrar shall cause the notice to be published in the Official Gazette, once he receives such notice, or he may cause the notice to be published in such a manner as he deems to be fit.

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