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Amendments to Copyright Act introduced; Authors to get royalty

Monday, 19 April 2010 - 9:39pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
A bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha today to give independent rights to authors of literary and musical works in cinematography films, entitling them to royalty which was denied to them so far.

A bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha today to give independent rights to authors of literary and musical works in cinematography films, entitling them to royalty which was denied to them so far.

The Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2010, introduced by HRD minister Kapil Sibal, will bring the country's copyright laws in line with international standards in internet and digital technology and provide for stringent punishment upto two years imprisonment and fine for violation.

At present, producers of films are keeping all rights with themselves.

As a result the lyricists and singers are not getting royalty in case their works are used for commercial purposes.

Under the proposed law, authors will have rights to receive royalties and the benefits enjoyed through copyright societies.

"It will ensure that the authors of the works, particularly songs included in the cinematography films or sound recordings, receive royalty for commercial exploitation of such work," the bill said.

In order to extend protection of copyright material in India over digital networks such as Internet and other computer networks related to literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, films and sound recordings, the existing Copyright Act of 1957 is being amended to harmonise it with global treaties, it said.

The amendments will introduce a system of statutory licensing for all sound recordings to ensure that while making a sound recording of any literary, dramatic or musical work, the interest of the copyright holder is protected.

The amendments are being made to bring the Act in conformity with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Internet Treaties, namely WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) which have set the international standards in these spheres.

"The main object to make amendments to the Act is that in the knowledge society in which we live today, it is imperative to encourage creativity for promotion of culture of enterprise and innovation...," it said.

"Any person who circumvents an effective technological measure applied for the purpose of protecting any of the rights... with the intention of infringing such rights, shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine," the bill said.

The Bill also has a provision to provide for physically challenged persons to access copyright materials in specialised formats.

The News Broadcasters Association had been apprehensive about the amendments.

The HRD ministry has set up an informal committee comprising Bollywood star Aamir Khan and lyricist Javed Akhtar to look the concerns raised by different quarters on the amendment.


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