19 pointers that help decode India's copyright law | SupportBiz

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19 pointers that help decode India's copyright law

A copyright refers to artistic creations such as books, music, paintings, sculptures, films, computer programs and electronic databases, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization. This article helps you understand the copyright law of India.

In most European languages other than English, (a) copyright is known as author’s rights, the World Intellectual Property organization states in a booklet about Understanding Copyright and Related Rights.

Mincov Law Corporation, a Vancouver, Canada-based business law firm owned by Andrei Mincov, has published findings from an 'International Copyright Law Survey,' based on responses from lawyers. India-specific details follow:

Does (India’s) copyright law protect expressions of ideas if these ideas can only be expressed in one or a very limited number of ways (doctrine of merger of ideas and expression)?   

YES, as long as an idea is expressed and is original, it can be protected.

What is the general scheme of exceptions from copyright protection?

Specific categories operating under an umbrella of a general doctrine (fair dealing).

Do licensing agreements need to be in writing to be valid?

YES, the licensee has no right to use works unless it the license is in writing.

Can a license be granted with respect to unspecified works that may be created in the future?

YES, it is possible to license all future works.

Can a license be granted with respect to ALL works (without a specific list of these works)?

YES, in this case all works in which licensor owns copyright will be licensed to the licensee.

Does the law recognize the difference between an ‘exclusive’ and a ‘sole’ license, or must the terms be specifically explained in the agreement?

NO, the license should clearly state whether the licensor retains the right to use the work.

If the term of the license is not indicated, what does it default to?

5 years from date of license.

Can a license be granted for free?

NO, there must be some remuneration.

If license is for a flat fee, is there a requirement that the number of copies to be reproduced be limited?

NO, parties are free to agree on consideration.

If there is a requirement that a consideration be given for the license, and the license is granted as part of a more complex agreement, does the consideration for the license have to be separated from consideration under the rest of the agreement? (for example, painter agrees to sell the original painting and grant a license to use it, does the price of the painting itself need to be separated from the price of the license?)

NO, as long as there is some consideration under the complex agreement, the requirement is met.

Can economic rights in a work be assigned (in full or in part)?

YES, assignment is possible.

Can economic rights in a work be PARTIALLY assigned?

YES, partial assignment is possible.

Do assignment agreements need to be in writing to be valid?

YES, the assignee has no right to use works unless it the assignment is in writing.

Do assignments of works registered with a copyright office also need to be registered to be valid?

YES, while registration is voluntary, if the work is registered, assignments must be recorded as well.

Any other particularities of your national copyright laws relating to economic rights that you would like to share?

The assignee or licensee has to exercise the rights granted under the assignment of license agreement within one year of the date of assignemnt or license otherwise such rights are deemed to have lapsed unless otherwise expressly mentioned in the agreement.

Are moral rights recognized with respect to all categories of authors / works?

YES, regardless of the category of authors or works, the author has moral rights.

The term of protection of moral rights:

Same as the term of ECONOMIC rights.

Can moral rights be waived?

YES, while moral rights cannot be assigned, they CAN be waived.

Which moral rights are recognized:

-The right to be known as the author of his work (droit à la paternité)

-The right to generally prevent others from making deforming changes in the author's work (droit au respect de l'œuvre)

_The right to prevent others from making deforming changes in his work if such changes are capable of damaging the author’s honour and reputation (droit à s'opposer à toute atteinte préjudiciable à l'honneur et à la réputation)

You can access the entire 'International Copyright Law Survey', and the disclaimer, published on the Mincov Law Corporation website, here.