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What is Copyright?


What is Copyright?

This has always been an interesting question. I have compared Trademarks and Copyrights, Exhaustive definition of all Trademarks in my posts. Today I discuss the definition "what is Copyright" . As per Indian Copyright Act, 1957:

“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.”

The definition in itself is an exhaustive definition. I will break the definition into parts for quick understanding.

1. It is a Right given to its creator

Copyright is a right given by the Indian law to the creator of the work. The person who has created the original work is given the right over and above anyone else.

2. Fields where Copyright can be obtained

A copyright cannot be obtained for business names because we have trademarks for that. Copyright can be obtained by the creator of these works:

- Literary work

- Drama

- Artistic Work

- Cinematograph films

- Sound Recordings

Website Content Copyrighting

Register Copyright

Since copyright can be applied for literary work, a website’s content can be copyrighted. We have a separate article for copyrighting of Website content.

Software Code copyrighting

Similarly the code for software or application can be copyrighted. The creator has to prove beyond doubt that the code has been written by him and is not been copied. There are stricter regulations for software code copyrighting.

3. What rights does the creator get?

A copyright is a bundle of rights and includes:

- rights of reproduction,

- communication to the public,

- adaptation and translation of the work.

The definition here is an inclusive definition and is not limited only to the above rights but are more than that depending upon the nature of work involved.

The closest example of copyright we see in our day to day life is copyrighting on books. I am sure you have noticed but ignored to read the texts stating something like “this material cannot be reproduced or copied in any form without the written permission of the publisher and copyright owner”. This is a clear indication that the material is copyrighted.

Another close example is that of songs. This has been in news for various song composers for some time now. This necessarily means that some other composer already had vested copyrights in the song.

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