• Legis Scriptor

Rationale of Copyright Protection

Authored By Devanshi Goyal

Keywords: infringement, substantial part, protection, original work


The copyright protection subsets in original work of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, cinematography and sound recordings. Copyright protection provides bundle of rights to the creator, it not only provide economic as well moral right, including right of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation, and translation of the work.

Copyright balances between the rights of copyright owner and interest of the society as whole. Copyrighted work is considered to be infringed when the substantial part of the original work is used without seeking the permission of the author. Substantial part differs from case to case. In such cases of infringement the copyright law comes into picture and provide various relief and remedies to the author of the work.


Under copyright protection, safeguard standards of the right of author, over his creation, are provided, thus protecting and rewarding the creativity at once. Creativity is the necessary requirement for an civilised society to grow towards development. Economic and social development is dependent on the level of creativity among the people. Thus the protection granted by copyright is towards the efforts of creator, artist, designer, dramatist, musician, architect and producers of sound recording, cinematography films and computer software. The atmosphere which is conducive to creativity, which induces the creator to create more.

It takes lot of energy, talent, and resources to manifest a creative expression of an idea, and would be natural that creators should get benefited financially form their efforts.

Idea which is original or a piece of creative idea, is a potential asset and should be treated as such.

Objective of Copyright protection

The purpose behind the copyright protection is to promote innovation of useful arts and science by protecting the exclusive right of author and inventor.

If there is any infringement of copyright, there are various legal grounds provided to pursue the guilty party, to compensate any loss that may have incurred. If the work of author is used without his permission he gets the right to stop such usage, and receive compensation for any earning that might have been made off by the work of author. The copyright protected work enjoys the financial benefit of licensing options, if any other party is interested in the original work, the author may provide licensing for such work and permit other party to use such work. Licensing is also an effective way to increase the legal protection around the idea, and can be used as evidence against another party who does not fulfil their part of the deal or is using the work without permission.

In context the author is the creator of any copyrightable creation. Any creation of author which meets the standard of copyright law is protected and considered to be the original work of authorship. The basic requirement for such standards is the originality and fixation.

The exclusive right provides, the right holder to exclude other from using his work without any permission. Process of obtaining permission might get complicated, since all the rights may co-exists in one single work and each of them might have several owners.

Indian legislation:

In India the copyright laws are governed by the provisions of Copyright Act 1957. It was enacted, to handle the pressure from international companies in the fields of copyright and provided that the government should be more tough and vigilant in providing protection. As the concept of copyright is not new, it had developed with time, and adaptations were made, and so the Indian government should also make the necessary changes.

Restriction and penal provisions were imposed to any persons who infringes the copyright work without permission, the guilty could suffer imprisonment up-to three years or fine as per section 55 of the act. The act provides various actions which may be taken against the violation of copyright, including injunction, financial relief and imprisonment.

As stated in University of London Press Ltd vs. University Tutorial Press Ltd [1] the copyright protection is provided to the expression of thought, not to the originality of idea. The originality here refers itself to the expression of thought, which must be originated, by the author, the expression need not to be novel or original.

Importance of Copyright protection

• The copyright holder holds the right to use the copyrighted work, all others have to seek permission from the owner house such work. Authors, musicians, artists and others often license use of their copyrighted works, as a means of earning income from their creation.Copyright is primarily intended to ensure attribution for authors and preserve the integrity of creative works. The aim is to recognise and protect the deep connection authors have with their creative works.

• Copy right protection under the modern law subsist for sixty years after the authors death, and during the life time of author, which provides recognition to the work also after the death of its creator. Copyright lasts a long time, often many decades after the creator dies.

• Copyright protection stipulates monetary penalties, upon the infringement, which are determined by court on the basis of damages caused to the copyright holder.

• International treaties among various counties and laws suggest that the work of an author is not only have the right of copyright protection in the authors domestic country but can be protected worldwide.

• Copyright provides bundle of right with itself, it administers the economic as well as moral rights.

I. Moral rights include the right to be identified as the author of work traditionally known as the right of paternity or right of attribution.

II. Right to protect the works integrity, generally the right to prevent the work use which offends or belittles the creator or subject it to derogatory treatment. It is the right which objects the introduction of undesired changes to that work.


Copyright is a set of ‘exclusive’ rights, giving creators the right to control, use of their work and the ability to earn from it. Exclusive right in copyright protection, signifies the right to exclude other, i.e the author can exclude other form using his work without obtaining permission. With the copyright protection, creators effort are rewarded and provides encouragement for innovation and production of other creative expressions. Eventually the copyright is the creation and promulgation of knowledge.


• Stim, R. "Intellectual Property. Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights" West Legal Studies.

• Black's Law Dictionary 5th ed., (West Publishing, 1979).




[1] [1916] 2 Ch 601