The Indian Copyright Amendment Act: choppy waters ahead


Abhishek Malhotra

Long awaited comprehensive amendments to the Copyright Act, 1957, came into effect on June 21, after a long and arduous process. Abhishek Malhotra provides a bird’s eye view of the highlights.

The Copyright Board, a quasi-judicial and inquirybased tribunal, is to be made permanent, with three members having a fixed term of five years each. One member will be the chairperson—a sitting or a retired High Court Judge or someone eligible to be a High Court Judge.

Setting up a permanent establishment and infrastructure will enable expeditious hearing of various issues including involuntary licensing, challenges to copyright assignments, payment of royalties, issues relating to import of pirated goods, etc, especially since specific timelines have been indicated in relation to each such issue that may be raised before the Copyright Board. This amendment was long overdue and is welcomed by all parties engaged in various copyright businesses.

In respect of sound recordings and films, the exclusive right of “selling or giving on hire” has been replaced with the right “to sell or give on commercial rental”.

Copyright Amendment Act, Abhishek Malhotra