New Delhi: To align with global norms on intellectual property rights (IPR), the cabinet on Thursday approved a proposal to amend the Copyright Act, 1957, to update cyber laws.
The amendment seeks to bring the Copyright Act to conform to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Internet treaties, the government said in a statement on Thursday.
The changes would improve clarity, remove operational difficulties and address issues that have emerged in the context of digital technology and the Internet, it said.
Pavan Duggal, a cyber law expert, hailed the proposal but warned that any changes in the Act should not be in conflict with the new changes made in Information Technology Act.
On 18 December, the Lok Sabha passed the Trade Marks (Amendment) Bill 2009, which would implement the Madrid Protocol in India and make the process for registering trademarks in India simpler.
The Madrid Protocol is the primary international system to facilitate the registration of trademarks in multiple jurisdictions around the world.
Trademarks, copyrights and patents are three segments of the IPR regime. Copyright gives the author of an original work exclusive rights over that work for a certain period.
The proposed amendment, if made law, will protect the interests of researchers, students and educational institutions and ensure that technology does not pose a barrier.
The proposal also seeks to address the concerns of the physically challenged by allowing the production of copyright material in formats specially designed for them.
“At present, the cost of production of material in formats like braille text is very high. With additional payment of royalty to the copyright holder of the formats, the cost goes higher,” said Deepak Anand, a lawyer in the Delhi high court who also works with a non-profit for the physically challenged. “The new amendment would lower the cost for the blind as they would be outside the domain of copyright protection and would not have to pay royalty.”
The proposal also seeks to give independent rights to music composers and lyricists in films, now claimed by producers and music companies. If made law, music composers and lyricists can directly receive royalty and other benefits from their works.