License to use copyright
Copyright is an intellectual property right which gives the author or creator of original work a right of ownership for e.g. painting, poem, novel etc. It is governed by the Copyright Act of 1957. The owner possesses a set of exclusive rights for a certain period such as print, publish, make copies, reproduce the original work or distribute the ownership of the copyright to any other person.
The attributes of having a copyright over something is similar to owning a house or a bicycle. This is because the owner has the right to use, sell, lend or even destroy it. Therefore, it becomes pertinent to understand whether an existing piece of copyright is in public domain or not otherwise it will amount to trespass or stealing (in the case of house or bicycle) which is termed as an infringement of copyright in the legal language.
Longevity of Copyright
In the case of literary, artistic, musical or dramatic work the copyright usually lasts for the lifetime of the owner plus sixty years from the date of death of the original author. It comes down to twenty-five years in the case of broadcasting from the date of first such broadcasting. The original work falls into the public domain after the term of copyright comes to an end which implies that it can be freely used, reproduced or copied by the non-licensed users.
Obtaining Copyright License
Seeking permission to use the copyrighted work means obtaining a license. There are times when the copyrighted work such as photograph or lyrics of a song is used without seeking permission from the owner. Besides the moral ethics involved in that process, there are high chances of the owner getting to know of usage if the product is successful which will be termed as ‘infringement of copyright’. The owner possesses the right to claim damages from the infringing party depending on the extent of use, unfair use, impact on public/market etc.
A license granted by the licensor for use of the copyrighted work is subject to conditions in the License Agreement. Licensing is done for a certain period and it is different from an assignment of copyright where the assignee becomes the owner of the interest vested in him. There are two types of Licenses voluntary and compulsory. The Copyright Board can also ask the registrar of copyright to issue the license to the Licensee on the unpublished Indian works after reasonable examination.
Infringement and the associated remedies
With the changing dynamics of business trade, copyright infringement has increased manifold. Copyright infringement happens when the copyright is used either voluntarily or involuntarily. The Copyright Act 1957 gives remedies to the copyright owner such as civil, criminal and administrative remedies. On the other hand, the opposite party can take the defence of “fair use” under which the burden lies on the owner to prove infringement.
The Intellectual Property law is a vast area containing legal rights associated with inventions, designs and artistic works. Along with it, there are rules pertaining to the assignment of such legal rights involving a process depending on the territorial extent of copyright, royalty, duration of copyright etc. All these formalities become indispensable to maintain the sanctity of copyright.
Looking for Copyright License Agreement? Contact Docket Tech Solutions.
Order Documents Related to Copyright
Assignment of Copyright Conveyancing of Copyright