Copyright Work Infringed? Here is What You Can Do!

Last Updated at: Dec 22, 2020
Copyright Work Infringed
On 11  November 2020, IndiaMART secured a temporary injunction from the Delhi high court against JustDial over copyright infringement. The interim order would prevent JustDial from launching IndiaMART’s rival platform named JD Mart. JustDial has called these accusations “absolutely baseless and frivolous”. The company said it will pursue legal remedies


This article is written by Vandhana

Just imagine, you have put a lot of effort into writing a novel or creating a music track and someone accesses it without your permission, what would you do? Will you let that person use it?  Or will you seek remedies for that copyright work infringement?”

Copyright infringement has become a serious issue in today’s time. People these days are more inclined to copying the work rather than creating it. But, not to worry, Law certainly provides protection from such infringement. Want to know how? Scroll down to know it.

copyright claim

What is Copyright Infringement?

When a person uses any work of another person without a license granted by the original owner or Registrar of Copyrights, then that work is said to be infringed. 

When the plaintiff claims that the work is said to be infringed, the burden of proving the infringement lies upon the plaintiff and the plaintiff can show that

  1. The defendant had access to the plaintiff’s work
  2. The works are substantially similar.

The Plaintiff has To Establish Two Elements in the Court:

  1. Ownership of the Copyright Work.
  2. The Said Work is “Original” In Nature.

What are the remedies one can seek against infringement?

Section 55 lays down the remedies we can seek in case of infringement. Further, they are basically divided into two categories:

  1. Civil remedies
  2. Criminal remedies

copyright remedies

Civil Remedies

Section 55 of the copyrights act, 1950 lays down the following categories of copyrights infringement

  1. Statutory injunction:
  2. Pecuniary remedies
  3. Anton pillar order
  4. Mareva injunction
  5. Norwich Pharmacal order

Statutory injunction

Injunctions basically mean that the person is restricted from further using the copyrighted material. Moreover, the suit for injection (interlocutory) is filed by the owner of the work requesting the court to restrict the person from using the copyrighted work.

There are three basic requirements for the grant of the injunction:

  1. Prima facie case
  2. Moreover, the balance of convenience
  3. Injury or damage caused to the plaintiff

Once the court is satisfied that the case establishes the above three requirements, it will grant the interlocutory injunction to the plaintiff.

copyright your work

Pecuniary damages

The plaintiff can also seek monetary or pecuniary benefits from the defendant. There are three options available:

  • Claim the amount the defendant earned by unauthorised use of the work
  • Compensatory damages
  • Conversion damages- based on the value of the work

Anton Pillar order

This order was introduced in the system by virtue of the famous case of Anton Pillar AG V. Manufacturing Processes. The court gave three elements to this order

  1. Injunction restricting the defendant from destroying or using the work
  2. Further, a search of the premises by the plaintiff’s lawyer
  3. Disclosure of the name of the supplier of the work

Mareva Injunction

The court if it is of the opinion that the defendant might flee or escape from the country or state or will try to delay/obstruct the proceeding of the court then, the court will issue a Mareva injunction order against the defendant.

The court has the power to direct him to place whole or part of the property within the custody of the court as may be required to sufficient the decree passed by the court.

Norwich Pharmacal order

This order is usually given when certain kinds of information are to be disclosed and the defendant forbids himself from disclosing it.

Criminal Remedies

The following criminal remedies are available to the plaintiff- owner of the copyrighted work:

  1. Imprisonment for six months which may have extention up to three years
  2. Fine- not less than 50,000 INR but not exceeding 2,00,000 INR
  3. Confiscation of the goods including the equipment used to create those infringed copies of the work
  4. Therefore, delivery of infringed copies of the work to the plaintiff.

These are the remedies by the court after verifying the facts and circumstance of the case.

But, one thing to be noted here is that:

In case of infringement of the works relating to architecture, there are no remedies provided to the owner of the work. Therefore, the owner of the work cannot ask for

  1. The injunction to restrain the construction
  2. Demolition order
  3. Any other remedies.

in case of groundless threat of legal proceedings- that is where any person who claims to be the owner of the work issues any circular or advertisement or threatens any other person with legal proceedings, then the declaratory suit can be initiated against such person and in such suit obtain:

  1. Injunction against such threats
  2. Recover such damages if any sustained by such threats.

All you have to do is contact your lawyer and file a suit in the court and then sit back and relax. The court will provide you with appropriate remedies.