Exceptions to Infringement under the Copyright Act, 1957

Last Updated at: October 23, 2019
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Exceptions to Infringement under the Copyright Act, 1957

The principle of conditional grants to the proprietary rights in any intellectual property is to promote the public interest. This is globally recognized and integrated into the intellectual property system. Enforcement and protection of intellectual property rights should be-

  • Be favourable to economic and social welfare.
  • Safeguard a person’s fundamental rights.
  • Promote competition commerce and innovation.

In Copyright Laws limitations and exceptions are provisions which in the public interest permit the use of copyrighted works without previous authorization or a license from the owner.

In general, limitations and exceptions to copyright are subject to a 3 step test set out in the Berne Convention for the protection of literary and artistic works. The Berne Convention provides that a limitation or exception to the copyright is permissible only if-

    • It covers special cases.
    • It does not clash with the normal exploitation of the work.
    • It does not arbitrarily bias the legitimate interests of the author.

Talk to IP experts

Standard limitations and exceptions are different from country to country in their scope and number.

In India, Section 52 of the Copyright Act, 1957  offer for certain acts, which do not constitute an infringement of the copyright namely fair dealing with a literary, musical, dramatic or artistic work not being a computer program for the reasons of-

  • Private use along with research.
  • Review or criticism.
  • Reporting present events in any print media.
  • By a cinematographic film or broadcast or by any means of photographs.
  • Reproduction for the purpose of the judicial proceeding or of a report of the judicial proceeding.
  • Publication or reproduction of the musical, literary, dramatic or artistic work in any work prepared by the secretariat of the legislature.
  • The reproduction of any literary, musical work or dramatic in a certified copy made or supplied in lines with any law for the time being in force.
  • The recitation or reading in public of any reasonable extract from the published literary or dramatic work.
  • The publication in the collection, primarily composed of non-copyright matter, bona fide intended for the sake of educational institutions.
  • The making of sound if made with or by the license or consent of the owner of the right in the work.

The doctrine of fair dealing

The term “fair dealing” is not explained in the Copyright Act, 1957. It is a legal doctrine, which allows an individual to make restricted use of the copyrighted work without the permission of the owner.

Whether an individual’s use of the copyrighted material is “fair” would depend wholly upon the circumstances and facts of a given case. The gap between “fair dealing” and infringement is a small one. In India, there are no particular guidelines that explain the number of words and passages can be used without permission from the author. Only the Courts can explain this. It can also be said that the extracted portion should be in such a way that it does not affect the main interest of the author. Fair dealing is an important limitation on the special right of the copyright owner. It has been understood by the courts on various occasions by adjudicating the economic impact it has on the copyright owner. Where the economic impact is not important, use may consist of fair dealing.

The fair nature of the dealing is mainly based on the four factors. They are-

  • The purpose of use.
  • The kind of work.
  • The amount of the work used.
  • The effect of the use of work on the original.

So, these are the exceptions to Infringement under the Copyright Act, 1957.

Exceptions to Infringement under the Copyright Act, 1957

530

The principle of conditional grants to the proprietary rights in any intellectual property is to promote the public interest. This is globally recognized and integrated into the intellectual property system. Enforcement and protection of intellectual property rights should be-

  • Be favourable to economic and social welfare.
  • Safeguard a person’s fundamental rights.
  • Promote competition commerce and innovation.

In Copyright Laws limitations and exceptions are provisions which in the public interest permit the use of copyrighted works without previous authorization or a license from the owner.

In general, limitations and exceptions to copyright are subject to a 3 step test set out in the Berne Convention for the protection of literary and artistic works. The Berne Convention provides that a limitation or exception to the copyright is permissible only if-

    • It covers special cases.
    • It does not clash with the normal exploitation of the work.
    • It does not arbitrarily bias the legitimate interests of the author.

Talk to IP experts

Standard limitations and exceptions are different from country to country in their scope and number.

In India, Section 52 of the Copyright Act, 1957  offer for certain acts, which do not constitute an infringement of the copyright namely fair dealing with a literary, musical, dramatic or artistic work not being a computer program for the reasons of-

  • Private use along with research.
  • Review or criticism.
  • Reporting present events in any print media.
  • By a cinematographic film or broadcast or by any means of photographs.
  • Reproduction for the purpose of the judicial proceeding or of a report of the judicial proceeding.
  • Publication or reproduction of the musical, literary, dramatic or artistic work in any work prepared by the secretariat of the legislature.
  • The reproduction of any literary, musical work or dramatic in a certified copy made or supplied in lines with any law for the time being in force.
  • The recitation or reading in public of any reasonable extract from the published literary or dramatic work.
  • The publication in the collection, primarily composed of non-copyright matter, bona fide intended for the sake of educational institutions.
  • The making of sound if made with or by the license or consent of the owner of the right in the work.

The doctrine of fair dealing

The term “fair dealing” is not explained in the Copyright Act, 1957. It is a legal doctrine, which allows an individual to make restricted use of the copyrighted work without the permission of the owner.

Whether an individual’s use of the copyrighted material is “fair” would depend wholly upon the circumstances and facts of a given case. The gap between “fair dealing” and infringement is a small one. In India, there are no particular guidelines that explain the number of words and passages can be used without permission from the author. Only the Courts can explain this. It can also be said that the extracted portion should be in such a way that it does not affect the main interest of the author. Fair dealing is an important limitation on the special right of the copyright owner. It has been understood by the courts on various occasions by adjudicating the economic impact it has on the copyright owner. Where the economic impact is not important, use may consist of fair dealing.

The fair nature of the dealing is mainly based on the four factors. They are-

  • The purpose of use.
  • The kind of work.
  • The amount of the work used.
  • The effect of the use of work on the original.

So, these are the exceptions to Infringement under the Copyright Act, 1957.

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A lawyer with 14 years' experience, Vikram has worked with several well-known corporate law firms before joining Vakilsearch.