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CHAPTER 4 – OWNERSHIP OF COPYRIGHT AND RIGHTS OF THE OWNER

BananaIP Counsels > THE COPYRIGHT ACT > CHAPTER 4 – OWNERSHIP OF COPYRIGHT AND RIGHTS OF THE OWNER

CHAPTER 4 – OWNERSHIP OF COPYRIGHT AND RIGHTS OF THE OWNER

 

17. First owner of copyright.—

 

Subject to the provisions of this Act, the author of a work shall be the first owner of the copyright therein:

 

Provided that—

 

(a)  in the case of a literary, dramatic or artistic work made by the author in the course of his 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 said proprietor shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright in the work in so far as the copyright relates to the publication of the work in any newspaper, magazine or similar periodical, or to the reproduction of the work for the purpose of its being so published, but in all other respects the author shall be the first owner of the copyright in the work;

 

(b)  subject to the provisions of clause (a), in the case of a photograph taken, or a painting or portrait drawn, or an engraving or a cinematograph film made, for valuable consideration at the instance of any person, such person shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright therein;

 

(c)in the case of a work made in the course of the author’s employment under a contract of service or apprenticeship, to which clause (a) or clause (b) does not apply, the employer shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright therein;

 

(cc)  in the case of any address or 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 shall be 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;

 

(d)  in the case of a Government work, Government shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright therein;

 

(dd)  in the case of a work made or first published by or under the direction or control of any public undertaking, such public undertaking shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright therein.

 

Explanation.— For the purposes of this clause and section 28A, “public undertaking” means—

 

(i)  an undertaking owned or controlled by Government; or

 

(ii)  a Government company as defined in section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956);or

 

(iii)  a body corporate established by or under any Central, Provincial or State Act;

 

(e)  in the case of a work to which the provisions of section 41 apply, the international organization concerned shall be the first owner of the copyright therein.

 

Provided that in case of any work incorporated in a cinematograph work, nothing contained in clauses (b) and

 

(c)  shall affect the right of the author in the work referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 13.

 

18. Assignment of copyright.—

 

(1)  The owner of the copyright in an existing work or the prospective owner of the copyright in a future work may assign to any person the copyright either wholly or partially and either generally or subject to limitations and either for the whole term of the copyright or any part thereof:

 

Provided that in the case of the assignment of copyright in any future work, the assignment shall take effect only when the work comes into existence.

 

Provided further that no such assignment shall be applied to any medium or mode of exploitation of the work which did not exist or was not in commercial use at the time when the assignment was made, unless the assignment specifically referred to such medium or mode of exploitation of the work:

 

Provided also that the author of the literary or musical work included in a cinematograph film shall not assign or waive the right to receive royalties to be shared on an equal basis with the assignee of copyright for the utilization of such work in any form other than for the communication to the public of the work along with the cinematograph film in a cinema hall, except to the legal heirs of the authors or to a copyright society for collection and distribution and any agreement to contrary shall be void:

 

Provided also that the author of the literary or musical work included in the sound recording but not forming part of any cinematograph film shall not assign or waive the right to receive royalties to be shared on an equal basis with the assignee of copyright for any utilization of such work except to the legal heirs of the authors or to a collecting society for collection and distribution and any assignment to the contrary shall be void.

 

(2)  Where the assignee of a copyright becomes entitled to any right comprised in the copyright, the assignee as respects the rights so assigned, and the assignor as respects the rights not assigned, shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as the owner of copyright and the provisions of this Act shall have effect accordingly.

 

(3)  In this section, the expression “assignee” as respects the assignment of the copyright in any future work includes the legal representatives of the assignee, if the assignee dies before the work comes into existence.

 

19. Mode of assignment.—

 

(1)  No assignment of the copyright in any work shall be valid unless it is in writing signed by the assignor or by his duly authorised agent.

 

(2)  The assignment of copyright in any work shall identify such work, and shall specify the rights assigned and the duration and territorial extent of such assignment.

 

(3)  The assignment of copyright in any work shall also specify the amount of royalty and any other consideration payable, to the author or his legal heirs during the currency of the assignment and the assignment shall be subject to revision, extension or termination on terms mutually agreed upon by the parties.

 

(4)  Where the assignee does not exercise the rights assigned to him under any of the other sub-sections of this section within a period of one year from the date of assignment, the assignment in respect of such rights shall be deemed to have lapsed after the expiry of the said period unless otherwise specified in the assignment.

 

(5)  If the period of assignment is not stated, it shall be deemed to be five years from the date of assignment.

 

(6)  If the territorial extent of assignment of the rights is not specified, it shall be presumed to extend within India.

 

(7)  Nothing in sub-section (2) or sub-section (3) or sub-section (4) or sub-section (5) or sub-section (6) shall be applicable to assignments made before the coming into force of the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 1994 (38 of 1994).

 

(8)  The assignment of copyright in any work contrary to the terms and conditions of the rights already assigned to a copyright society in which the author of the work is a member shall be void.

 

(9)  No assignment of copyright in any work to make a cinematograph film shall affect the right of the author of the work to claim an equal share of royalties and consideration payable in case of utilisation of the work in any form other than for the communication to the public of the work, along with the cinematograph film in a cinema hall.

 

(10)  No assignment of the copyright in any work to make a sound recording which does not form part of any cinematograph film shall affect the right of the author of the work to claim an equal share of royalties and consideration payable for any utilization of such work in any form.

 

19A . Disputes with respect to assignment of copyright.—

 

(1)  If an assignee fails to make sufficient exercise of the rights assigned to him, and such failure is not attributable to any act or omission of the assignor, then, the Appellate Board may, on receipt of a complaint from the assignor and after holding such inquiry as it may deem necessary, revoke such assignment.

 

(2)  If any dispute arises with respect to the assignment of any copyright, the Appellate Board may, on receipt of a complaint from the aggrieved party and after holding such inquiry as it considers necessary, pass such order as it may deem fit including an order for the recovery of any royalty payable:

 

Provided that the Appellate Board shall not pass any order under this sub-section to revoke the assignment unless it is satisfied that the terms of assignment are harsh to the assignor in case the assignor is also the author:

 

Provided further that, pending the disposal of an application for revocation of assignment under this sub- section, the Appellate Board may pass such order, as it deems fit regarding implementation of the terms and conditions of assignment including any consideration to be paid for the enjoyment of the rights assigned:

 

Provided also that no order of revocation of assignment under this sub-section, shall be made within a period of five years from the date of such assignment.

 

(3)  Every complaint received under sub-section (2) shall be dealt with by the Appellate Board as far as possible and efforts shall be made to pass the final order in the matter within a period of six months from the date of receipt of the complaint and any delay in compliance of the same, the Appellate Board shall record the reasons thereof.

 

20. Transmission of copyright in manuscript by testamentary disposition.—

 

Where under a bequest a person is entitled to the manuscript of a literary, dramatic or musical work, or to an artistic work, and the work was not published before the death of the testator, the bequest shall, unless the contrary intention is indicated in the testator’s Will or any codicil thereto, be construed as including the copyright in the work in so far as the testator was the owner of the copyright immediately before his death.

 

Explanation.— In this section, the expression “manuscript” means the original document embodying the work, whether written by hand or not.

 

21. Right of author to relinquish copyright.—

 

(1)  The author of a work may relinquish all or any of the rights comprised in the copyright in the work by giving notice in the prescribed form to the Registrar of Copyrights or by way of public notice and thereupon such rights shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), cease to exist from the date of the notice.

 

(2)  On receipt of a notice under sub-section (1), the Registrar of Copyrights shall cause it to be published in the Official Gazette and in such other manner as he may deem fit.

 

(2A)  The Registrar of Copyright shall, within fourteen days from the publication of the notice in the Official Gazette, post the notice on the official website of the Copyright Office so as to remain in the public domain for a period of not less than three years.

 

(3)  The relinquishment of all or any of the rights comprised in the copyright in a work shall not affect any rights subsisting in favour of any person on the date of the notice referred to in sub-section (1).

 

 

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