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intellectual property rights and copyrights

INTRODUCTION
Intellectual property (IP) is the creation of human intellect. It refers to the ideas, knowledge, invention, innovation, creativity, and research etc, all being the product of human mind and is similar to any property, whether movable or immovable, wherein the proprietor or the owner may exclusively use his property at will and has the right to prevent others from using it, without his permission. It is a legal concept which refers to creations of the mind for which exclusive rights are recognized. Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. The rights relating to intellectual property are known as 'Intellectual Property Rights'.

Intellectual Property Rights
Intellectual Property Rights, by providing exclusive rights to the inventor or creator, encourages more and more people to invest time, efforts and money in such innovations and creations. Intellectual property rights are customarily divided into two main areas:-
One area can be characterized as
(1)   Protection of distinctive signs, in particular trademarks (which distinguish the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings)
(2)    Geographical indications (which identifies a good as originating in a place where a given characteristic of the good is essentially attributable).
Other types of industrial property are protected primarily to stimulate innovation, design and the creation of technology. This category includes inventions (protected by patents), industrial designs and trade secrets.
HISTORY OF COPYRIGHT
Phase I: East India Company Statute
At the time of its introduction in India, copyright law had already been under development in Britain for over a century and the provisions of the 1847 enactment reflected the learnings from deliberations during this period. Thus, in it’s very first avatar, copyright had arrived in India as a modern law that was both abstract (encompassing “all works” of literature and art) and forward looking (in the way that it sought to accommodate both existing and new forms of subject matter). As a result, many of the philosophical debates over the nature of ‘literary property’ that had animated the initial years of copyright development in Britain were conspicuous by their absence in the sub-continent.
Phase II – Copyright Act 1914
In 1914, the then Indian legislature enacted a new Copyright Act which merely extended most portions of the United Kingdom Copyright Act of 1911 to India. It did, however, make a few minor modifications.
First, it introduced criminal sanctions for copyright infringement. Second, it modified the scope of the term of copyright; the "sole right" of the author to "produce, reproduce, perform or publish a translation of the work shall subsist only for a period of ten years from the date of the first publication of the work." The author, however, retained her "sole rights" if within the period of ten years she published or authorized publication of her work a translation in any language in respect of that language.

The 1914 Act was continued with minor adaptations and modifications till the 1957 Act was brought into force on 24 January 1958 – very shortly after the attainment of independence.
Phase III – Post Independence
Independent India accorded high priority to formulation of her own law on copyright. The Indian Copyright Act 1957 repealed the Indian Copyright Act 1914 which had virtually incorporated the whole of the Imperial Copyright Act 1911. The revision of the 1914 Act occurred within a mere seven years of Independence.
First, it was clear that continued existence of the 1911 Act through the 1914 Act was unbecoming to "the changed constitutional status of India." Second, the 1914 Act did not accord with the 1948 Brussels Act of the Berne Convention and the 1952 Universal Copyright Convention – chiefly in the much longer terms that the Berne Convention mandated. Third, new "and advanced method of communications" rendered modernization of the law necessary. Fourth, the need for an "independent self-contained law" was also felt in the light of the experience of the "working" of the 1911 Act, and more important, of "the growing public consciousness of the rights and obligations of the authors."
Three sets of ancillary amendments succeeded the 1957 Act. In 1983, several new sections were introduced into the act. Sections 32A and 32B provided for 'compulsory licences' for publication of copyrighted foreign works in any Indian language for the purposes of systematic instructional activities at a "low price" with the permission of the Copyright Board on certain conditions. The other crucial change was the insertion of section 19A, relating to the conferral of power in the Copyright Board, upon a due complaint to it, to order revocation of the assigned copyright where either the terms are 'harsh' or where the publication of the work is unduly delayed.
Subsequently, after a gap of a decade, sweeping changes were introduced through an amendment in 1994. These included:
1) The increase of the term of copyright from fifty years post mortem to sixty years;
2) The extension of copyright to new types of works including computer programmes and performances;
3) The redefinition of “communication to the public” so that a work is communicated “regardless of whether any member of the public actually sees, hears or otherwise enjoys the work”.
4) An overhaul of the vocabulary employed in the Act, for instance – substituting ‘broadcast’ for ‘radio diffusion’, ‘work of architecture’ in the place of ‘architectural work’, ‘sound recording’ in the place of ‘record’
5) Clarification of the ownership of copyrights over public speeches and works by public undertakings.







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