Copyright infringement is a white-collar crime that runs rampant in the corporate artistic or innovative world. A Copyright is a right which the law gives to the creator or owner of any literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work and the work of producers in the form of cinematograph films and sound recordings.
The owners of the copyright have certain exclusive rights which enable them to use their property without disturbance and to prevent the misuse of their property. Copyright comes with a bundle of rights that include rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation, and translation of the work.
Under section 13 of the copyright act 1957 a copyright can only be literary work, dramatic work, musical work, artistic work, cinematographic work and sound recordings.
In the creative work environment art thieves are a plague, there are several motivations to steal certain art or ideas for monetary benefits or otherwise. It is thus very important to have these laws in place to protect and endorse art to the rightful owner and inventor. This protects the rights of the owner over their intellectual property thus rewarding their creativity.
Use of any copyrighted work without the permission of the owner amounts to copyright infringement. Infringement occurs when a person intentionally or unintentionally copies/uses the work of another without credit. Infringement is usually classified into two categories- primary infringement and secondary infringement. Primary infringement is the actual act of copying, while secondary infringement includes unauthorised dealings like selling the pirated books, importing, etc. In the case of secondary infringement, knowledge of infringement is present with the infringer while in the case of primary infringement, knowledge may or may not be present.
In India, copyright infringement occurs when-
Copies of copyrighted work are made for sale/hire without permission or authority, like in the case of online piracy
A copyrighted work is performed in a public place
Infringing copies are distributed for the purpose of trade and personal gains
Public exhibition of infringing copies by way of trade prejudicial to the owner
Infringing copies are imported from another country into India
There are certain acts that do not amount to copyright infringement. However, there are some conditions that must be fulfilled to ensure that copyright infringement has not occurred. These conditions include the use of a copyrighted work for research, study, criticism, review, news reporting, use in a library, schools, and legislations. Such uses of copyrighted work are permitted without the need to obtain permission from the copyright owner. Other acts that do not amount to copyright infringement in India are:
Fair use: An important defence against copyright infringement, defined under Section 53 of the Copyright Act. The burden of proof of an act of copyright infringement is on the owner
Connected judicial proceeding
Performance by an amateur club or society, if the performance is in front of a non-paying audience
Making sound recordings of literary, dramatic, or musical works under certain conditions.
Under the Copyright Act, 1957, criminal action against copyright infringement can also be taken. The person found guilty of copyright infringement would be liable for punishment for imprisonment for not less than 6 months and up to 3 years, or fine of at least Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2 lakhs.