Latest amendments of Indian Copyrights Act
India first enacted the Copyright law in the year of 1847 in the regime of East India Company. In the last 165 years, the copyright laws were amended several times to cater the needs of the changed social environment. Some changes are minor and some are the major changes. However, three major distinctive changes in the law brought the present generation copyright acts of today. In the year of 2010, Government realized that the last sweeping amendments of 1994 and minor changes afterwards did not meet the demand of the current situation. In the last few years, the tremendous growth of digital technology has totally changed the social environment. The advent of internet and the computer technology have posed a challenge to the old concept of protecting the rights of artistic works.
In this context, Government of India felt the need to amend the copyright law to cope with the present situation. The Government sought the opinions from the copyright related people to know their views about the nature of amendments. After long discussions, the Government of India has placed the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010 on the table of Parliament in 2010. Loksabha passed the bill on 22nd May, 2012 and Rajyasabha also passed it on 17th May.
The main objective of the Copyright (Amendment) Bill,2010 , 2010 is to protect all types intellectual property rights in the digital age. The new digital technology includes computer networks, satellite communications, electronic resources and devices. The salient features of the new bill are:-
• The author of a literary or musical work will now get a level playing field to negotiate the terms and conditions of the royalty with the publishers and producers. The creators will also get the equal share of royalties for the exhibition of their creation except in the case of the public show in cinema hall. Therefore, the exhibitors have to share the royalty with the author of creative art for a private show. The permitted exceptions are copyright societies and legal heirs to whom an author may assign the right.
• The new bill has included the following clause to provide the relief to the physically handicapped or disabled people. The amendment has exempted the works done for the benefit of physically handicapped person in Braille and other mode of communication system, from the copyright law. Moreover, the amendment also exempt copies created in non-special formats for the non-profit organization works.
• The exemption has also extended to the students for using literary, artistic, music, theater and cinematographic work for research purposes.
• According to the new amendment, it will be mandatory to pay royalties to the owners of the copyright for broadcasting each time the work in television and radio.
The Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2010 is now is waiting for President’s confirmation and gazette notification. As soon as the bill will be notified in the gazette, the bill will come into the force. The new amendment will help to build a strong and vibrant new India protecting the rights of creative people.
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