Copyright is a legal protection extended to the owner of the rights in an original work of creation. Copyright protects expressions and not the ideas. There is no copyright in an idea. Copyright comprises two main sets of rights: The economic rights and moral rights. Economic rights include the right of reproduction, broadcasting, public performance, adaptation, translation, public relation, public display, distribution and so on. Moral rights include the author’s right to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of his work that might be prejudicial to his honor and reputation.
Copyright subsists in the following classes of works:
- Original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works
- Cinematograph films
- Sound recordings
The original creators of works protected by copyright, as also their legal heirs have certain basic rights. They hold the exclusive right to use or authorize others for use of the copyrighted material. The creator of the right can prohibit or authorize:
- Reproduction in various forms such as printed publication or sound recording
- Public performance as in a play or musical work
- Recordings in a disc or cassette
- Broadcasting by radio, cable or satellite
- Translation into other languages
- Adaptation, such as novel into screenplay
Subject to certain conditions, a fair deal for research, study, criticism, review and news reporting, as well as use of works in library and schools and in the legislatures, is permitted without specific permission of the copyright owners. In order to protect the interests of users, some exemptions have been prescribed in respect of specific uses of works enjoying copyright. E.g.
- For the purpose of research or private study
- For criticism or review
- For reporting current events
- In connection with judicial proceeding
- Performance by an amateur club or society if the performance is given to a non-paying audience
- The making of sound recordings of literary, dramatic or musical works under certain conditions.
The period of Copyright protection in India is 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 organizations, the 60-year period is counted from the date of publication.
Neighboring rights include rights of performing artists in their performances, rights of producers of phonograms in their phonograms and the rights of broadcasting organizations in their radio and TV programs