Copying it, right ?

Things that with go with the image of cool guy/gal or a hip teen or any of those terminologies which hint at some body who belong to the modern high tech age:

1. An audio player, better if it is an I-Pod but others will also do, filled with at least a couple of gb’s of music.

2. A state of the art mobile phone with the latest features, without worrying about whether one would, at all, use those features.

3. The currently much-talked-about is also one of the accessories. This range of this particular item is so vast but its presence is almost common amongst all.

4. A computer or a laptop with latest movies and/or songs. If the person happens to be a techie of sorts then the computer is bound to contain the latest versions of many software applications, a handful of games too and if the person is a bit of an academic, a host of ebooks is also not ruled out and the list is not exhaustive.

Little do we realize that at one point or the other, we are contributing to something called as the copyright infringement. Agreed there are quite a few people around who don’t indulge in copyright infringement but a majority of us cannot claim innocence.

So what exactly is copyright infringement??? Let’s see how our law codifies it. In India, copyrights are governed by the Indian Copyrights Act of 1957 and section 51 defines infringement as

51.When copyright infringed: - Copyright in a work shall be deemed to be infringed ---

(a) When any person, without a licence granted by the owner of the Copyright or the Registrar of Copyrights under this Act or in contravention of the conditions of a licence so granted or of any condition imposed by a competent authority under this Act ---
(i) Does anything, the exclusive right to do which is by this Act conferred upon the owner of the copyright, or
(ii) Permits for profit any place to be used for the performance of the work in public where such performance constitutes an infringement of the copyright in the work unless he was not aware and had no reasonable ground for believing that such performance would be an infringement of copyright, or
(b) When any person ---
(i) Make for sale or hire, or sells or lets for hire, or by way of trade displays or offers for sale or hire, or
(ii) Distributes either for the purpose of trade or to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright, or
(iii) By way of trade exhibits in public, or
(iv) Imports (except for the private and domestic use of the importer) into India,
any infringing copies of the work.
Explanation.--- For the purposes of this section, the reproduction of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work in the form of a cinematograph film shall be deemed to be an "infringing copy".

In simple words, if we, without proper rights, duplicate something that is meant to be commercially productive for the author/creator, it definitely is a copyright violation.
So if it is against the law, what is the punishment for the violation? Section 63 outlines it as -

63.Offence of infringement of copyright or other rights conferred by this Act:- Any person who knowingly infringes or abets the infringement of ---

(a) The copyright in a work, or

(b) Any other right conferred by this Act,

Shall be punishable with imprisonment that may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

Explanation. --- Construction of a building or other structure, which infringes or which, if completed, would infringe the copyright in some other work shall not be an offence under this section.

On the global scenario, India and China are the two countries which violates copyrights the most.

I did not feel like arguing when one of my teachers said…”if we strictly interpret the Indian copyright act, every individual in the metros at least, would have to be jailed for at least a year”… right na ?


Rashi V said...

Guilty as charged.. But I do agree it is something that should be taken seriously... And I have no idea how?

rahul said...

…”if we strictly interpret the Indian copyright act, every individual in the metros at least, would have to be jailed for at least a year”… ..lolz
that's true bro..but it is a reality in today's world and the cos. must learn to live with's not possible to eradicate it completely.

suren said...

@rvs ... something has to be done and the basic thing is everybody should feel guilty of doing it...

@rahul ... companies are already living with it and it is not making a big economic dent on them but why then do we have the laws and system in place ? shouldnt we feel that we are violating somebody else's right !!!