YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
Protecting & Defending Copyright
The firm is known for its cutting-edge and high-level transactional and advisory work in the entertainment and broadcasting industry. On behalf of its clients, the firm has undertaken and continues to undertake drafting of a host of agreements such as assignments, licenses, media and entertainment contracts, character merchandising etc.
Featured Industry Expertise
Literary & Dramatic Works
Services Offered in Copyright Practice
Filing and prosecuting copyright applications before the Indian Copyright Office
Responding to objections raised by the Indian Copyright Office in applications
Advising clients on the registrability of all copyrighted works including software, works created through generative AI, photographs and compilations
Analysing copyrighted works for providing opinion on infringement
Providing opinions on copyright issues in the digital age including violations of copyright on the internet and social media platforms, the interplay of copyright and design rights, copyright infringements and acquisition of ownership.
Drafting and issuing cease and desist notices for copyright infringement and breach of license
Assisting clients to file copyright infringement suits in coordination with the litigation team
Copyright due diligence, including in connection with M&A transactions
Drafting of a host of agreements such as assignments, licenses, film and music production agreements, content acquisition agreements including in the context of film and music production, agreements on prequels and sequels, other media and entertainment contracts, character merchandising etc.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Frequently Asked Questions
Though the Copyright Act provides for the registration of copyright, this is not mandatory for the purposes of enforcement, provided the ownership in the work can be established. Copyright comes into existence upon the creation of the work.
The author or publisher of, or the owner of or other person interested in the copyright in, any work may make an application, in the prescribed form and accompanied by the prescribed fee, to the Registrar of Copyrights for entering the particulars of the work in the Register of Copyrights. On receipt of an application in respect of any work, the Registrar of Copyrights may, after holding any such inquiry as he may deem fit, enter the particulars of the work in the Register of Copyrights.
The advantage of registering the copyright in a work is that it serves as a prima facie proof of ownership in the work.
The Copyright Act protects original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works, cinematograph films and sound recordings. In addition, the Copyright Act protects broadcast reproduction right and performers rights.
‘Literary work’ is defined under Section 2(o) of the Copyright Act as including computer programmes, tables, and compilations (including computer databases).’
‘Dramatic work’ is defined under Section 2(h) of the Copyright Act as including any piece of recitation, choreographic work or entertainment in a ‘dumb show’ (i.e., a work of mime), the scenic arrangement or acting of which is fixed in writing or otherwise but does not include a cinematograph film.
‘Musical work’ is defined under Section 2(p) of the Act as including a work consisting of music and includes any graphical notation of such work but does not include any words or any action intended to be sung, spoken or performed with the music.
‘Artistic work’ is defined under Section 2(c) of the Act as meaning a painting, a sculpture, a drawing (including a diagram, map, chart or plan), an engraving or a photograph, whether or not any such work possesses artistic quality; a work of architecture; and any other work of artistic craftsmanship;
‘Cinematograph film’ is defined under Section 2(f) of the Act as meaning any work of visual recording and includes a sound recording accompanying such visual recording, and ‘cinematograph’ is construed as including any work produced by any process analogous to cinematography including video films.
‘Sound recording’ is defined under Section 2(xx) of the Act as meaning a recording of sounds from which such sounds may be produced, regardless of the medium on which such recording or the method by which the sounds are produced.
‘Broadcast reproduction right’ is a special right granted to every broadcasting organization in respect of its broadcasts.
‘Performer’s rights’ is a special right granted to any performer where such performer appears or engages in any performance. ‘Performance’, in relation to performer’s right has been defined under the Copyright Act to mean any visual or acoustic presentation made live by one or more performers.
For literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, published within the lifetime of the author, the copyright term would be for the life of the author until 60 years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the author dies.
For sound recordings and cinematograph films, copyright term would be for 60 years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the cinematograph film or the sound recording, as the case may be, is published.
For broadcast reproduction rights, term of protection would be for 25 years from the beginning of the calendar year following the year in which the broadcast is made.
For performer’s rights, the term of protection would be for 50 years from the beginning of the calendar year following the year in which the performance is made.
Subject to certain exceptions laid down in Section 17 of the Copyright Act, the author of a work is the first owner of the copyright therein.
The expression ‘author’ has been defined under Section 2(d) of the Act to mean:
in relation to a literary or dramatic work, the author of the work;
in relation to a musical work, the composer;
in relation to an artistic work other than a photograph, the artist;
in relation to a photograph, the person taking the photograph;
in relation to a cinematograph film, or sound recording, the producer; and
in relation to any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work which is computer-generated, the person who causes the work to be created.
The exceptions under Section 17 are as follows:
Where a work (literary, dramatic or artistic) is made by the author in the course of employment by the proprietor of a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical under a contract of service or apprenticeship, for the purpose of publication in a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical, the proprietor will, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright, in so far as it relates to the reproduction of the work in any newspaper, magazine or similar periodical or to the reproduction of the work for the purposes of its being so published. In all other respects, the author will be the first owner of the copyright in the work.
Where a photograph is taken, or a painting or portrait drawn, or an engraving or a cinematography film made, for valuable consideration at the instance of any person, that person, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, will be the first owner of the copyright therein.
In the case of a work made in the course of the author’s employment (not with the proprietor of a newspaper, magazine or periodical) under a contract of service or apprenticeship, the employer, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, will be the first owner of copyright.
In the case of any speech delivered in public, the person who has delivered such address or speech or if such person has delivered such address or speech on behalf of any other person, such other person is the first owner of the copyright therein, notwithstanding that the person who delivers such address or speech, or, as the case may be, the person on whose behalf such address or speech is delivered, is employed by any other person who arranges such address or speech or on whose behalf or premises such address or speech is delivered.
In the case of government work, the government will, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of copyright.
In the case of a work made or first published by or under the direction or control of any public undertaking, such public undertaking will, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright therein.
In case of a work of an international organisation, the international organisation concerned is the first owner of the copyright therein.
‘Civil and criminal remedies’ are available for infringement of copyright. Under civil remedies a suit for injunction, damages and accounts of profit can be filed. Imprisonment and fine are criminal remedies for infringement.