Copyright Issues and Challenges
Copyright is a category of intellectual property and is covered under the Intellectual Property Rights. They are mainly related to the artists and creators and includes books, music, movies, videos, computer programs, etc. With the advancements in technology and growth of internet, copyright issues and challenges are rising as plagiarised content is growing too along with piracy. This not only devoid the original creator of a work from the ownership or related benefits but also seems to question the status of work or creation as it can also be misused. Hence, copyrights are needed to be regulated and protected without which it would be seemingly tough to promote innovation and creative freedom.
Social Media Copyright Issues and Challenges:
There is a wide range of copyright infringement that occurs on the internet today, a major part of which is through social media. In simple terms, copyright infringement is the unlawful use or publication of someone else’s copyrighted content or material. People wrongfully take the content owned and created by someone else and use it under their name. It should be remembered that if one seeks permission for reusing or representing someone else’s work, more often than not, the owner may agree for it if credits are duly given for recognition. But many internet and social media users are not aware of the copyright laws and the policies governed by the social media platforms and hence knowingly or unknowingly lead to copyright infringement.
Instagram has a strong framework and system in its software that alerts users if content is copyrighted, and blocks or sends warning. YouTube has a similar feature as well. And apart from this, an owner can report or complaint against a content that is used without his permission by someone else.
While some apps like Twitter and Pinterest have it mentioned in their terms and conditions that by signing in, a user is allowing the app to monitor and use the content and that it is not completely or securely immune against any third party. Hence it is required that users should read the user agreements or the privacy policies of websites and apps compulsorily to ensure that they are informed about what data is being collected.
Copyright Laws in India:
The laws relating to copyright include the Copyright Act, 1957 (amended for the sixth time in 2012), the Information Technology Act, 2000 (amended in 2008), the Copyright Rules, 2013. The amendments implemented in the acts are mainly due to changing socio-economic environment and technology because of which the laws need to be at par. The last amendment in the Copyright Act in 2012 was primarily to make it suitable for the dynamic internet world and its users.
It should be noted that World Intellectual Property Organisation or WIPO protects the intellectual property rights including copyright laws globally and in India, apart from the prescribed laws mentioned above, there is a copyright office which was established under the Government of India under section 9 of the Copyright Act, 1957. It is although not mandatory to register for a copyright but it helps in preserving the ownership and creation apart from also being a strong evidence in the court. E-filing of application for copyright is also possible on the portal of the copyright office (www.copyright.gov.in) with the help of form XIV.
Cases Related to Copyright Infringement in India:
In Tips Industries v. Wynk Music, the Bombay High Court held that the section 31 D of the Copyright Act, 1957 does not include internet broadcasting and that it was not a valid ground to demand for rights to ‘communicate to the public’ as it was rather about downloading and purchasing of music. The dispute was raised after negotiations had failed between Tips Industries and Wynk Music, which is owned by Airtel regarding the music rights.
In another case of Prem Singh v. Cec Industries, the court had censured the act of plaintiff itself whereby he was shown to have infringed the copyright of a third party and was denied any aid from the court on the account that he was seeking it for claim against a copyright infringement by the defendant while being wrongful himself.
In Yahoo! Inc.v. Akash Arora, the defendant was allegedly using a similar domain name and trademark and was offering services to the internet users, claimed to be passing off by the plaintiff. The use of deception was obvious as it infringed the rights of the plaintiff.
Hence, it is crucial to understand that the protection of copyright is essential and even if a content or some part of it is to be used, one should seek prior permission of the owner and also check for licenses and declarations on a social media platform or website.
- By Anurag Kushwaha