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Copyright Infringement Remedies In India

Published on 16 Jun 2018 by Shivi

Copyright is a bundle of rights given by the law to an artist or creator’s original artistic, literary or musical work like a painting, song, music, book, video, etc. Under Section 13 of the Copyright Act, 1957, the literary, musical or artistic work of a creator is protected by getting Copyright registration for it.

Copyright is one of the Intellectual Properties granted for the protection of both published or unpublished work for a period which extends through the lifetime of the author and 60 years from the year in which the author dies.

There are numerous Intellectual Property Rights granted to the owner of a work in form of Copyright including the following:

  1. Right to publish the work.
  2. Right to perform the work in public.
  3. Right to produce the work in the material form.
  4. Right to produce, reproduce publish or give a performance of any translation of copyrighted work.
  5. Right to make an adaptation of work.
  6. Right to broadcast the work on radio or cable.

Registration of Copyright also protects the work from any unauthorised or illegal use, copy or publishing of the work, commonly known as an infringement of copyright. Infringement is a very serious matter as it violates the rights of a copyright owner.

There are 2 types of Copyright infringement:

  1. Primary Infringement: Primary infringement is when there is no intention or knowledge to copy the work or infringe the rights of a Copyright owner.
  2. Secondary Infringement: Secondary infringement is when there is actual intention or knowledge to infringe the Copyright.

Civil Remedies Against Copyright Infringement

The civil remedies for copyright infringement are covered under Section 55 of the Copyright Act, 1957.

  1. Interlocutory Injunction: It is the most important relief in case of copyright infringement as it prevents the infringer from doing anything further that amounts to copyright infringement. Interlocutory injunctions are granted only if the following conditions are fulfilled:

    1. There must be a prima facie case.

    2. There needs to be a balance of convenience.

    3. There needs to be an irreparable injury.

  2. Financial relief: Under Section 55 and Section 58 of the Copyright Act, the copyright owner can claim financial relief in 3 cases:

    1. Account of profits which lets the owner get the profits made equal to the profit made through an unlawful act.

    2. Compensatory damages the damage suffered by the copyright owner due to the infringement.

    3. Conversion damages calculated according to the value of the infringing article.

  3. Anton Pillar Order: The following elements are present in an Anton Pillar Order:

    1. An injunction restraining the defendant from destroying or infringing goods.

    2. It allows the copyright owner and his lawyer to search the defendant’s premises and take goods in their safe custody.

    3. An order that the defendant is directed to disclose the names and addresses of suppliers and consumer of infringing goods.

  4. Mareva Injunction: It is an order under which the court gets temporary custody of infringing goods, thereby preventing any chances of disposal by the person accused of Copyright infringement. If the court believes that the defendant is trying to delay or obstruct the execution of any decree being passed against him, it can pass a Mareva injunction against them.

The court has the power to direct the defendant to place whole or any part of his property under the court’s disposal as may be sufficient to satisfy the decree. Under the Indian law, Mareva injunction is provided under Order XXXVIII, Rule 5 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908.

  1. Norwich Pharmacal Order: It is passed to discover documents or other information from a third party relating to the infringement of Copyright.

Criminal Remedies Against Copyright Infringement

Under the Copyright Act, 1957 the following action can be ordered by the court in case the copyright infringement is proved:

  1. Imprisonment up to 3 years but not less than 6 months.
  2. Fine for at least Rs. 50,000, extendable up to Rs. 2,00,000.
  3. Search and seizure of infringing goods.
  4. Delivery of infringing goods to the copyright owner.

When Copying Of Written Material Is Not Infringement

In India, Section 52 of Indian Copyright Act makes ‘fair dealing’, a valid defence for copyright infringement. The Copyright law protects the infringer if the copy of any copyrighted material is made for the purpose of criticism, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research work, the allows only for the limited copy of copyrighted work.

The burden of proof is upon the copyright owner to establish infringement. The basic difference between fair and unfair dealing is if they are used as a basis for comment, criticism or review that may be fair dealing. If they are used to convey the same information as the author, for a rival purpose, it may be considered unfair.

Tags: Copyright 

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