Art and Indian Copyright Law: A Statutory Reading

A look at how the Indian Copyright Act, 1957, as amended in 2012, interacts with art (other than films and sound recordings), and, in particular, with Indian art. The first part of this text comprises a feminist and post-colonial reading of the Indian copyright statute while later parts focus on interpreting the provisions of the statute in relation to art.

26 November 2010

The Report of the PSC on the Copyright (Amendment), 2010

The Parliamentary Standing Committee tabled its Report on the Copyright (Amendment), 2010 in Parliament on November 23, 2010. The Report contained a number of general observations. However, with respect to the proposed amendments themselves, the Report, primarily:
  • endorsed making international exhaustion apply in the realm of Indian copyright although it cautioned the government to take note of the possible effect of the proposed amendment on the student community given that having international exhaustion apply could have adversely impact the Low Priced Edition programme,
  • supported the Bollywood Amendments in favour of lyricists and music composers,
  • rejected the proposal to include the principal director as an author of the film along with producer,
  • broadly supported the provisions restructuring the performer's right and according moral rights to performers,
  • rejected the proposed amendment relating to Copyright Societies stating that it would be fair to have both authors and owners be members of copyright societies and drawing attention to Section 33(4) of the Copyright Act which allows the Central Government to cancel the registration of a society acting in a manner detrimental to its members,
  • suggested that the compulsory licence (a) provided for in Section 31A be modified in a manner to ensure timely disposal of applications made for a licence and to ensure compliance with international treaties, (b) provided for in Section 31B be modified to further benefit persons with disabilities,
  • accepted the statutory licence (a) provided for in Section 31C in relation to cover versions and said that it did not understand the reservations of music companies, and (d) provided for in Section 31D in relation to Radio Broadcasting although it suggested that procedural shortcomings be overcome,
  • suggested that the accessibility provisions designed to make copyrighted works accessible to persons with disabilities be strengthened,
  • did not oppose the provisions creating a safe harbour for OSPs/ISPs although it suggested (a) that the provision requiring that storage of allegedly infringing material be "transient and incidental" in order to qualify to fall under the scope of the proposed safe harbour be reviewed and (b) that the 14 day period provided to a copyright owner for obtaining a court order for continued takedown of allegedly infringing material be reviewed,
  • did not oppose the proposed provisions relating to digital rights management. (For details on the DRM provisions, please see: mylaw.net; registration required.)
The complete Report is available on the website of the Rajya Sabha.



Disclosure: The author, Nandita Saikia,  has been involved in advising a number of entities on the proposed copyright amendments.

(This post was first published at Indian Copyright.)

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