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India – Copyright Law Revamped For Digital Age

In view of recent advances in technology, copyright protection has to be more complex. The widespread use of electronic modes of communication and data storage makes it essential that copyright law takes these technologies into account to safeguard the interests of the copyright owners and provides them with effective remedies.

The Indian Copyright Act 1957 has been amended from time to tie to keep abreast with technological developments. Recently, more amendments have been proposed to step up the protection granted to electronic works and introduce technological protection measures and rights management, it is hoped that the amendments fill in the gaps in the existing legislation.

Some of the most important amendment include:

• Electronic storage has been brought within the meaning of visual recording under Section 2(xxx) and the reproduction of it is to be an exclusive right granted to the copyright owner under Section 14.

• To introduce the concept of digital rights management, two new Sections 65A and 65B have been proposed incorporating technological protection measures (TPM) and rights management information in additional to defining them under Section 2(xa). Accordingly, a person circumventing TPMs or removing rights management information shall be punishable with imprisonment up to two years and shall also be liable to a fine. Exceptions to liability have also been devised.  This has been done to give effect to the WIP mandate to India to devise a digital rights management policy.