Copyright is one of the Intellectual Property Rights. In India, copyright is sui generis right. It is considered a natural right as it is automatically granted to the creator of the original literary (including computer programs), dramatic, musical and artistic works; cinematographic films; and sound recordings. Registration of work is not mandatory for availing the protection under the Copyright Act, 1957. The Apex Court in R.G. Anand’s5 Case held that registration of works is not mandatory for availing copyright protection.

In the case of Sunil Agarwal Vs Kumkum Tandon,6 it was observed that Section 18 of the Copyright Act, 1957 confers ownership rights in copyright on the assignment.

According to Section 17 of the Copyright Act, 1957, the author of a work shall be the first owner of the copyright. “Author” means as contained in the Act,

  • in relation to a literary or dramatic work, the author of the work;
  •  in relation to a musical work, the composer;
  •  in relation to an artistic work other than a photograph, the artist;
  •  in relation to a photograph, the person taking the photograph;
  • in relation to a cinematograph film or sound recording, the producer; and
  • in relation to any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work which is computer-generated, the person who causes the work to be created.”

Therefore, it can be said that following are the owners of the copyrights:

  • In music industry:lyricist, composer, singer, musician and the person or company who produced the sound recording
  • In journalists work during their employment: in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, the proprietor
  • In works produced for consideration at the instance of another person: in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, the person at whose instance the work is produced

Important sections regarding ownership of copyright

According to Section 18 of the Copyright Act, 1957, the owner of the copyright in an existing work may assign to any person the copyright:

  1. either wholly or partially, and
  2. either generally or subject to limitations, and
  3. either for the whole term of the copyright or any part thereof.

Further as contained in Section 19 of the Copyright Act, 1957, such assignment of the copyright in any work shall be valid unless it is in writing signed by the assignor or by his duly authorised agent. If the period of assignment is not stated, it shall be deemed to be five years from the date of assignment.

Thus, The law grants to owners a set of specified rights: reproduction of works; distribution of copies; making of derivative works; and the public performance and display of works. Some artworks have “moral rights” regarding the name of the artist on the work, or preventing destruction of some works. Owners may also have rights to prevent anyone from circumventing technological protection systems that control access to the works.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.


Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at secondinnings.hr@gmail.com

In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.

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