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This article is written by Apurba Das, a law graduate from Madhusudhan Law College, Utkal University, Odisha.        


Copyright is a pack of rights which could be grouped under two major heads: Economic or Profitable rights; and Moral rights. The term ‘copyright’ as used in the Copyright Act is limited to the profitable rights which have been completely defined under section 14 of the Copyright Act. Moral rights are those rights which belong only to the author of a work and they cannot be licensed or assigned.

Keywords: Copyright, economic right, moral right, Section 14, authors special rights, Section 57.


Intellectual Property is an intellectual work that’s created by intellectual mortal brain. For illustration invention, music, art and etc. When a person is given rights over their original workshop of art that’s called Intellectual Property Right. This Act give the formulators or author or pen a time- limited special right to use his/ her mind’s creation. illustration is music, jotting, inventions, etc. It’s an impalpable asset held by the mortal mind. Intellectual Property covers a lot of areas in law which needs to protected as these are intangible in nature, some examples like:

  • Copyright Law protects the copyright of authors, musicians, etc.,
  • Patent Law protects the inventions of inventors, &
  • Trademark Law protects the trademark of certain products.

Copyright is essentially the right to copy. If a person is interested on a particular art, then he can only replicate the work if the owner of the art gives him the permission to do so. The nature of copyright is that it is an incorporeal property. Since the idea and thoughts of an individual is in his mind and these properties are incorporeal property, they cannot be protected. However, once those ideas and thoughts are brought down into material form then it is worthy to be protected by other individuals. And for the protection of such art such as music, writing copyright law is necessary and it can be used to protect the intangible asset. Copyright Law is a legal term used to describe the right that the creator gets over their creative work from unauthorized duplication. This law is simple law that suggest the owner of the work has the sole ownership of the work and he has the right to describe what happens with his work next. Copyright has been defined in Section 14 of Copyright Act, 1957, it states that “copyright” means the exclusive right subject to the provision of this Act, to do or authorize the doing of any of the following act in respect of a work or any substantial part thereof, namely-

  1. in the case of literary, dramatic or musical works,
  2. in case of a computer programme,
  3. in case of artistic work,
  4. in case of cinematography film, &
  5. in case of sound recordings.


According to Section 13 of Copyright Act, 1957, the following works needed to be protected. All subject matters protected by copyright are called ‘works.’ The works that needed to be protected are:

  1. Original Literary Work,
  2. Original Musical Work,
  3. Original Dramatic Work,
  4. Original Artistic Work,
  5. Sound recordings, and
  6. Cinematography films.

Original Literary Work

This type of work is produced by the mortal mind which may include a series of verbal or numerical statements, which are able of being expressed in jotting, and which arrived by the skill, gift, judgement or creative labour of the mortal brain. The Act handed an inclusive description of erudite work which also includes workshop from computer programming and computer databases.[1]

Original Musical Work

As per Brand or Copyright Act, 1957, musical work means any work conforming of music notes or some graphical notion of similar work, but it doesn’t include any words or any intention to sing the song or perform with the music[2]. In order to cover the musical work, it should be noted that the work is original.

Original Dramatic Work

According to the Copyright Act, 1957, the dramatic work includes any piece for enumeration, choreographic work or entertainment in dumb show, the scenic arrangement or acting form of which is fixed in jotting or else but doesn’t include a cinematographic film[3]. An original dramatic work is the product of mortal mind which arrived by exercise of independent skill and creative labour, which also requires acting or dancing for its representation and is also able of being recorded in jotting[4].

Original Cultural Work

As per Section 2(c) of Copyright Act, 1957, cultural work includes any oil, form, delineation, or drawing snap of any work enjoying cultural rates. still, it also includes the armature and cultural artificer of similar workshop.

Sound Recordings

Sound recordings weren’t the subject matter of brand protection previous to the Copyright Act, 1911. The growth of this assiduity in the manufacture and trade of phonographs redounded in representation being made to Copyright Committee of 1909 to the effect that similar recorded music should be defended by brand. According to the Copyright Act, 1957, sound recordings suggest a recording of sounds from which that sound may be produced anyhow of the medium on which similar recording is made or produced[5].

Section 13(3) of Copyright Act, 1957 provides that brand doesn’t live in any sound recording made in respect of an erudite, dramatic or musical work, if in making the sound recording, brand in similar work has been infringed. Further, it’s handed by section 13(4) that brand in a sound recording doesn’t affect the separate brand in any work in respect of which or a substantial part of which, the film, or as the case may be, the sound recording is made.

The underpinning erudite and musical workshop don’t lose their actuality upon a cinematograph film or sound recording being made. All the workshop remains mutually exclusive and the power therein can be exercised to the extent specified by the Act. 

Cinematographic film

There was no direct statutory provision dealing with cinematograph flicks before the Copyright Act, 1911. It was, so considered in common law or the also being orders of statutory brand that a patron of similar film had to turn. It was honoured by the revised textbook of 1908 of the Berne Convention that cinematograph flicks were a new art form.

The Copyright Act, 1957 defines “cinematograph film” to mean any work of visual recording and includes a sound recording accompanying similar visual recording and the expression “cinematograph” shall be demonstrated as including any work produced by any process similar to cinematography including videotape films[6].


This right is also known as the Exclusive Rights of the copyright holder provided under Section 14 of the Copyright Act, 1957. In this Section it states that different types of work come with different types of rights. Such as:

In the case of original erudite, musical, and dramatic work

  • Right to reproduce;
  • Right to issue clones;
  • Right to perform at public;
  • Right to make cinematography and sound recording;
  • Right to make any restatement;
  • Right to adaption; and
  • Right to do any other conditioning related to the restatement or adaption.

In the case, of computer program work

  • Right to do any act aforesaid mentioned; and
  • Right to vend, rent, offer for trade of the copyrighted work.

In the case of cultural work

  • Right to reproduce;
  • Right to communicate;
  • Right to issue clones;
  • Right to make any cinematography and sound recording;
  • Right to make an adaption; and
  • Right to do any other conditioning related to the restatement or adaption.

In case of a cinematograph film work

  • Right to vend, rent, offer for trade of the copyrighted work; and
  • Right to communicate.

In the case of a sound recording work

  • Right to communicate;
  • Right to issue clones; and
  • Right to vend, rent, offer for trade of the copyrighted work.

Profitable rights also economic rights belong to the proprietor or owner of copyright. As these rights give the proprietor an occasion to make marketable gain from the exploitation of his work they’re nominated as profitable rights. Under the Copyright Act, 1957 profitable rights aren’t available to all the workshop in the same manner. In other words, these rights are classified in agreement with orders of brand workshop. therefore, profitable rights available to flicks are different from those available in respect of books. Following is a recitation of colourful profitable rights granted to the proprietor of brand.

The Right of Reproduction

Right of reduplication or reproduction is the most introductory of the rights under the umbrella of copyright or brand and is available to all the workshop that are subject to brand protection. The right of reduplication generally means that no person shall make one or further clones of a work or of a substantial part of it in any material form including sound and film recording without the authorization of the brand proprietor. The right of reduplication is the legal base for numerous forms of exploitation of brand workshop. For illustration, the printing of books by a publisher or the slice of music CDs by a patron depends on this right of reduplication.

Reproduction doesn’t mean exact reduplication alone but includes any dupe of the work which may be considered a violation of the brand therein. “It may be that reduplication has much the same meaning as ‘dupe’, and that it suffices for a reduplication if it makes a substantial use of the features of the original work in which brand subsists.[7]

The Right of Distribution

A proprietor of brand or copyright enjoys an exclusive right over the original distribution of clones of his work. This right overflows logically from the right of reduplication. Naturally, reduplication right would be of little value if the proprietor couldn’t authorise the distribution of clones of his work made by him or his concurrence. Like the right of reduplication, the right of distribution is available to all the workshop that are subject to brand protection.

After the first trade of a particular dupe this right is typically said to have been ‘exhausted’. That means the purchaser is free to resell or else dispose of the dupe he has bought. For illustration a person may vend as alternate hand a dupe of a book he bought from the request without the concurrence of the proprietor of brand therein.

Rental Right

The right of rental comes out of the right of distribution. ‘Rental’ means making available for use for a limited period of time and for direct or circular profitable or marketable advantage. In past few years rental rights weren’t part of the pack of rights within copyright or brand. Recently, this right has been made available to only three classes of workshop, viz. computer programmes, sound recordings and cinematograph flicks. Therefore, after a book has been bought at a book store, the brand proprietor has no say-so over how that dupe of book is farther distributed. therefore, the book could be rented without the authorization of the brand holder. The same would not be the case for computer programmes, flicks and sound recordings.

Rental or Reimbursement right connotes that the reimbursement of clones of any of these orders of workshop, or the original, to the public is a defined act and the proprietor has the exclusive right to authorize or enjoin the marketable reimbursement to the public of originals or clones of their brand works. It means that a person who has lawfully bought a dupe of a film, sound recording or computer programme will bear the authorization of the proprietor of brand for resale to the public as this right belongs simply to the brand proprietor. Under a rental right, the brand proprietor may collect royalties from third parties engaged in the marketable reimbursement of his copyrighted workshop.

The Right of Public Performance

The exclusive right to authorise the public performance of a work is of veritably introductory significance to the brand proprietor. The right of public performance is available for erudite, dramatic and musical workshop but it’s of seminal significance for dramatic, dramatico-musical or musical workshop which are created primarily for similar performance. The right of public performance entitles the proprietor to authorise live performances of a work similar as a play, a cotillion or a symphony performance.

Right to Communicate the Work to Public

The right to communicate the work to public also refer to as the right to broadcast a work. The proprietor of a work has the exclusive right to authorise the broadcasting of his work by radio or TV, or its communication to the public by line or wireless whether by radio, TV or satellite[8]. This section also includes the right extends to rebroadcasting and communication of the broadcast to the public by other means like loudspeakers and webcasts. Therefore, the fact that a proprietor has authorised a broadcast doesn’t authorise, say, a shopkeeper or eatery proprietor to attract guests by making the broadcast available by similar means.

Right of Adaption and Translation

The right of adaption is available for erudite, dramatic, musical and cultural workshop. As per Copyright Act ‘adaption’ means

  1. in relation to a dramatic work, the conversion of the work into anon-dramatic work;
  2. in relation to an erudite work or a cultural work, the conversion of the work into a dramatic work by way of performance in public or else;
  3. in relation to an erudite or dramatic work, any digest of the work or any interpretation of the work in which the story or action is conveyed wholly or substantially by means of filmland in a form suitable for reduplication in a book, or in a review, magazine or analogous journal;
  4. in relation to a musical work, any arrangement or recap of the work; and
  5. in relation to any work, any use of similar work involving its re-arrangement or revision.

Adaption involves the medication of a new work in the same or different form grounded upon a formerly being work. Amending a text which was firstly written for elderly scholars of university into a book suitable for inferior scholars is an illustration of adaption. The timber of a cinematograph film of an erudite or dramatic or musical work is also an adaption.


Moral Rights of the author are the soul of his workshop. They’re aptly described as the spiritual ties that bind a creator with his creation. “The author has a right to save, cover and nurture his creations through his moral rights[9]”. Moral rights cover the particular and reputational rather than financial aspect of a work vis-a-vis its creator. The term ‘moral rights’ is a restatement of the French term ‘droit moral’ but doesn’t relate to ‘morals’ as mandated in a religious order, rather it refers to the capability of an author to control the eventual fate of his workshop. These rights allow the author to take certain conduct to save the particular link between himself and his work.

In India moral rights are defended by the Copyright Act under the conception of Author’s Special Rights[10]. Moral rights are independent of profitable rights and remain with the author indeed after he has transferred all his profitable rights to someone differently through license or assignment. That means these rights cannot be a subject matter of transfer and they always remain with the author. Section 57 easily overrides the terms of the contract of assignment of the brand. The contract of assignment would be read subject to the provisions of Section 57 and the terms of contract cannot negate the special rights guaranteed by Section 57.

  1. Right of Paternity/Attribution

The right to maternity is basically the right of an author to claim authorship of his work and have it attributed to him. It’s the right of an author to be linked whenever a work is published, performed or broadcast. This means authors, scriptwriters, playwrights, painters, sculptors, illustrators and translators must be duly credited for their workshop.

  • Right to Integrity

The law grants right to the author to object to any deformation, mutilation, revision or other act which is prejudicial to his honour or character. The expression ‘other act’ is ejusdem generis with the word ‘deformation’ and ‘mutilation’. The failure to display a work at all and the failure to display it to the satisfaction of its author aren’t considered to be a violation of the right of integrity.

Amar Nath Seghal v. Union of India[11] is an intriguing case related to moral rights. In the time 1957, the Union of India commissioned the complainant, Amar Nath Sehgal, for creating a citation tempera for Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The Citation form of about 140ft. span and 40ft. reach took five times to complete and was placed on the wall of the lobby of Vigyan Bhawan. For further than fifteen times the form decorated the walls of Vigyan Bhawan but in 1979 it was pulled down because the structure needed addition. As the tempera was so big the only way to remove it was to break it into corridor. The complainant contended that the destruction of his work amounted to mutilation of his work and the same was prejudicial to his character as it reduced the volume of the corpus of his work. The defendant, Union of India, on the other hand, argued that it was the proprietor of the tempera as the work was assigned to it and hence it had the right to consign the work to the stockroom. The court held that mutilation is nothing but the destruction of the work as to render it amiss and is thus prejudicial to the character of the author. The court passed instruction against the Union of India directing it to return the remains of the tempera to Mr. Sehgal and also transferred all the rights over the tempera to Mr. Sehgal and accorded him an absolute right tore-recreate the tempera and vend the same. The court also granted damages to the tune of five lac rupees.

  • Reseal Share Right in Original Copies of Works

This right is a special right which has features of both profitable and moral rights. This right is profitable in nature but available only to authors or their legal heirs at law. This is available in respect of the resale of the original dupe of an oil, form, drawing or handwriting of an erudite, dramatic or musical work. If the resale price of such a work exceeds further than ten thousand rupees also the author or his legal heirs at law, irrespective of any assignment of brand in similar work, shall have a right to get a chance of the resale price of similar work. The chance of share is to be fixed by the Copyright Board but it cannot exceed ten percent of the resale price[12].

  • General Character of Rights within Copyright

Copyright is a pack of rights which are exclusive in nature meaning thereby that the proprietor can count all others in the enjoyment of these rights. Because of this exclusivity brand along with other forms of IP are constantly nominated as monopolies. still, the same principle of exclusivity can be used by the proprietor to invite others to exploit his brand in return for consideration thereby maximising the returns from his property. These exclusive rights can be singly exploited. For illustration, the proprietor of brand in a novel may grant a license to reproduce the novel or restate it without granting rights to perform it in public or to make a cinematograph film grounded on it.

The rights granted under brand are negative rights rather of positive monopolies. That means, the proprietor of brand can stop others from exercising his exclusive rights but he has not been granted by brand law a positive right to exploit his workshop. This allows the government to put farther nonsupervisory controls on the exploitation of brand defended workshop. For illustration, a novel which is impious may be fairly confined from being distributed. This doesn’t intrude with the exclusive right of the proprietor since law does not entitlement the proprietor of brand a positive monopoly for exploitation but only a negative right.


India declared its first National IPR policy in 2016. Today the portfolios of Patents, Designs, Trademarks, Brand or Copyright, Geographical suggestions, and Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design all fall under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). Under DPIIT, the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management is assigned with enforcing India’s National IPR Policy. It spearheads the Indian government’s sweats to streamline IP processes, increase IP mindfulness, promote commercialization, and enhance enforcement.

Over the past times, the Indian government has taken positive way to strengthen its IPR governance, similar as sweats to contemporize its IP services; increase force; use IT and technology in e-filing of operations; deliver instruments of entitlement and enrollment of patents and trademarks in a digital format; reduce the number of trademarks forms; use videotape conferencing for hail of IP operations; produce expedited examination procedures; and spread mindfulness on IP issues.


Economic, moral and resale share rights comprise the pack of rights available under the Copyright Act to authors and possessors of colourful protected workshop. profitable rights allow the proprietor to reap prices for expending his labour, skill or investment in the work. Moral rights cover the particular and reputational rather than financial aspect of a work vis-a-vis its creator. profitable rights include the exclusive rights of reduplication, distribution, public performance, communication to public, adaption restatement together with rental rights. Right of criterion and integrity are the factors of moral rights. While profitable rights are transmittable by assignment and licenses, moral rights cannot be a subject of transfer nor are they effected by a transfer of copyright or brand.


  1. Bare Act of Intellectual Property Laws
  2. V.K. Ahuja 3rd Edition – Law Relating to Intellectual Property Rights
  3. https://lawbhoomi.com/meaning-and-subject-matter-of-copyright/ – last visited on 12-09-2023
  4. https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-3793-rights-under-copyright.html – last visited on 12-09-2023
  5. http://epgp.inflibnet.ac.in/epgpdata/uploads/epgp_content/Law/08._Intellectual_property_law/25._Economic_and_Moral_Rights_of_Authors/et/5794_et_25_ET.pdf  – last visited on 13-09-2023
  6. http://docs.manupatra.in/newsline/articles/Upload/1EC850DF-EAA0-4E86-BD9B-99E2B16F12BB.pdf  – last visited on 13-09-2023
  7. https://blog.ipleaders.in/an-overview-of-the-copyright-act-1957/  – last visited on 14-09-2023
  8. https://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/wipo_pub_909_2016.pdf  – last visited on 14-09-2023
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright  – last visited on 14-09-2023
  10. https://www.kashishipr.com/blog/moral-rights-under-copyright-law/  – last visited on 14-05-2023

[1] Section 2(o) of the Copyright Act, 1957

[2] Section 2(p) of the Copyright Act, 1957

[3] Section 2(h) of the Copyright Act, 1957

[4] Hugh Laddie et. al., THE MODERN LAW OF COPYRIGHT (London, 1980), p.16.

[5] Section 2(xx) of the Copyright Act, 1957

[6] Section 2(f) of the Copyright Act, 1957

[7] British Northrop v. Texteam Blackburn [1974] RPC 57.

[8] Section 2(ff) (Explanation), Copyright Act, 1957.

[9] Amar Nath Seghal v Union of India, 2005 (30) PTC 253 (Del)

[10] Section 57 of the Copyright Act, 1957.

[11] Amar Nath Seghal v Union of India, 2005 (30) PTC 253 (Del)

[12] Section 53A of the Copyright Act, 1957.


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