Copyright provides exclusive rights to the copyright holder, such as the right to distribute, reproduce, perform or display the copyright-protected work. The usage of copyright-protected work without the authorisation/permission of the copyright owner results in copyright infringement.
Thus, copyright infringement means the unauthorised use of someone’s copyrighted work for a profit. It results in the infringement of certain rights of the copyright holder, such as the right to distribute, reproduce, perform or display the protected work.
What Are the Common Types of Copyright Infringement?
The following are the most typical forms of copyright infringement in India:
- Copyrighted works should not be reproduced without authorisation.
- Unauthorised sales or distribution of works protected by copyright
- unauthorised creation of derivative works
- Unauthorised public performance of items protected by copyright
- Unauthorised broadcasting or distribution of items protected by intellectual property
- Commercial use of copyrighted works without authorisation
- Plagiarism involves work that is protected.
How to Claim Copyright Ownership?
What Paperwork is Needed: When submitting an application for copyright registration, you must include a number of documents with it, according to the Copyright Office. These consist of the application form, two copies of the work, evidence that the registration fee was paid, and an affidavit from the copyright owner attesting to the originality of the work and their ownership of the copyright.
Registration Timeline: The Copyright Office processes copyright applications in about 6 to 8 months. If you intend to assert copyright ownership over your work, bear this in mind.
Duration of Copyright Protection: Protected works are covered by copyright for as long as the author is alive plus 60 years. The period of copyright protection for corporate works is 60 years starting from the date of publication.
Transfer of Ownership of Copyright: A licence or an assignment can be used to transfer ownership of a copyright. Ownership must be transferred in writing, with both parties’ signatures.
Copyright Infringement: Copyright infringement is the act of someone using your work that is protected by copyright without your consent. If you find that someone has stolen your work, you can file a lawsuit to stop the theft and recover your losses.
Rights of a Copyright Owner
The name of the author or publisher that appears in the copies of dramatic, literary, artistic or musical work is presumed to be the author/copyright owner of the work. A copyright owner has the following rights in the copyrighted work:
- Produce the work in public
- Publish the work
- Perform the work in public
- Translate the work
- Make a cinematograph film or a record of the work
- Broadcast the work
- Make an adaptation of the work
- Make copies of the work and distribute them
- Prevent others from unauthorised usage of the copyrighted work
Copyright Infringement in India
As per the Copyright Act, 1957, the use of a copyrighted work without the permission of the owner results in copyright infringement. Infringement occurs when a third person unintentionally or intentionally uses/copies the work of another without giving credit. It is usually classified into two categories, i.e. primary and secondary infringement.
Primary infringement occurs when there is an actual act of copying, while secondary infringement occurs when unauthorised dealings take place, such as selling or importing pirated books, etc. In the case of secondary infringement, the infringer will know about infringement, while in the case of primary infringement, the infringer may or may not know about infringement.
The following elements should be present for copyright infringement:
- The copyrighted work is the original creation of the author
- The copyright infringement work is actually copied from the work of the author
Remedy for Copyright Infringement in India
If someone infringes on your copyright in India, you can seek legal remedies, including:
- Injunction: You can seek a court order to prevent the infringing activity from continuing
- Damages: You can seek compensation for the financial losses you have incurred due to the infringement
- Account of Profits: You can seek a share of the profits earned by the infringing party
- Seizure and Destruction of Infringing Copies: You can seek to have any infringing copies of your work confiscated and destroyed.
Criminal Prosecution for Copyright Infringement
Criminal prosecution for copyright infringement occurs when someone violates copyright laws in a way that is considered a criminal offense. In most jurisdictions, copyright infringement is primarily treated as a civil matter, meaning that the copyright holder can sue the infringing party for damages in a civil court. However, under certain circumstances, copyright infringement can also lead to criminal charges. The specifics vary from one country to another, but there are some general principles that are often followed.
1. Commercial Scale Infringement: Criminal charges are more likely if the infringement occurs on a commercial scale. This means that the infringing party is profiting significantly from the copyright infringement, such as selling counterfeit goods or distributing pirated copies of copyrighted works.
2. Willful Intent: Criminal charges are more likely if the infringement was done willfully and knowingly. If the infringing party was aware that they were infringing someone else’s copyright and did it anyway, it strengthens the case for criminal prosecution.
3. Piracy for Profit: Engaging in large-scale piracy for profit, such as mass producing and selling counterfeit goods, is a common trigger for criminal charges.
4. Repeat Offenses: If the infringing party has a history of copyright infringement and has been previously convicted or sued for similar offenses, it can lead to criminal prosecution.
5. Digital Piracy: With the rise of the internet, criminal charges are more common in cases of online piracy, such as distributing copyrighted material via torrent websites or file-sharing networks.
6. International Copyright Violations: If the infringement involves international borders, it can lead to more serious consequences, sometimes involving extradition and international cooperation between law enforcement agencies.
In cases where criminal prosecution is pursued and the infringing party is found guilty, penalties can include fines and imprisonment. The exact penalties depend on the jurisdiction and the specific laws that were violated.
It’s important to consult legal counsel if you suspect someone has infringed on your copyright or if you are accused of copyright infringement, especially if criminal charges are involved, as copyright law can be complex and the consequences can be severe.
How Auriga Accounting Helps In Copyright Registration ?
However, Auriga Accounting Private Limited can assist individuals and businesses in various ways when it comes to copyright registration:
Expert Guidance: Auriga Accounting professionals can provide expert guidance on the financial aspects of copyright registration, including fee structures, budgeting for registration costs, and financial planning related to copyright ownership.
Record Keeping: Auriga Accountants can help you maintain proper financial records related to copyright registration fees and other associated expenses, ensuring that your financial documentation is in order.
Tax Implications: Copyright-related income, such as royalties from licensed works, can have tax implications. Auriga Accountants Private Limited can advise you on tax matters related to your copyrighted works, helping you comply with tax regulations.
Financial Planning: For businesses and individuals generating income from copyrighted works, accountants can assist in financial planning, including budgeting, revenue forecasting, and investment strategies related to intellectual property assets.
Financial Expertise: Auriga Accounting is CA firms, Which provide expert financial advice, helping businesses with financial planning, budgeting, and investment strategies, ensuring sound financial decisions.
Compliance and Taxation: In Auriga Accounting, CA’s are well-versed in local and international tax laws and regulations. They can ensure businesses comply with tax obligations, file accurate tax returns, and optimize tax strategies.