Copyright refers to the legal right of the owner of Intlectual Property. In simpler terms, copyright is the right to copy. This means that the original creators of products and anyone they give authorization to are the only ones with the exclusive right to reproduce the work.
Copyright law gives creators of original material the exclusive right to further use and duplicate that material for a given amount of time, at which point the copyrighted item becomes public domain.
How Copyrighting Works
When someone creates a product that is viewed as original and that required significant mental activity to create, this product becomes an intellectual property that must be protected from unauthorized duplication. Examples of unique creations include computer software, art, poetry, graphic designs, musical lyrics and compositions, novels, film, original architectural designs, website content, etc. One safeguard that can be used to legally protect an original creation is copyright.
Under copyright law, a work is considered original if the author created it from independent thinking void of duplication. This type of work is known as an Original Work of Authorship (OWA). Anyone with an original work of authorship automatically has the copyright to that work, preventing anyone else from using or replicating it. The copyright can be registered voluntarily by the original owner if they would like to get an upper hand in the legal system in the event that the need arises.
Not all types of work can be copyrighted. A copyright does not protect ideas, discoveries, concepts, or theories. Brand names, logos, slogans, domain names, and titles also cannot be protected under copyright law. For an original work to be copyrighted, it has to be in tangible form. This means that any speech, discoveries, musical scores, or ideas have to be written down in physical form in order to be protected by copyright.
The Copyright Act
The Copyright Act of India protects literary works, dramatic works, musical works, artistic works, cinematograph films and sound recordings, however not for an unlimited time. For example, for literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, the copyright is protected until the lifetime of the author plus sixty years. Until then, the ownership rests with the copyright holder, whose consent is required for production or distribution.
Under copyright protection, benefits include the right to reproduction, modification, distribution, public performance and public display. However, registration is no guarantee against infringement. If the copyright has been violated, it is up to the holder to approach the courts to take legal action. Claims can be verified only in a court of law.
Advantages of copyright law
In summary, there are multiple benefits of copyright registration. It encourages creativity and innovation and helps a country grow both in economic as well as cultural terms. However, the record of copyright protection is patchy in many parts of the world, including India.