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DIGITAL COPYRIGHT LAW

INTRODUCTION:-

One of the most fabulous creations of the human imagination was the advancement in modern technologies. In diverse fields such as the media, entertainment, communication and advertising, and education, technology has opened its doors to a wide variety. However, the simple accessibility of materials on the Internet has raised serious questions about the violation of copyrights. Intellectual property rights are among the most essential rights, which denote the creators’ rights in literature and art. It comprises book works, sculptures, computer systems, films, databases, and diagrams, to name a few. Without his approval and identification of such breaches, it has been very convenient to copy, duplicate and sell the copyright owner’s works by digitization. This has significantly threatened the freedom of copyright owners or authors.
Copyrights shall be a collection of proprietary rights bestowed by statute by creative expressions, such as literature, artistic, musical, and cinematographical practice, on the authors and producers. These rights grant the copyright owner the ability to regulate the use of his works for a finite time, such as duplication and dissemination. Although the copyright definition is quite old, the rules bestowed by these rights emerged relatively recently. The statute of copyright is considered to be the inheritance of invention in ancient chronicles. It has undergone methodical improvements in order to protect the public interest in creativity, ingenuity, and resourcefulness, bearing in mind the essence, complexity, and sphere of technology involved. On the one hand, its primary aim is to offer appropriate benefits for writers and producers of miscellaneous copyright works and, on the other hand, to make those works accessible to the public.

This is focused on the chaotic market conditions created by the technological advances since the Industrial Revolution in the cultural industries. Copyright laws have been adopted to respond to the extensive commercial use of literary works due to technical advances in printing processes.

BACKGROUND:-

“It was the invention of the printing press in the 15th century and the consequential publication in several copies of literary works that led to the enactment of laws in England prohibiting the importation of foreign books first in 1534, then granting the “Stationer’s Company” search, seizure and destruction powers over unauthorized copies in 1556. Finally, the Copyright Act of 1710 gave “sole right and freedom to print books” to writers and their assignments for 14 years under Queen Anne’s reign. A variety of rules have been adopted for the past two hundred years. Various laws were passed in Britain over the next two hundred years, giving authors and publishers numerous exclusive privileges as the printing industry grew and new innovations were adopted.

The scope of copyright law eventually extended to include modern artistic expressions, such as photographic and cinematographic works and phonograms, made possible by technology, initially meant to cover printed content. As a result of the proliferation of printing technologies, new copyright law has arisen in India.

The proliferation of printing technologies has brought in too advanced copyright laws in India. Although book printing in India dates back to 1557, copyright law is a little over a hundred and fifty years old. This was because more non-commercial and Christian missionary focused were the early printing practices. However, after commercial printing was recognized, there was a need for a copyright rule to protect writers’ and publishers’ rights. This contributed to the Indian Copyright Act 1847 being passed on 15 December 1847. This Act made English law applicable to the areas under the British East India Company’s jurisdiction.

Subsequently, when the Copyright Act, 1911, was enacted by Britain, “the first British legislation to put the multiple copyrights into a single text” the proposed legislation was also deemed suitable for India.

The Indian Copyright Act of 1914, a somewhat changed version of the British Copyright Act,1911, was thereby passed, adapting it to India’s specifications. This legislation remained in place until 1958 when the new Indian Copyright Act 1957 came into effect.

GROWING TECHNOLOGIES AND DIGITALISATION REQUIRE A SAFEGUARD REGIME:-

The world has always understood the need for a digital copyrights law with the rise of technology and digitization. Therefore, the current copyright law has changed, as it is apparent that the trend in record keeping of digital data requires protections that are required across the world.

Technical advances raised new problems for current copyright laws. The legislation was originally established by print media structure that eventually took artistic works, photographs, sketches, sculptures under its protective shelter and later spread into photography and cinema.

These old rules and their fundamental principles in copyright law had to be updated to advance the digital world. The digital data are conveniently made accessible by the technological copiers or recorders and can be used for the purpose of free knowledge flux in society and the author loses all authority when this digital paper is put on the Internet in public space. As Copyright Act itself, therefore, gives its owners some negative rights to prohibit any person from carrying out actions relevant to his/her work, as the copyright statute has now been revised to conform with the modern digital era.

STEPS TAKEN TO ENFORCE THE WORLDWIDE DIGITAL COPYRIGHT LAWS:-

The United States was the first to enforce the WCT (WIPO Copyright Treaty) and WPPT (WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty) provisions. It adopted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 1998, which covered the security of technical measures by splitting it into two groups, which prohibits unauthorized access to data and measures that discourage unauthorized copying.

The second limb of the 1998 DMCA was concerned with writers’ technical methods to protect their copyright from bypassing technological measures restricting access. However, this was heavily criticized by opponents who state that scientific research and intellectual advancement were hindered by this regulation; while the DMCA had a positive effect on reforming copyright law for the modern world since it was the first legislation of its kind.

The Digital Economy Act 2010 (c. 24) was approved by the United Kingdom Parliament on digital media and launched on 8 April 2010 by Lord Mendelssohn and became known on 8 June 2010. However, the Open Rights Group, privacy and human rights groups opposed the provisions on online copyright piracy, viz. Sections 3 to 18 of the Act partially have a plan for a phased response system that could ultimately disconnect Internet accounts used for chronic copyright infringement.

Deeply dependent on emerging economies as a source of knowledge, developed countries face a massive challenge as they reach the era of digitalization. For education and research purposes, developed countries must be authorized to keep exemptions. For the country’s overall development, such projects must be available. Therefore it is necessary to have access, but what access can depend on the organization form and the ability to be widely accessible to the general public.

AN INDIAN VIEWPOINT:-

The copyright law does not place any responsibility for breaches of digital copyright on the ISPs in India. The IT Act 2000 thus tackled the problem of the fixing of violation responsibilities on ISPs as an initiative. It notes that a service provider was not liable for an offense or offenses that happened without his knowledge if the service provider exercised due diligence to avoid the violations.

Indian legislation parallels the provisions of the United States Home Recording Act 1992 as the principle of fair use exemption is defined in Section 52 of the Indian Copyrights Act 1957. It exempts work for private use or critique or review of work. But India’s copyright law does not enforce anti-scale measures in the WCT and WPPT, as the USA and the United Kingdom have done, which are the main downside of Indian law. Therefore, the circumvention of the automated rights management schemes in India is not forbidden by provisions.

Therefore, piracy is advantageous to users, who earn half the expense of copyrighted content. On the contrast between the owners and ads, glory and fortune are the chance to sell their original works, producing healthy profits. The only solution legally available is to launch civil actions against pirates in compliance with the Copyright Act.

The statute allows for the sole right of someone who does an original work to replicate this work for a limited duration. Concepts, including computer programs, databases, architecture, etc., have resulted from technology development. Copyright is a central problem in IP protection in the modern world. The following copyright components are protected under different laws:

  • Data
  • Computer Software/programs
  • Internet

ACT ON COPYRIGHT (AMENDMENT),2012:-

It was the sixth amendment to the Statute concerning copyright. This accounts for the main modifications, namely:

  • All forms of work have been made available with a fair dealing exemption for educational purposes. It has since been expanded to report on current events and to deliver public lectures.
  • The holding of any work in electronic form for the reasons alluded to is not an infringement.
  • Electronic links created by temporary and incidental work storage have not been expressly prohibited.
  • Non-commercial public libraries can retain an electronic copy of a work if they already have a physical copy.

THE RULES OF COPYRIGHT,2013:-

These regulations come into effect on 14 March 2013, which allow for the relinquishment process to be implemented by:

  • Copyright.
  • Compulsory Licenses.
  • Statutory Licenses.
  • Registration of societies of copyright societies.
  • Membership and supervision of copyright societies and artistic societies affairs.

DRAFT COPYRIGHT (Amendment), 2019

The Department issued it for the Promotion of Industry and Internal  Trade (DPIIT). The draft rules it has several key recommendations, namely:

  • Substitution by the Appeals Board of the Copyright Board.
  • The manner in which the copyright societies fix the tariff systems.
  • In copyright societies, a particular account to preserve the royalties awarded to the authors.
  • It also recommends that, for each financial year, copyright companies should issue an annual disclosure report.

Digital domain remedies against breaches in copyright.

Threats of copyright infringements in the digital realm have contributed to specific preventive steps that guarantee that the owners’ or creators’ rights and privileges are safeguarded. Four of the main available treatments are:

  • Technology Blockchain – The decentralized public ledger that is used to document peer to peer transactions is strongly guarded. The parties settle on the information in of contract that happens to encrypt them into the digital data block that is uniquely signed or marked. Because of its work, the topic of copyright in the Digital Realm is known to be an outstanding technology to tackle.
  • Virtual Watermarks – One of the best ways to secure the copyright creator’s work as it allows the author to monitor and avoid the reproduction of his work. In this approach, a watermark is inserted in the author’s original work such that an unauthorized copy of the work can be identified.
  • Access control and copy control – It is a program that helps a user to search the developer for free or unauthorized use of his work.

CASE LAW:-UT

V Software Communication Ltd v/s 1337x and ors. on 10 April 2019-Delhi HC

The Case Facts:-

In this case, the applicants, including UTV Software Communication Ltd, are companies engaged in processing, producing, and distributing cinematographic films, including India, worldwide. The defendants were 30 websites, including John Doe, the Department of Computer and Information Technology, the Telephone Department, and other ISPs. The claimant was pleased that the defendants’ websites housed and offered links to their copyrighted material, which resulted in the complainant’s copyright infringement.

In this case, the Court named Mr. Hemant Singh as ‘amicus curiae’ to assist the Court in deciding the issues of law in the present case.

Judgment

In the current situation, the decision should be interpreted concerning the issues involved in this case.

If a copyright infringer on the Internet should be viewed in the real universe differently than the infringer?

In addressing it negatively, the Court held no explanation of why crime in the physical world is not a crime in the digital world, mainly because there is no such difference in the Copyright Act.

That a website devoted to piracy being blocked makes us an enemy of the free and open Internet?

Therefore, the Court ruled that the central question of internet freedom is not whether the Internet is and should be fully accessible or whether the Government should have unrestricted power to regulate, but rather where the relevant lines should be drawn, how they are drawn, and how they are applied.

CONCLUSION:-

During this topic, it is essential to remember that, because of the absence of geographical boundaries, both developed and emerging countries’ needs cannot be met in the digital world. It is also right that a single rule should be a useful DRM framework in the world. Therefore, all Copyright Owners worldwide will be inspired to do more online business, with the vast variety and consistency provided by the digital realm contributing to more benefit. In exchange, this would have strong economic benefits, resulting in an improvement of valuable arts. It will also work to create strict laws to curtail DRM systems to a great extent. In exchange, the Government could guarantee material supply by subsidizing India with essential information and expertise.

It is a difficult challenge because of the Internet’s indivisible existence, depending on the country’s growth status and separate laws for different countries. Therefore, it would be helpful for the environment, in general, to have adequate legal safeguards against the circumvention of DRM structures to promote innovation in useful arts, which is valuable for everyone in turn, in the mutual interests of both developed countries and the developing countries.

There is a lack of a single inclusive act that similarly includes both emerging and developed nations. This allows content designers and creators globally to work harder with the rest of the world. It should have strict regulations to safeguard the abuse of the work of the poet. While copyright systems and regulations currently protect copyright owners, they can have some disadvantages. In order to avoid violation of the copyrighted content, society must be educated.

Author :

P.BHUVAN DEEPAK, Gitam School Of Law [ B.B.A,L.L.B.]
E-mail id – bhuvandeepak99@gmail.com