Should Startups worry about Copyrights? Interview with M.Pavan of Whitemoney

With our continued effort to bring startups to a mode, we continue our Interview with Mr.Pavan CEO, Whitemoney Consultancy to give a brief description about copyrights and its issues. 1.…

With our continued effort to bring startups to a mode, we continue our Interview with Mr.Pavan CEO, Whitemoney Consultancy to give a brief description about copyrights and its issues.

1. What is Copyright?
Copyright is a right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. In fact, it is a bundle of rights including, inter alia, rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work. There could be slight variations in the composition of the rights depending on the work.

2. What is Covered by Copyrights?

  1. Literary
  2. Musical and
  3. Cinematograph film and
  4. Artistic Works.

3. What is a work of joint authorship?
“Work of joint authorship” means a work produced by the collaboration of two or more authors in which the contribution of one author is not distinct from the contribution of the other author or authors.

4. What is the Procedure, where is it done?
The procedure is same as getting trademarks, but this has to be applied at Registrar of Copyrights and is located at B.2/W.3, C.R. Barracks, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi- 110 003.

5. What about Computer Programmes?
The term “literary work” here includes Computer Software and Programmes, Databases & Contents of a Website.

6. Are there any special rights in computer programmes?
Yes. In addition to all the rights applicable to a literary work, owner of the copyright in a computer programme enjoys the rights to sell or give on hire or offer for sale or hire, regardless of whether such a copy has been sold or given on hire on earlier occasion.

7. Is copyright applicable to Ideas?
There is no copyright in ideas. Copyright subsists only in the material form in which ideas are expressed. It is not infringement of copyright to adopt the ideas of another. However Ideas or Business Methods can be Patented in and only in USA and therefore the claim is also restricted in USA

8. Is copyright protected in perpetuity?
No. It is protected for a limited period of time.

9. What is the term of protection of copyright?
he general rule is that copyright lasts for 60 years. In the case of original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works the 60-year period is counted from the year following the death of the author. In the case of cinematograph films, sound recordings, photographs, posthumous publications, anonymous and pseudonymous publications, works of government and works of international organisations, the 60-year period is counted from the date of publication.

10. Who all have rights in a musical sound recording?
There are many right holders in a musical sound recording. For example, the lyricist who wrote the lyrics, the composer who set the music, the singer who sang the song, the musician (s) who performed the background music, and the person or company who produced the sound recording.

11. Is it necessary to obtain any licence or permission to use a musical sound recording for public performance?
A sound recording generally comprises various rights. It is necessary to obtain the licences from each and every right owner in the sound recording. This would ,inter alia, include the producer of the sound recording, the lyricist who wrote the lyrics, and the musician who composed the music

12. Can I Broadcast any videos on my website?? What are the rights of a broadcasting organization?
The rights of a broadcasting organization with reference to a broadcast are :

  • right to re-broadcast the broadcast;
  • right to cause the broadcast to be heard or seen by the public on payment of any charges;
  • right to sell or hire to the public, or offer for such sale or hire, any sound recording or visual recording of the broadcast.

13. What is the term of protection of broadcaster’s rights?
The term of protection for broadcaster’s rights is 25 years.

14. Is copyright of foreign works protected in India?
Yes. Copyrights of works of the countries mentioned in the International Copyright Order are protected in India, as if such works are Indian works.

15. Does copyright subsist in a foreign work?
Copyright of nationals of countries who are members of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, Universal Copyright Convention and the TRIPS Agreement are protected in India through the International Copyright Order.

16. Which are the common copyright infringements?
The following are some of the commonly known acts involving infringement of copyright:

  1. Making infringing copies for sale or hire or selling or letting them for hire;
  2. Permitting any place for the performance of works in public where such performance constitutes infringement of copyright
  3. Distributing infringing copies for the purpose of trade or to such an extent so as to affect prejudicially the interest of the owner of copyright
  4. Public exhibition of infringing copies by way of trade; and
  5. Importation of infringing copies into India

17. Who is responsible for copyright offence committed by a company?
Every person who at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to the company for, the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company shall be deemed to be guilty of such offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against.

18. What are the civil remedies for copyright infringement?
A copyright owner can take legal action against any person who infringes the copyright in the work. The copyright owner is entitled to remedies by way of injunctions, damages and accounts.

19. Which is the court having jurisdiction over civil remedies in copyright cases?
The District Court concerned has the jurisdiction in civil suits regarding copyright infringement.

20. Is copyright infringement a criminal offence?
Yes. Any person who knowingly infringes or abets the infringement of the copyright in any work commits criminal offence under Section 63 of the Copyright Act.

21. What are the punishments for a criminal offence under the copyright law?
The minimum punishment for infringement of copyright is imprisonment for six months with the minimum fine of Rs. 50,000/-. In the case of a second and subsequent conviction the minimum punishment is imprisonment for one year and fine of Rs. one lakh.

If you have any doubt whether you are infringing on copyrights, you can mail us for our legal opinion

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