Among the most talked about provisions in the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010, were those which dealt with the entitlement of musicians and lyricists to royalties for the out-film use of their works. The proposed amendments which dealt with this in Sections 18 and 19 of the Copyright Act have now been revised in accordance with the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, which means that they would affect not only film music but also non-film music on sound recordings. If the Bill is passed, this is how the provisions would read:
18. Assignment of copyright.
(1) The owner of the copyright in an existing work or the prospective owner of the copyright in a future work may assign to any person the copyright either wholly or partially and either generally or subject to limitations and either for the whole term of the copyright or any part thereof:
Provided that in the case of the assignment of copyright in any future work, the assignment shall take effect only when the work comes into existence.
(2) Where the assignee of a copyright becomes entitled to any right comprised in the copyright, the assignee as respects the rights so assigned, and the assignor as respects the rights not assigned, shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as the owner of copyright and the provisions of this Act shall have effect accordingly.
(3) In this section, the expression "assignee" as respects the assignment of the copyright in any future work includes the legal representatives of the assignee, if the assignee dies before the work comes into existence.
19. Mode of assignment.
(1) No 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.
(2) The assignment of copyright in any work shall identify such work, and shall specify the rights assigned and the duration and territorial extent of such assignment.
(3) The assignment of copyright in any work shall also specify the amount of royalty payable, if any, to the author or his legal heirs during the currency of the assignment and the assignment shall be subject to revision, extension or termination on terms mutually agreed upon by the parties.
(4) Where the assignee does not exercise the rights assigned to him under any of the other sub-sections of this section within a period of one year from the date of assignment, the assignment in respect of such rights shall be deemed to have lapsed after the expiry of the said period unless otherwise specified in the assignment.
(5) If the period of assignment is not stated, it shall be deemed to be five years from the date of assignment.
(6) If the territorial extent of assignment of the rights is not specified, it shall be presumed to extend within India.
(7) Nothing in sub-section (2) or sub-section (3) or sub-section (4) or sub-section (5) or sub-section (6) shall be applicable to assignments made before the coming into force of the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 1994.