Date: January 2012
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Copyright is a creation of statute and is not a common law right. It is codified in India as The Copyright Act, 1957 and has adopted several principles and provisions of the English Law. India is a member of the Berne Convention as well as the Universal Copyright Convention.

The Copyright Act 1957 provides for the creation of the Copyright office and the Copyright Board, sets out the various terms of  copyright for different categories of works, for assignment and licensing of copyrights, remedies against infringement, author's special rights, etc.

Copyright protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works; Cinematographic films and Sound recordings.

Literary work includes computer programmes and databases.

Dramatic work includes any piece for recitation, choreographic work, scenic arrangement or acting form which is fixed in writing or otherwise.

Musical work means a work consisting of music and includes graphical notations but does not include any work intended to be sung, spoken or performed with music.

Artistic work  is a painting, sculpture, drawing, map, chart, engraving or even a photograph irrespective of whether it possesses any artistic quality.

Cinematographic film means a work of usual recording on any medium produced from a process from which a moving image may be produced by any means and includes a sound recording accompanying such recording.

Sound recording means a recording of sounds from which sounds may be reproduced regardless of the medium on which it is recorded or the method of such recording.

To qualify for copyright the work should have been published in India. If it was published outside India, the author must be a citizen of India on the date of publication.

It is also necessary that the author should have expended sufficient skill, labour and capital in the creation of the work. It is not necessary that the work is new or novel as there is no copyright in ideas and others may produce the same result independently which would also be original in itself. Thus, originality only in form is required and not in idea.
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