Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of copyright law and know how you can use the same for your creations
Suppose you are the creator of something innovative that you feel might get copied by others. In such a case, what do you do to save your creation from infringement? You would think about going for copyright protection, isn’t it? Certain activities like making a song, creating a movie, and writing a book, need a good amount of energy and resources. Moviemakers, writers, music directors, etc., spend months creating a book, movie, or song for the audience. A lot of money goes into the whole process as well.
Suppose another person decides to create a remake of an old movie, copy an already written book, or remix an old song. In that case, the overall sales of the original product may experience a loss for its original creators. Hence, in such cases, the original creator often seeks the processes of law to protect their work and get a copyright registration. So, before we move on to the pros and cons of copyright laws, let’s learn a bit about the copyright act.
The Copyright Act – Definition
In India, The Copyright Act is made to protect literary, musical, dramatic, and artistic works, including films, songs, cinematography, etc. However, this protection is not meant for an unlimited period.
For instance, for musical, dramatic, artistic, or literary works, the protection is valid till the lifetime of the original creator and an additional sixty years. Until then, the ownership of the products rests with the holder of the copyright, whose consent is essential for its further production and distribution.
Under the Copyright Act, the copyright holder can expect benefits like modification, right to reproduction, distribution, freedom to public display, and general performance. However, this act doesn’t guarantee safety against infringement.
So, in case the act is violated, it is totally up to the copyright owner whether they should take any legal action or not. And any such claims made by the copyright owner would be verified by law in the court. Simply put, if you have a creation copyrighted, you can claim it in court if you come to know that someone else is using your creation without your permission.
However, before doing that, you should also know the advantages and disadvantages of The Copyright Act. This will help you in expecting the best solutions if you ever need to make a copyright claim in the future.
Pros & Cons of The Copyright Act
Here, we have discussed a few pros and cons of The Copyright Act. Let’s first start with the pros and then we will jump straight to the cons of it. Keep read below –
- Automatic Protection of the Copyright
One of the significant pros of copyright law is that it will automatically extend its protection to all the innovative products of an individual or a company as soon as they are published.
- Prompt Preventive Measure
Another benefit of this act is that copyright registration is put on record at the Indian Copyright Office. Hence, no one else would be able to make any unauthorised use of an original work. So, if the copyright owner discovers that someone is copying their work, they can immediately send a `cease’ notice, and the matter would be taken care of by the law.
- The Incentive to Innovate
This could be one of the most lucrative benefits of copyright law. It helps foster innovation. If a small software development company spends a lot of money on new software, they want to safeguard their software from infringement in the future. With copyright law, they can be sure their product is safe, and thus, they will be able to focus on other creative productions.
So, now that you know the advantages of the copyright claims, let’s move straight on to the disadvantages of the same.
- Fees and Registration
Companies need to register their work and products with the Indian Copyright Office to seek penal damages caused due to any infringement or for receiving an order to stop an infringement process. To register with the Indian Copyright Office, companies or individuals need to pay a fee ranging from ₹500 – ₹5000. Also, registering for more than one work can be expensive and time-consuming for small businesses.
- Expensive for Small Firms
Small companies and individuals who cannot pay much while registering copyright may find the copyright law costly. Companies need to designate someone to enforce the copyright rules, and most of the matters are taken care of on a civil basis. And such processes may require legal representations as well.
During appeals, such copyright owners may have difficulty affording such long-standing representations. Also, a small company or a defendant may not have the suitable means to fight a legal battle that’s caused due to copyright infringement.
- Ambiguous Nature
Although copyright law is pretty straightforward, there are a few ambiguous areas. Hence, it’s prudent to be aware of those so that it’s easy to interpret the various law processes. There are a few concepts, like the fair use of doctrine is something that is not clearly defined in the works of the original creators.
And such cases need to be decided by the judge on a case-by-case basis. Hence, there are times when a company may spend a lot of time and money pursuing a case only to find out that their work wasn’t really infringed as per the court’s classification.
Discussions about the relativity and trustworthiness of copyright law have existed from time immemorial. However, as an individual or a company with intellectual products, one needs to be sure about the knick-knacks of this law before registering their work with the Indian Copyright Office. In India, the copyright protection act is sporadic. But, while looking at its cons, one should not miss out on the multiple benefits that copyright registration can offer and vice versa.