Copyright protection is available to a number of limited work, and it is not granted to every type of creative work to maintain the balance between the rights of the creator of the work and the interest of the community as a whole. The copyright act provides a close list of protected work under section 13 of the Copyright Act.

Original literary, Dramatic, Musical or Artistic works

Cinematographic Works

Sound Recording

The copyright act protects the original work. A work means literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work,  a cinematograph film or a sound recording. To get protection under the copyright from unauthorized users, the first and foremost requirement is that the work must be original work. The word original has not been defined anywhere in the copyright act but as per dictionary meaning the original means the work must originate from the skill and labor of the person creating it, i.e. the author and it must not be a copy of any other work. The original could be determined based on the investment of the skill, labour, and the judgment by its creator.

It is very important to note here that the word original is prefixed before the literary, dramatic, and musical and not before cinematograph film or sound recording as the latter works are the works made in combination with the former categories of work. All these persons who contributed to the creation of cinematograph film or sound recording have rights in work to the extent of their contribution to the work. Thus, a no-objection certificate or assignment agreement is needed from all these persons in favor of the person who is applying for the ownership of the copyright in these works. The copyright protects only those works which are in a tangible form. The copyright protects the expression of the ideas but not the idea in itself. There is no copyright in an idea, names, title by themselves, short phrases, short word combinations, slogans, factual information, methods, or plots.

Copyright protection varies according to the class of the work. In the case of original literary work (except computer program), dramatic work, and musical work the owner of the copyright has the exclusive right to reproduce the work, to issues copies of the work to the public, to perform the work, to communicate the work, to make cinematograph film or sound recording in respect of the work, to make any translation or adaptation of the work. All the rights of the original works also apply to the translation of a work. The owner of the computer program enjoys all the right of all the rights as an owner of the literary work as provided above and in addition to it, he also has the right to sell or to give on hire or to offer for sell or hire the computer program irrespective of the fact that it has been sold or given for hire on the earlier occasions.

S.No In the case of a cinematograph film, the copyright owner has the exclusive right to S.No In the case of a sound recording, the copyright owner has the exclusive right to
1. Make a copy of the film including a photograph of any image forming part there off. 1. Make any other sound recording incorporating it.
2. Sell or give on hire to offer for sale or hire a copy of the film. 2. Sell or give on hire or offer for sale or hire any copy of the sound recording.
3. Communicate the cinema cinematograph film to the public 3. Communicate the sound recording to the public

Moral Rights

Right of Reproduction

Right of Communication to the Public

Adaptation of work

Moral Rights: The author of the work has certain moral rights with him even if he assigns or licences his own right in that work to another person. These are as under:

The right of attribution or paternity Right to Integrity
It is right to claim authorship of work. The author of the work can claim due credit as an author for the work created by him. For instance, if a movie is made on a book of an author and he has not been given due credit in it, he can initiate legal action against the makers to acknowledge his work in the said movie. It is a right to prevent any distortion of the work which is detrimental to the reputation, and the honour of the author of the work. The author of work could initiate action against any alteration and modification in his work which amounts to the infringement of the author's right of integrity unless he has consented in writing for such alteration or modification.

To understand the protection granted by copyright law, one must understand the scope of the following rights :

  1. Right of Reproduction: The right of reproduction means that no person shall make one or more copies of a work or substantial part of it in any material form including sound recording and making of cinematograph film without the permission of the copyright owner. An example of reproduction is printing an edition of a work. Storing work in a Computer memory amounts to the reproduction of the work.
  2. Right of Communication to the Public: Communication to the public means making any work available for being seen or heard or otherwise enjoyed by the public directly or by any means of display or diffusion. It is immaterial whether any member sees the work of the public or not. The communication to the public is completed once the work is made available to the public.
  3. Adaptation of work: Adaptation involves the preparation of new work in the same or different form based upon an already existing work. the copyright defines the following acts as an adaptation
    1. Conversion of a literary or artistic work into a dramatic work
    2. Conversion of a dramatic work into a non-dramatic work
    3. Rearrangement of a literary or dramatic work depiction in comic form through pictures of a literary or a dramatic work
    4. Translation of a musical work or any act involving rearrangement or alteration of an existing work

The making of a cinematograph film of a literary or dramatic or musical work is also an adaptation.