What is the copyright law for music in India?


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Music can be considered as a form of art that is tangible and intangible. Copyrighting a song can safeguard the creators’ rights and assist them monetarily as well.

To get the benefits of copyright, one will have to opt for online copyright registration in India to go through India’s online copyright registration process. In this blog, we would dive into the step-by-step process of registering any music for copyright and the punishment for infringing it.

Everything and anything, regardless of its kind and nature, can be acquired with copyright. Generally, copyright means the inventors will have the sole right over their inventions. For example, if we look into recent music, Mr. Ilayaraja said that if his work of music is to be used in any films or anywhere, only if he allows them to do so with his consent. Let’s take another example if in a specific movie they want to play or put his music, then he will have to give his approval; therefore, his prior consent is a must. Musicians and film artists are impuissant to protect themselves financially, such as actors and others in the film industry even though they are brilliant in their respective field; therefore, obtaining a copyright means they will have a prerogative over their music.

How can you copyright your music?

There are multiple ways by which you can copyright the music. Although, not certainly all of them copyright their music or any invention. When they want to make many bucks out of their music, they prefer to copyright their music. Any invention can obtain a patent, copyright, or trademark right.

Basic process.

– The first thing you are required to do is to record the song in a tangible manner.

– Then, you will have to register for an account at the copyright website or office.

– Payment of registration fee.

– Filing the copy of the song to the council.

– Then, you will have to wait for the registration to be processed. These are the basic steps that you are required to follow to obtain a copyright for music.

Expiration of copyrights.

Generally, copyright protection lasts for 60 years. In cases of original artwork, literary, music, a period of 60 years will be counted from the year following the owner’s demise.

Punishment for contravention.

The copyright in modern business is becoming a norm, especially with the advent of digitization of multiple industries. When a person commits a copyright contravention that can be done using another person’s work or any other issues concerned with the copyright, it will be considered a crime. The punishment might increase to the incarceration of up to three years along with the penalty of Rs. Two Lacs.

The registration is not mandatory, but when an issue arises in the court of law, then it is useful. If you have copyright, then you can protect your music against the infringer in the legal battle to prove your claim. The copyright registration would work as a piece of evidence.

Rights of the singers.

According to section 38 of the copyright act, which has been amended in 2012, acknowledges performers’ rights, where the commercially recorded song for fifty years from the starting of the calendar year of the next proceeding year in which the performance is made. Between this phase, the music or performance cannot be published nor recorded without the performer’s consent.

The person is entitled to receive a royalty if their music or performances are commercially utilized, but when the singer hands over his/her rights to others, then royalty cannot be claimed in case someone has the copyright. Except for the copyright holder, everyone will have to obtain approval and pay a royalty to the owner of the music or the performer.

In conclusion.

As you already know, anything can be copyrighted, from music to ideas, innovations and so forth. The primary goal or the purpose of copyright is to circumvent imitation and give the owner the sole right over his/her invention or thought. With the help of copyright, they can make money which is the fruit acquired by their talent and brilliance. That’s why music copyrights have become more effective after the 2012 amendment in India.

To sum up, one will have to record a song to copyright, then create an account on the website, make the payment of fee, and then wait for the copyright. If you get one, then it will be with you for a period of 50 years. Distributing, illegal performing, or selling it can potentially lead to punishment with a penalty.