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The 2011 Copyright Bill on the Settlement of Assignment Disputes

The Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010 made one change to Section 19A of the Copyright Act although the text of the Bill indicated that there was a typographical error and that another change was also intended. This additional change may have been captured by the 2011 version of the Bill, although, of course, there is no way in which to verify whether the 2011 version merely corrects an error in the 2010 version. At any rate, this is how the Section has been proposed to be amended:

19A. Disputes with respect to assignment of copyright
(1)   If an assignee fails to make sufficient exercise of the rights assigned to him, and such failure is not attributable to any act or omission of the assignor, then, the Copyright Board may, on receipt of a complaint from the assignor and after holding such inquiry as it may deem necessary, revoke such assignment.
(2)   If any dispute arises with respect to the assignment of any copyright the Copyright Board may, on receipt of a complaint from the aggrieved party and after holding such inquiry as it considers necessary, pass such order as it may deem fit including an order for the recovery of any royalty payable:
Provided that the Copyright Board shall not pass any order under this sub-section to revoke the assignment unless it is satisfied that the terms of assignment are harsh to the assignor in case the assignor is also the author:
Provided further that, [As per the 2010 amendment which remains unchanged in the August 2011 version] pending the disposal of an application for revocation of assignment under this sub-section, the Copyright Board may pass such order, as it deems fit regarding implementation of the terms and conditions of assignment including any consideration to be paid for the enjoyment of the rights assigned no order of revocation of assignment under this sub-section, be made within a period of five years from the date of such assignment.
(3)   [As per the August 2011 version] Every complaint received under sub-section (2) shall be dealt with by the Board as far as possible and efforts shall be made to pass the final order in the matter within a period of six months from the date of receipt of the complaint and any delay in compliance of the same, the Board will record the reasons thereof.

(This post is by Nandita Saikia and was first published at Indian Copyright.)