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The 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. It includes 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 Copyright Act, 1957 (“Copyright Act”), supported by the Copyright Rules, 1958 (“Copyright Rules”), is the governing law for copyright protection in India. Substantial amendments were carried out to the Copyright Act, in early 2012 (“Amendment”).

In order to keep pace with the global requirement of harmonization, the Copyright Act, 1957 has brought the copyright law in India in line with the developments in the information technology industry, whether it is in the field of satellite broadcasting or computer software or digital technology. The amended law has also made provisions to protect performer’s rights as envisaged in the Rome Convention.

Under the (Indian) Copyright Act, 1957, artistic work including a painting, a sculpture, a drawing (including a diagram, map, chart or plan), an engraving, a photograph, a work of architecture or artistic craftsmanship, dramatic work, literary work (including computer programmes, tables, compilations and computer databases), musical work (including music as well as graphical notation), sound recording, and cinematograph film are protected.