Law Week

Copycat’s copyright

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Advocate Aayush Tiwari –

Intellect is a non tangible property in the eyes of law. Ok. But the Eyes of law, what? We have seen that statue of Lady Justice with the beam balance is blind, isn’t it? No, no my friend law is not blind and don’t get confused with the blindfold around the eyes of the statue of Justice. It even sees the plagiarism not visible to naked eyes prima facie.

Cut, copy paste would go ‘waste’ under section 57 of the Indian Copyright Act 2012. How? Let’s explore. So, your Intellect is also your property do you know ? Have you come across the legal jargon I.P.R or the Intellectual Property Rights. Patent, Copyright , Trademark are some of the most commonly used terms as far as the intellectual property is concerned.

We will discuss about the lady justice and the blindfold later. Right now let’s focus on the issue of copyright. I just used a pun above , a figure of speech. So what if It gets copied by someone without giving me a proper credit? If the copied version has a commercial angle behind it then for sure it is the breach of copyright , a digital theft and a punishable offence. Even if it does not have a commercial angle then also it amounts to digital theft under the Indian Copyright Act. Theft is not always confined to some physical property being stolen, as we generally know. IPC( Indian Penal Code) section 378 defines and deals with physical property being stolen, in the similar manner Indian Copyright Act deals with some intellectual property being stolen. The provision in the Copyright Acts if an intellectual property (non tangible) property is stolen is under section 57 .

If the copied version does not have a commercial angle behind it then also it is considered to be a theft amounting to criminal offence under the concept of plagiarism .Section 57 of the ‘Indian Copyright Act’ allows the author an exclusive right. It offers the author protection against any unauthorized use of his work, including plagiarism. Section 63 of the act considers copyright infringement a criminal offence. The punishment under section 57 may include imprisonment for 6 months upto 3 years and for one year under section 63.

It’s not intended leaving the blog abruptly all of a sudden. As we have discussed before the present effort of the law week is to keep these legal awareness blogs as short as possible so this was just a prologue to warn the digital copycat to be aware. It can be behind the bars as the ignorance of law is no excuse. Detailed version of the topic with profound research and in-depth analysis will be presented to you very soon in the most reader friendly way possible. Stay tuned for more from the legal week.

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