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Online copyright infringement in India

Post On 16-12-2019.

The right of copyright came from the UK to India during the British rule in India. It grows in India in the in 3 different phases. The first phase is when it is introduced in India during the reign of British rule via British copyright act 1911. The act of 1911 is different as compare to current act like copyright was for the lifetime of the author and seven years after his death. The second phase of copyright was in 1914 when the Indian legislature in the British Raj introduced the Copyright Act of 1914. It was nearly similar to the British Copyright Act of 1911. However, the main change that was brought in this Act was the criminal sanction for the infringement of copyright.  The third phase of the copyright law in India was the introduction of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 which was enacted to suit the provisions of the Berne Convention. This Act was passed by Independent India and is the main Act by which we are governed to date.

Copyright is a set of rights given to the original creator of the literary work, dramatic work, musical work, software program, Artistic work even to the producer of cinematograph film and sound recording by the law. Copyright is the exclusive right given to the creators by law. Copyright is a negative right as it prevents others from copying work. It is a monopolistic and exclusive right.


Using the work of another artist or creator without his consent or permission amounts to infringement of copyright.  The right of copyright is also infringed even if the copy or reproduction is done unintentionally. It can be done in two ways.

(i) when the actual act of copying is done 

(ii) (ii)  unauthorized selling, using or importing.


 Kinds of remedies available against copyright infringement

(i) Civil remedies – The holder of a copyright on infringement of work shall be entitled to all such remedies it includes interlocutory injunction, damages, delivery of infringing copies, an account of profit.

(ii) Criminal remedies –   Various criminal remedies against infringement of copyright   Imprisonment and fine or both, seizure of infringing copies. 


There are certain acts which do not constitute an infringement of copyright

  • A fair dealing with a dramatic, literary, musical or artistic work, without commercial profit.
  • Materials published in official gazettes as well as Acts of parliament (subject to assured condition) or its translation.
  • Reproduction of copy used in judicial proceedings.
  • Publication of short passages, restricted reproduction or performance for educational reasons.
  • Production of records under license from Copyright Board on payment of royalty.
  • Playing of records or performance by a society or club for the benefit of the members of religious institutions.
  • Reproduction of any article on current economic, social, political or religious matters in magazines, newspapers, etc.
  • Reproduction of a few copies to exercise in libraries or for research or private study.
  • Utilize an artistic work (author not the owner of the copyright) by the author of any mold, cast, sketch, model, plan, etc., made by him for the work.
  • Manufacture of an object in three-dimension of artistic work in two dimensions subject to a certain condition, and Reconstruction of a building similar to the architectural drawings.
  • Use of it after the expiry of Copyright.    
  • When less 3 copies are made.
  • Use of it with the permission of the copyright holder.

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