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Basics of Copyrights

Copyright, is a bundle of rights, which grants protection to the unique expression of ideas. Ideas per se cannot be protected; it is the expression of ideas in a material medium that is the subject matter of copyright protection. Copyright is a negative right and the owner of a copyright gets the right to prevent others from copying his work without his consent towards a commercial end. However, at the same time it gives to the author an exclusive right for the commercial exploitation of his work.

The domain of copyright extends to original literary (which includes computer programmes) dramatic, musical, artistic, cinematographic films and sound recording. Copyright assumes supreme importance for authors, artists, architects, composers, music production companies and producers, film production companies, computer programmers and designers. An author, an artist, a composer or a designer looks forward to the commercial benefits accruing from his work, apart from the intellectual satisfaction derived from creating the work. Many a times, unscrupulous traders copy best sellers, or produce pirated versions of a hit-movie or chart topping sound track and sell it at a price that is just a fraction of the original work. This in turn, eats into the commercial benefits that the author of an original work rightly expects and deserves. Copyright law comes in here and secures the interests of the author, punishes the infringer and thus provides incentive to the creation of original works. A copyright can be transferred or can be assigned or licensed for a consideration. Copyright, unlike the other Intellectual Property rights does not require any formal procedures as such and affords protection during the lifetime of the author and sixty-years thereafter.