Copyright Issues in Digital Era || Copyright Act of 1957

Copyright Issues

Copyright is the intellectual property right that is most impacted. In this post, we’ll talk about copyright law and its recent emerging challenges in this digital era. Law is a significant and powerful tool that can affect any social change. Since the law is a solution to social problems, which change through time, it is a subject that is constantly changing. Technology is one such sector where the law needs to be amended frequently.

Technology is one of the most amazing blessings created by the human mind. Without a doubt, digitalization has revolutionized the world. However, its improper usage is also breeding turmoil and crime.

The rights that people are granted over their creative works are known as intellectual property rights. Typically, they grant the inventor a time-limited, exclusive right to utilize his or her creation. Such artistic creations benefit the creator, and they are protected by the law of intellectual property. To the creator’s profit, these advantages can be commercialized. One of the most essential rights that fall under the umbrella of intellectual property is copyright.

Copyright protects the rights of authors of literary and artistic works (such as books and other publications, musical compositions, paintings, sculptures, computer programs, and films) for at least 60 years after the author’s passing.

The core objective of copyright protection is to foster inventions and works of art that advance society’s social, economic, scientific, and cultural growth by rewarding authors with financial rewards for their work and forbidding unauthorized use by others. It offers intellectual creations legal protection. Therefore, intellectual property is extremely important in light of the expanding technologies and rapidly changing cyberspace, and  Innovative and creative content which has flooded digital media is protected under copyright.

However, in today’s digital age, a lot of data and information have been disseminated online and are susceptible to tampering and copying. One of the important challenges that have emerged in cyberspace is the protection of copyrights.

A protected work can now be copied, reproduced, gathered, or distributed much more easily due to the vastness of the digital world. Cyberspace, a non-physical platform accessed through various networking protocols, has become available to almost everyone in the modern era. Such exposure is leading to several kinds of copyright infringements.

The majority of copyright protection rules were initially based on print media, but as time passed, the scope of intellectual property gradually widened. Technology development has created new ideas such as computer programs, databases, and numerous other works on the internet, which are protected under the notion of digital copyright law.

A computer program is a collection of software, instructions, or both that the computer can comprehend. Companies in both developed and developing countries rely largely on computer programs for their daily operations. These goods are easily copied since they have a huge market. Distribution of copies of copyrighted software is prohibited by Section 14 of the Indian Copyright Act, and Section 63B outlines the penalties and fines. Infringers of software copyright are subject to both civil and criminal legal proceedings. While a database is a group of data that has been electronically saved.

Information can be retrieved quickly and easily due to this now. It might be a collection of works, data, or whatever else. Since the database represents the product of an author’s labor and talents, it is protected by copyright. They are shielded under Section 13(1)(a) of the Copyright Act of 1957. The Internet is also one such area where copyright violations have become common.

Creative work in various digital media is protected by digital copyright, which is an extension of any other sort of copyright. This is often used to make sure that work that is created digitally is protected in a manner similar to how work created physically is protected. With the widespread use of computers and digital media, this has gained importance. As part of this protection, work may also be shielded against copying using tools like digital rights management (DRM) software.

Digital media protection (DRM) is a term used to describe software that prevents duplicating, playing back, or accessing digital media without the necessary authorization to prove ownership or license. Any original, creative work that exists in digital media is protected by copyright.

Digital copyright, like other kinds of copyrights, is established and provides protection for work as soon as it is created. This means that the moment an original article or essay is typed into a computer, the person who wrote it owns the copyright to it. Such protection can only be used to safeguard works that have already been produced, even if they are just in digital form. It does not cover potential ideas that a person may have. The creation and expansion of digital copyright protection have become more significant as more media have gone entirely digital, without a physical copy.

In India, the Copyright Act of 1957 covers computer programmes and electronic communication, yet it has been viewed as a grey area. Following the 2012 amendment to the Copyright Act, it was made clear that Internet activities were also covered by copyright law. The IT Act, 2000 discusses intellectual property and protection issues to some extent and excluded the issue of technological misuse under its ambit. The Indian Copyright Act of 1957 did not address the fundamental problems of copyright infringement in cyberspace to a significant extent.

In the matter of Utv Software Communication Ltd. & Ors, the Delhi High Court observed that since there is no logical way to distinguish between crimes committed virtually and crimes committed in the physical world, and because the Copyright Act does not provide such a contrast, there is no difference between digital copyright infringement and infringement of copyright in the physical world.

In another case, Disney Enterprises, Inc. & Ors vs Kimcartoon, the Delhi High Court prohibited the defendants from duplicating, distributing, streaming, or hosting any cinematographic work or show via the Internet in order to safeguard the plaintiff and copyright owner from copyright infringement.

The digital world is growing and changing as a result of time and technology. These changes also bring uncertainty, new issues, and new methods to break the law. The new era of digitalization has undoubtedly helped create and its impacts expand across society, but it has also given rise to various concerns and distress concerning its infringement.

To prevent the infringement of an author’s work, we require a single comprehensive law that can address all issues with the existing legal system. Although copyright owners are currently protected by current laws, however, there are certain drawbacks as well. In order to stop the infringement of copyrighted content, society must be educated.

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