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COPYRIGHT ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 14 of 1957


  • Chapter I
  • Chapter II
  • Chapter III
  • Chapter IV
  • Chapter V
  • Chapter VI
  • Chapter VII. Copyright Societies
  • Chapter VIII. Rights of Broadcasting Organisation and of Performers
  • Chapter IX
  • Chapter X
  • Chapter XI
  • Chapter XII
  • Chapter XIII
  • Chapter XIV
  • Act nº 14 of 1957

Preamble

THE COPYRIGHT ACT, 19571

[Act No. 14 of 1957]

[4th June, 1957]

PREAMBLE

An Act So amend and consolidate the law relating to copyright.

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Eighth Year of the Republic of India as follows:--

1. The Act has been extended to Goa, Daman and Diu Reg. 12 of 1962, sec. 3 and Sch.; to Dadra and Nagar Haveli by Reg. 6 of 1963, sec. 2 and Sch. 1; to Pondicherry by Reg. 7 of 1963, sec. 3 and Sch. I; and brought into force in the State of Sikkim w.e.f. 27-4-1979 vide Notification No. S.O. 226 (E), dated 27th April, 1979, Gazette of India, Extra. Pt. II, sec. 3 (ii), p. 430.


Chapter I

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

( 1 ) This Act may be called the Copyright Act, 1957 .

( 2 ) It extends to the whole of India.

( 3 ) It shall come into force on such date 1the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

1 Came into force on 21-1-1958 vide S.R.O. 269, dated 21st January, 1958, Gazette of India, Extra. Pt. II, sec. 3, p. 167


Section 2. Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) "adaptation" means,--

(i) in relation to a dramatic work, the conversion of the work into a non-dramatic work;

(ii) in relation to a literary work or an artistic work, the conversion of the work into a dramatic work by way of performance in public or otherwise;

(iii) in relation to a literary or dramatic work, any abridgement of the work or any version of the work in which the story or action in conveyed wholly or mainly by means of pictures in a form suitable for reproduction in a book, or in a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical; 1[ **]

(iv) in relation to a musical work, any arrangement or transcription of the work; [and]

2 [(v) in relation to any work, any use of such work involving its rearrangement or alteration;]

(b) 3 ["work of architecture"] means any building or structure having as artistic character or design, or any model for such building or structure;

(c) "artistic work" means,--

(i) 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;

(ii) a 4 [work of architecture]; and

(iii) any other work of artistic craftsmanship;

(d) "author" means,--

(i) in relation to a literary or dramatic work, the author of the work;

(ii) in relation to a musical work, the composer;

(iii) in relation to an artistic work other than a photograph, the artist;

(iv) in relation to a photograph, the person taking the photograph;

5 [(v) in relation to a cinematograph film or sound recording, the producer; and

(vi) in relation to any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work which is computer-generated, the person who causes the work to be created;]

6 [(dd) "broadcast" means communication to the public--

(i) by any means of wireless diffusion, whether in any one or more of the forms of signs, sounds or visual images; or

(ii) by wire, and includes a re-broadcast;]

(e) "calendar year" means the year commencing on the 1st day of January;

7 [(f) "cinematograph film" means any work of visual recording on any medium produced through a process from which a moving image may be produced by any means and includes a sound recording accompanying such visual recording and "cinematograph" shall be construed as including any work produced by any process analogous to cinematography including video films;]

8 [(ff) "communication to the public" means making any work available for being seen or heard or otherwise enjoyed by the public directly or by any means of display or diffusion other than by issuing copies of such work regardless of whether any member of the public actually sees, hears or otherwise enjoys the work so made available.

Explanation.--For the purposes of this clause, communication through satellite or cable or any other means of simultaneous communication to more than one household or place of residence including residential rooms of any hotel or hostel shall be deemed to be communication to the public;

(ffa) "composer", in relation to a musical work, means the person who composes the music regardless of whether he records it in any form of graphical notation;

(ffb) "computer" includes any electronic or similar device having information processing capabilities;

(ffc) "computer programme" means a set of instructions expressed in words, codes, schemes or in any other form, including a machine readable medium, capable of causing a computer to perform a particular task or achieve a particular result;

(ffd) "copyright society" means a society registered under sub-section (3) of section 33;]

(g) "delivery", in relation to a lecture, includes delivery by means of any mechanical instrument or by 9 [broadcast];

(h) "dramatic work" includes any piece of recitation, choreographic work or entertainment in dumb show, the scenic arrangement or acting, form of which is fixed in writing or otherwise but docs not include a cinematograph film;

10 [(hh) "duplicating equipment" means any mechanical contrivance or device used or intended to he used for making copies of any work;]

(i) "engravings" include etchings, lithographs, wood-cuts, prints and other simi­lar works, not being photographs;

(j) "exclusive licence" means a licence which confers on the licensee or on the licensee and persons authorised by him, to the exclusion of all other persons (including the owner of the copyright) any right comprised in the copyright in a work, and "exclusive licensee" shall be construed accordingly;

(k) "Government work" means a work which is made or published by or under the direction or control of--

(i) the Government or any department of the Government;

(ii) any Legislature in India;

(iii) any Court, Tribunal or other judicial authority in India;

11 [(l) "Indian work" means a literary, dramatic or musical work,--

(i) the author of which is a citizen of India; or

(ii) which is first published in India; or

(iii) the author of which, in the case of an unpublished work is, at the time of the making of the work, a citizen of India;]

12 [(m) "infringing copy" means,--

(i) in relation to a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, a reproduction thereof otherwise than in the form of a cinematographic film;

(ii) in relation to a cinematographic film, a copy of the film made on any medium by any means;

(iii) in relation to a sound recording, any other recording embodying the same sound recording, made by any means;

(iv) in relation to a programme or performance in which such a broadcast reproduction right or a performer's right subsists under the provisions of this Act, the sound recording or a cinematographic film of such programme or performance, if such reproduction, copy or sound recording is made or imported in contravention of the provisions of this Act;]

(n) "lecture" includes address, speech and sermon;

13 [(o) "literary work" includes computer programmes, (abies and compilations including computer 14 [databases);]

13 [(p) "musical work" means 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;]

13 [(q) "performance", in relation to performer's right, means any visual or acoustic presentation made live by one or more performers;]

13 [(qq) "performer" includes an actor, singer, musician, dancer, acrobat, juggler, conjurer, snake charmer, a person delivering a lecture or any other person who makes a performance;]

15 [***]

(s) "photograph" includes photo-lithograph and any work produced by any process analogous to photography but does not include any part of a cinematograph film;

(t) "plate" includes any stereotype or other plate, stone, block, mould, matrix, transfer, negative 16 [duplicating equipment] or other device used or intended to be used for printing or reproducing copies of any work, and any matrix or other appliance by which 17 [sound recording] for the acoustic presentation of the work are or are intended to be made;

(u) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

18 [(uu) "producer", in relation to a cinematograph film or sound recording, means a person who lakes the initiative and responsibility for making the work;]

(v) 19 [***]

(w) 20 [***]

21 [(x) "reprography" means the making of copies of a work, by photocopying or similar means;

(xx) "sound recording" means a recording of sounds from which such sounds may be produced regardless of the medium on which such recording is the method by which the sounds are produced;]

(y) "work" means any of the following works, namely:--

(i) a literary, dramatic, musical or arlistic work;

(ii) a cinematograph film;

(iii) a 22 [sound recording];

(z) "work of joint authorship" means a work produced by the collaboration of two or more authors in which the contribution of one author is not distinct from the contribution of the other author or authors;

(za) "work of sculpture" includes casts and models.

1. The word "and"omitted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 2 w.e.f. 10-5-1995

2. Inserted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 2 w.e.f. 10-5-1995.

3. Substituted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 2 for "architectural work of artEw.e.f. 10-5-1995.

4. Substituted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 2, for "architectural work of artEw.e.f. 10-5-1995.

5. Substituted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 2, for sub-clauses (v) and (vi) w.e.f. 10-5-1995.

6. Inserted by Act 23 of 1983, sec. 3 w.e.f. 9-8-1984.

7. Substituted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 2, for clause (f) w.e.f. 10-5-1995.

8. Inserted by Act 23 of 1983, sec. 3 w.e.f. 9-8-1984 and Substituted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 2 w.e.f. 10-5-1995.

9. Substituted by Act 23 of 1983, sec. 2, for "radio-diffusionEw.e.f. 9-8-1984.

10. Inserted by Act 65 of 1984 sec. 2 w.e.f. 8-10-1984.

11. Substituted by Act 23 of 1983, sec. 3, for clause (1) w.e.f. 9-8-1984.

12. Substituted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 2, for clause (m) w.e.f. 10-5-1995.

13. Substituted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 2 w.e.f. 10-5-1995.

14. Substituted by Act 49 of 1999, sec. 2, for "data basisEw.e.f. 15-1-2000.

15. Clause (r ) omitted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 2 w.e.f. 10-5-1995.

16. Inserted by Act 65 of 1984, sec. 2 w.e.f. 8-10-1984.

17. Substituted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 2 (xii), for "recordEw.e.f. 10-5-1995.

18. Inserted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 2 w.e.f. 10-5-1995.

19. Clause (v) omitted by Act 23 of 1983, sec. 3 w.e.f. 9-8-1984.

20. Clause (w) omitted by Act 38 of 1983, sec. 2 w.e.f. 10-5-1995.

21. Substituted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 2, for clause (x) w.e.f. 10-5-1995.

22. Substituted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 2 for "recordEw.e.f. 10-5-1995.


Section 3. Meaning of publication

1[3. Meaning of publication.

For the purposes of this Act, "publication" me ans making a work available to the public by issue of copies or by communicating the work to the public.]

1. Substituted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 3 for section 3 w.e.f. 10-5-1995.


Section 4. When work not deemed to be published or performed in public

Except in relation to infringement of copyright, a work shall not be deemed to be published or performed in public, if published, or performed in public, without the licence of the owner of the copyright.

Section 5. When work deemed to be first published in India

For the purposes of this Act, a work published in India shall he deemed to be first published in India, notwithstanding that it has been published simultaneously in some other country, unless such other country provides a shorter term of copyright for such work; and a work shall be deemed to be published simultaneously in India and in another country if the time between the publication in India and the publication in such other country does not exceed thirty days or such other period as the Central Government may, in relation to any specified country, determine.

Section 6. Certain disputes to be decided by Copyright Board

1 [6.Certain disputes to be decided by Copyright Board.-

If any question arises--

(a) whethera work has been published or as to the date on which a work was published forthe purposes of Chapter V, or

(b) whether the term of copyrightfor any work is shorter in any other country than that provided in respect ofthat work under this Act, t shall he referred to the Copyright Boardconstituted under section 11 whose decision thereon shall be final:

Provided that if in the opinionof the Copyright Board, the issue of copies or communication to thepublic referred to in section 3 was of an insignificant nature, it shall not hedeemed to he publication for the purposes of that section.]

1. Substituted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 4, for section 6w.e.f. 10-5-1995.


Section 7. Nationality of author where the making of unpublished work is extended over considerable period

Where, in the case of an unpublished work, the making of the work is extended over a considerable period, the author of the work shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be a citizen of, or domiciled in, that country of which he was a citizen or wherein he was domiciled during any substantial part of that period.

Section 8. Domicile of corporations

For the purposes of this Act, a body corporate shall be deemed to be domiciled in India if it is incorporated under any law in force in India.

Chapter II

Section 9. Copyright Office

(1) Thereshall be established for the purposes of this Act an office to be called theCopyright Office.

(2) The CopyrightOffice shall be under the immediate control of the Registrar of Copyrights whoshall act under the superintendence and direction of the Central Government.

(3) Thereshall be a seal for the Copyright Office.

Section 10. Registrar and Deputy Registrars of Copyrights

(1) TheCentral Government shall appoint a Registrar of Copyrights and may appoint oneor more Deputy Registrars of Copyrights.

(2) ADeputy Registrar of Copyrights shall discharge under the superintendence anddirection of the Registrar of Copyrights such functions of the Registrar underthis Act as the Registrar may, from time to time, assign to him; andany reference in this Act to the Registrar of Copyrights shall include areference to a Deputy Registrar of Copyrights when so discharging any suchfunctions.

Section 11. Copyright Board

(1) Assoon as maybe after the commencement of this Act, the Central Government shallconstitute a Board to be called the Copyright Boardwhich shall consist of a Chairman and not less than two or more than 1 [fourteen]other members.

(2) TheChairman and other members of the Copyright Boardshall hold office for such period and on such terms and conditions as may beprescribed.

(3) TheChairman of the Copyright Board shall be a person who is, or has been, a Judgeof 2 [***] a High Court or is qualified for appointment as a Judge ofHigh Court.

(4) TheRegistrar of Copyrights shall be the Secretary of the Copyright Board andshall perform such functions as may be prescribed.

1. Substituted by Act 38 of1994, sec. 5 for "eight" w.e.f. 10-5-1995.

2. The words "the Supreme Courtor" omitted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 5 w.e.f. 10-5-1995.


Section 12. Powers and procedure of Copyright Board

(1) TheCopyright Board shall, subject to any rules that may be underthis Act, have power to regulate its own procedure, including the fixing ofplaces and times of its sittings:

Provided that the Copyright Boardshall ordinarily hear any proceeding instituted before it under this Act withinthe zone in which, at the time of the institution of the proceeding, the personinstituting the proceeding actually and voluntarily resides or carries onbusiness or personally work for gain.

Explanation.--In this sub-section"zone" means a zone specified in section 15 of theStates Reorganisation Act, 1956 (37 of 1956).

(2) The Copyright Board may exercise and dischargeits powers and functions through Benches constituted by the Chairman of theCopyright Board from amongst its members, each Bench consisting of not lessthan three members:

1 [Providedthat, if the Chairman is of opinion that any matter of importance is requiredto be heard by a larger Bench, he may refer the matter to a special Benchconsisting of five members.]

(3) Ifthere is a difference of opinion among the members ofthe Copyright Board or any Bench thereof in respectof any matter coming before it for decision under this Act, the opinion of themajority shall prevail:

2 [Providedthat where there is no such majority, the opinion of the Chairman shallprevail.]

(4) 3 [TheChairman] may authorise any of its members toexercise any of the powers conferred on it by section 74 and anyorder made or act done in exercise of those powers by the member soauthorised shall be deemed to be the order or act, as the case may be, of the Board.

(5) No member ofthe Copyright Board shall take part in any proceedings before the Board inrespect of any matter in which he has a personal interest.

(6) No actdone or proceeding taken by the Copyright Board under this Act shallbe questioned on the ground merely of the existence of anyvacancy in, or defect in the constitution of, the Board,

(7) TheCopyright Board shall be deemed to be a Civil Court for thepurposes of 4 [sections 345 and 346 of theCode of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974)] andall proceedings before the Board shall be deemed to be judicial proceedingswithin the meaning of sections 193 and 228 of theIndian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860).

1. Inserted by Act 38 of 1994,sec. 6 w.e.f. 10-5-1995.

2. Substituted by Act 38 of 1994,sec. 6, for proviso w.e.f. 10-5-1995.

3.Substituted by Act 38 of 1994, sec. 6, for "The Copyright Board" w.e.f.10-5-1995.

4. Substituted by Act 23 of 1983,sec. 6 for "sections 480 and 482 of the Code Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of1898)" w.e.f. 9-8-1984.