Copyright is an exclusive right granted to the creator of creative work. The Copyright is granted in case of literary, artistic, musical work, sound recording and cinematographic films.
Copyright is infringed when someone uses the copyrighted work without the consent of the original owner of the work. Section 51 of the Copyright Act provides that the copyright is infringed –
- When someone does any act, without the permission of the copyright holder, which only the copyright owner is authorized to do.
- When someone permits someone else to sell, distribute, communicate or exhibit the infringed work on his place
- When someone imports the infringed products
- When someone reproduces the copyrighted work without consent from the original owner.
When copyright is infringed, the copyright holder can either go for criminal remedies or civil remedies or both. However, it is advised that before initiating the legal proceedings against the infringer, the copyright holder should send Cease and Desist Notice to the infringer.
In Midas Hygiene Industries P. Ltd and anr. Vs Sudhir Bhatia and Ors, 2004 (3) SCC 90, the Supreme Court held that a cease and desist notice plays a very role in favour of the copyright holder in cases related to copyright infringement.
Section 51(1) of the Copyright Act provides for civil remedies. As per this section, the owner of the copyrighted work will be entitled to remedies such as injunction, accounts of profits and damages. However, in case the defendant proofs that, that he was not aware of the copyright in the work at the time of the infringement, then the copyright owner will be entitled to only injection and account for profits.
Section 63 of the Copyright Act provides for criminal remedies. As per this section the person who infringes the copyright of the owner of the work, directly or indirectly, will be punished for the imprisonment of a term which will not be less than 6 months and which can be extended to 3 years. The infringer will also be liable to pay a fine of not less than Rs. 50,000 and which can be extended to Rs. 2 lakhs.