The Copyright Act 1957 protects the expression of original literary, dramatic musical and artistic works and cinematograph films and sound recordings from unauthorised uses. Creativity is the keystone of the progress of a civilised society, and no society should ignore the requirement of encouraging and protecting creativity. Copyright guarantees minimum safeguard to the rights of the owner over their work which are as under:
(iii)The author of work has the right to claim authorship of the work and could initiate action against distortion and mutilation in his work if such changes are detrimental to his honor and reputation. This is a moral right granted to the author of the work and is available to the authors even after the economic rights are assigned.
The copyright comes into existence as and when it is created. The owner of the work is not required to do any formality to acquire copyright in that work. However, there is a provision in the Copyright Act to get the work registered in the register of copyright maintained by the copyright office. This process is known as the registration of copyright. Though no new right is granted vide registration of copyright but once the copyright is registered and the entries are made in the register of copyright it serves as a prima facie evidence in the court of law wherein there is a dispute relating to ownership of copyright. The copyright registration may be applied at any point in time as there is no prescribed time limit to seek registration of copyright.The registration of copyright is a time-consuming process and it may take 12 to 18 months to get the registration certificate.
The copyright Act gives exclusive rights to the owner of the work for its uses against the whole world. If someone makes unauthorized use of the copyrighted work this will lead to Copyright infringement and the owner of the work may initiate action against such user. The Copyright Act grants remedies to the owner of the work in the case of the infringement of their rights in the work. The remedies available are as below:
(i) Civil Remedy – A copyright owner can initiate legal action against any person who infringes the copyright in the work. The copyright owner is granted legal right to seek remedies by way of injunctions, damages, and accounts. The District Court concerned has the jurisdiction in civil suits regarding copyright infringement.
(ii) Criminal Remedies – In any criminal offence intention and knowledge are the very crucial element which has to be considered and this is the same in case of copyright infringement. Thus, any person who knowingly infringes or abets the infringement of the copyright in any work commits a criminal offence under Section 63 of the Copyright Act. In the case of copyright infringement, the minimum punishment prescribed is imprisonment for six months with a minimum fine of Rs. 50,000/-, for second and subsequent conviction the convicts could be punished with imprisonment for one year and a fine of Rs. one lakh.