Copyright is a form of protection arising from the Patent and Copyright Clause of the International. Constitution. Copyright protects the works of authors and artists to ensure their products are not unlawfully reproduced, distributed, performed, or displayed, acts that would deprive them of revenue and discourage further creative work. As new technologies have developed, copyright law has evolved to keep pace, thereby affording protection to works not originally contemplated by the framers of the Constitution, such as computer programs.

The present act governing copyrights in the INDIA is the Copyright Act of 1999, which provides protection upon creation of a work in a fixed form rather than requiring publication of a work as a prerequisite to protection as did the previous copyright Act of 1999. Rights arise automatically upon creation of a work, and no publication or registration with the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright, although there are several advantages to registration

Just as trademark law protects the investment by merchants in the marks under which their goods are sold, copyright law protects the creators of books, music, and art by providing them with the exclusive right to reproduce their works and derive income from them. Protecting these rights fosters creative effort-there would be little to be gained from investing and pouring effort into composing a song or writing a novel if others could reproduce the song or book at will Without compensating its creator.

Not only is copyright at the center of the creative soul of artists, but it has a significant financial impact in the India as well.


To be eligible for copyright protection, material must be original, meaning that it must have independently created and must possess to be eligible for copyright protection, matter must be original, it must be fixed in some tangible form, and it must qualify as a ”work of authorship.” The requirement of originality does not mean the work must be new or novel; it must merely be created independently by its author. The most common subjects of COPYRIGHT protection are literary works; musical works; dramatic works; choreographic works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; motion pictures and other audiovisual works; sound recordings; and architectural works. Not all printed or communicable matter can be the subject of copyright protection. For example, useful articles, facts, ideas, titles, and US. government works cannot be copyrighted. In some instances, however, material that itself is not copyrightable (such as facts) may be subject to protection if it is arranged or compiled in such a way that shows creativity, for example, arrangement of facts into a book of lists.


The Copyright Act provides that copyright protection subsists in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or hereafter developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduCed, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine. the lists eight categories of protectable works. The list is preceded by the phrase that works of authorship "include” those categories, demonstrating that the listed categories are not the only types of works that can be protected, but are illustrative only. Thus, it has been held that fabric designs and toys are copyrightable even though they are not specifically listed. Moreover, the provision that copyright protection exists in works "now known or hereafter developed” in dictates congressional intent to protect new forms of expression that are not yet existent. The eight enumerated categories are as follows:

  1. literary works
  2. musical works (including accompanying words)
  3. dramatic works (including accompanying music) '
  4. pantomimes and choreographic works
  5. pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  6. motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  7. sound recordings
  8. architectural works
Literary Works

A literary work is one expressed in words; numbers, or other verbal or numerical sync bold, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as books, periodicals, manuscripts phono records, film, tapes, discs, or cards, in which they are embodied. This broad category includes works of fiction and nonfiction, po, catalogs, reports, speeches, pamphlets, and manuscripts. Works such as computer programs, databases, and Web sites (if text predominates) are also treated as literary works because they are expressed in letters and numbers. Literary works can include dictionaries, an employee handbook, an instruction manual, or an advertisement. The fact that many people would not regard an advertisement or an instruction manual to be literary in the sense the word is usually used is of no significance. If the material is original, in fixed form, and can be expressed in letters or numbers, it is ”literary” even though it may be entirely lacking in artistic merit to most people.

Musical Works (Including Accompanying Words)

A musical work, together with its accompanying words, is copyrightable. A musical work or composition may be in the form of a notated copy (such as sheet music) or in the form of a phono record (such as a record, a cassette tape, or a CD). The author of a musical work is usually the composer, and the lyricist, if any.

The lyrics or words to a musical composition are not protected as a literary work, but rather as a musical work. Both elements of a composition are separately protected. Thus, if someone writes the lyrics to ”Yesterday” in a novel, without permission, it is a Violation of the author’s copyright. Similarly, an unauthorized performance of the musical arrangement for ”Yesterday” on stage, even without singing of lyrics, is also a copyright violation.

Dramatic Works (Including Accompanying Music)

A dramatic work is usually a theatrical performance or play performed for stage, movie, television, or radio. Dramatic works usually include spoken text, plot, and directions for action. The music accompanying a dramatic work. is protected as a dramatic work rather than as an independent musical work.

Pantomimes and Choreographic Works

Pantomime or mime is a performance using gestures and expression to communicate with no accompanying sound. An impromptu street performance of mime would not be protected (because it is not fixed in some stable or permanent medium of expression), but a filmed performance of the famous mime Marcel Marceau or a precise description of the pantomime in text would be protected.

The 1999 act was the first statute to include choreography as a copyrightable work. Choreography is the composition and arrangement of dance movements and patterns. Simple dance routines and social dance steps such as the waltz, the fox trot, and the second position of classical ballet are not copyrightable in and of themselves; however, once these steps are incorporated into an otherwise choreographic work, they are protected, much like words are protected once they are incorporated into a work of fiction or nonfiction. A choreographic work does not need to tell a story in order to be protected by copyright; however, the work must be fixed in a tangible medium of expression from which the work can be performed, such as a recorded or notated choreographic work.

Pictorial, Graphic, and Sculptural Works

Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works include two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of fine, graphic, and applied art. This category of copyrighted works is extremely broad and includes the following: photographs; prints, posters, and art reproductions; maps; globes, charts; diagrams; artwork applied to clothing; bumper stickers; cartoons and comic strips; dolls; toys; jewelry designs; mosaics; patterns for sewing; record jacket artwork; tapestries; quilts; fabric, floor, and wall-covering designs; games; puzzles; greeting cards, postcards, and stationery; stencils; sculptures (including carvings, figurines, and molds); models; and technical drawings, including architectural plans and blueprints. A minimal threshold of creativity is required. Thus, a simple shape such as a drawing of a circle or square may not be protected; however, even a drawing of a bowl of chili on the label of a can is copyrightable as a pictorial work. Copyright law does not protect useful articles. A useful article is one having an intrinsic utilitarian function.

v Motion Pictures and Other Audiovisual Works

A motion picture is an audiovisual work consisting of a series of related images that, when shown in succession, impart an impression of mo tion, together with accompanying sounds. These works are typically embodied in film, videotape, or videodisc. Music accompanying a movie (the motion picture soundtrack) is protected as part of the motion picture.

An audiovisual work is a work that consists of a series of related images that are intended to be shown by the use of machines or devices such as projectors, Viewers, or electronic equipment, together with accompanying sounds. Thus, a photograph of a mountain is protected as a pictorial work. If the photograph is made into a slide, it remains a pictorial work; however, when the photograph is made into a slide that becomes part of a presentation about mountains of the world, the resulting slide show is an audiovisual work.

Sound Recordings

A sound recording is a work that results from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as discs, tapes, or other phono records in which they are embodied. Thus a sound recording could be a narration by Meryl Streep of a book played on a CD or cassette tape; a CD by Fergie, or an album by Kanye West Sound recordings, however, do not include the A sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work. A song is the notes and words, a sound recording is what you hear when you play the radio or CD.


Not all works are protected by copyright. In addition to articles that are purely useful and that cannot be copyrighted, a number of other works ire not protected under copyright law, including ideas, blank forms, short phrases, slogans, titles, NOI‘kS in the public domain, facts, and computing devices.

The Copyright Act not only lists eight categories of works that are protected by copyright, but also states that the following are specifically excluded from copyright protection: ideas, procedures, processes, systems, methods of operation, concepts, principles, and discoveries, regardless of the form in which they are described, explained, or illustrated. This statutory prohibition sets out in long form a well-established copyright principle: copyright protects expression, not ideas.

The rule that copyright protection extends only to the expression of ideas, and not to ideas themselves, derives from a famous Supreme Court case, Baker 0. Selden, 101 US. 99 (1879). In that case, Selden published a book explaining a bookkeeping system that included blank forms with ruled lines and columns for using the new system. Baker later published a book with additional forms for using Selden’s system. Selden sued for copyright infringement. The Court denied relief, holding that a copyright on a book explaining a system does not prevent another party from explaining the same system; otherwise, the bookkeeping system or method itself would be monopolized by the first to explain it.