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COPYRIGHT PROTECTION IN THE WORLD OF INTERNET

Updated: Jul 15



ABSTRACT


Copyright is a well-recognized form of Intellectual property right which has its roots in the common law system and governed by the national laws in every country. With the advancement of the technology, the object of the copyrights seems to be fading as on the internet which provides the platform to various data that are available and shared every day. Most of the data are available there without the knowledge of the original creator. The creators are under constant fear of the infringement of their copyright. Despite having the national legislations and various international conventions on the same, the cases of infringement of copyright on the internet keep on increasing.

This blog begins with the introduction and meaning of the Copyright and rights available to the creator. Further, it focuses on the various ways how copyright infringement takes place and it also focuses on the international convention and national legislation


INTRODUCTION

The main aim of the copyright is to protect the original creator from being piracy of his work. This protection is given to encourage the original creator in the field of their work. The idea of copyright came into existence at the time of the invention of the printing machine which made it easier to copy the literary work of the author. Now in the age of digitalization where there are uncountable numbers of inventions facilitating piracy of the work not only by the means of the printing machine but also from several other ways which include a scanner, photograph, & tape recording, et cetera. All these pirated works are made available on the internet without the knowledge of the original creator. Further, the digitalization provides the opportunity to copy the work without losing its quality. A copy of a work can be loaded into a computer which is connected to the Internet and hence can be made available and transmitted around the world in the friction of second. This transmission of copyrighted works has enabled services such as online commercial services like on-demand video and movies, TV, and music services. All these services function with the Internet as the delivery medium.

MEANING OF COPYRIGHT


The term copyright means the right provided to the creator of literary musical and artistic works and producers of cinematography films and sound recordings, computer programs, and electronic databases. It is a bundle of rights including, inter alia, rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation, and translation of the work. It means the sole right to produce or reproduce the work. Copyright protects expressions not ideas.

The term copyright is defined under section 14 of the Act which means exclusive right to do or authorize the doing of the acts in respect of a work or any substantial part. The works include original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, cinematography films and sound recordings, and computer programs.


There are two types of rights under copyright:

1. Economical Right: Economic right provide the owner to receive the economic benefit of his work. There are three types of rights under economic right (i) right of reproduction, (ii) right of public performance, broadcasting and communication to the public and making available and (iii) right of translation and adaption.

2. Moral Right: This right includes the right of attribution and paternity and right of integrity.


COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IN DIGITAL WORLD


Earlier the copyright infringement was limited to only certain means but with the advent of the internet, the number of violations of copyright cases increasing rapidly. The various way through which the infringement of copyright occurs are:


1- ONLINE SOFTWARE PIRACY

Software copying is one of the biggest problems faced by the software manufacturer. The piracy of software is high because of its high cost and easy programming. The hacker once they crack the software, they upload the cracked version on the internet which is easily available for download to the general public. This is causing a huge loss to the software manufacturer. In a study conducted on behalf of the Business Software Alliance, the report shows that approx. $11 billion has been lost by the industry because of global piracy. Further 38% of all business software applications installed in the world are illegal.

2- LINKING

Linking provides a connection between the two websites on the internet. It provides access to the original website from another website. The website link is mainly attached to an image or word, and direct the user to the main website. In some respect, it gives rise to several legal issues. Linking are of two types: (i) Surface linking and (ii) deep linking. In surface linking, directly the homepage of the main website is linked but in deep linking, the provided link bypassed the homepage page of the original website and goes directly to inner content. In deep linking, the main issue of infringement occurs as the materials contained are being exposed. In the case of Shetland Times Ltd. v Dr. Jonathan Wills and Zet News Ltd.[1] , the fact was that a hyperlink was created on the defendant website which reveals the relevant story on Shetland Times by bypassing the home page. The Court in the instant case granted an interim injunction for Copyright protection and their lordship observed that substantive materials of the plaintiff’s website could only be obtained by accessing their website through the homepage.[2]

3- FRAMING

The browser allows the web developer to divide the entire webpage into different frames. Each frame provides an independent view of another website without knowledge of the viewer. This allows the web owner to use the creative content of another website. This frame feature is so efficient that view remains ignorant of the fact that they are viewing another site. In, Futuredontics Inc. v. Applied Anagramk Inc.[3], the fact was that the defendant had a dental service websites but it framed the content of another site. The frames included information about Applied Anagramic as well as its trademark and links on its Web pages. The court ruled that the addition of the frame somewhat modified the appearance of the linked site and such modifications amount to infringement.

4- CACHING AND ARCHIVING

Cache is the temporary storage of web data in the storage which provide temporary access to the viewer with the view to provide faster result. This is saved in cache memory for a temporary period. This saving of the data without the knowledge of the creator infringes his copyright.

Archiving is the process that allows downloading and storing the content of another website and using the same. It generally acts as a link even if the link is not provided on the website. The link redirects the user to the original website where the material is stored. Archiving without permission leads to the infringement of copyrights.

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND NATIONAL LEGISLATION ON COPYRIGHTS

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS


The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the TRIPS agreement and the WIPO Internet Treaties are the main international conventions governing the copyrights.

i. BERNE CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF LITERARY AND ARTISTIC WORKS 1886

The Berne Convention deals with the Copyright and its protection. It provides the definition of Copyright, classification of works that are protected under copyright, and also lays down the standard which the nation has to follow in their copyright laws.

ii. TRIPS AGREEMENT 1994

This is the agreement on Trade-related Aspects on Intellectual Property Right which emerges from the Uruguay Round of trade negotiation. This agreement is administered by the WTO (World Trade Organisation). It is a reference to the substantive provision of the Berne Convention. There are some additional works for which the protections are included in the TRIPS agreement are Computer programs and the Original Database. This agreement also provides an additional right of Right to Rental. Countries have to first comply with the provisions of the Berne Convention to comply with the TRIPS agreement.

iii. WIPO INTERNET TREATIES

There are two treaties namely WIPO Copyright Treaty 1996 and WIPO Performances and Phonogram Treaty 1996 which collectively known together as WIPO INTERNET TREATIES. It laid down the norms to prevent the unauthorised use of creative works in the digital world.


NATIONAL LEGISLATION

The main legislation which extends and provides protection to copyright

THE COPYRIGHT ACT,1957

This act is the main governing act on Copyright in India. This act defines the term copyright under Section 14 of the act. Further, it also classified the types of work protected under copyright in section 13. It also provides for the situation where copyright deemed to infringe under section 51 and also provides remedies for such infringement which deals from section 54 to Section 62 of the Copyright Act. Moreover, the act was amended in the year 2012 to include the various form of online piracy of the work on the internet and added section 66A and 66B in the act, wherein both the section provides punishment for the infringement of copyright works mention in those sections.


CONCLUSION

The development of the internet is considered as one of the greatest developments which helped in making the world digitalized. Like the two sides of the coins, the other side of the internet has a lot of legal issues involved which include jurisdiction issues, finding the main culprit. The internet provides various resources on the single click but most of these resources are available on the internet without even the knowledge of the original creators which is infringing their copyright. Today the social media like Telegram and others are used as a source to make this copyrighted data (movies and songs) available for the general public without the knowledge of the creator. Despite having strict legislation on the same but the infringement cases are rapidly increasing and the technology is getting advance day by day so there emerges the need that the courts and the legislature to find out the relevant ways to curb this infringement cases otherwise the objective of the copyright will fail miserably which leads to the discouragement of the creator.


- Krishna Nigam and Mahima Raj

Law College Dehradun

Uttaranchal University

[1] (1997) FSR 604, 1997 SLT 669 [2] https://blog.ipleaders.in/copyright-infringement-on-the-internet/ (accessed on 11th July 2020). [3] Futuredontics Inc. v. Applied Anagramic Inc., 1997 46 USPQ 2d 2005 (CD. Califf 1997).




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