The purpose of the Bill is to introduce much-needed amendments in the Copyright Act, 1957 so as to bring it in conformity with World Intellectual Property Organisation’s WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT). The former treaty deals with the protection for the authors of literary and artistic works such as writings, computer programmes, originaldatabases, musical works, audio-visual works, works of fine art and photographs. The latter one, i.e. WPPT, on the other hand, seeks to protect certain related rights of the performers and producers of phonograms.
All in all, the amendments that have been proposed in the Bill so far aim to achieve the following effects:
(i) The authors of literary and musical works in cinematograph films should get independent rights of their own;
(ii) Arrangements should be made for storing of copyrights material by electronic means and musical works in the context of digital technology and provide for liability of internet service providers;
(iii) The term of copyright for photographers to ‘life plus sixty years’ should be increased, by way of introducing copyright term of 70 years for principal director and extending the copyright term for producer for another ten years in case of agreement with the principal director;
(iv) Compulsory licensing for certain entities for publication of copyright works in other formats ought to be provided for and
(v) The physically challenged persons ought to be allowed access to copyright material in specialized formats;
(vi) Arrangements should be made for the formulation and administration of copyright societies by the authors instead of the owners and introduction of tariff scheme by copyright societies;
(vii) It should be ensured that the authors of the works, in particular, authors of songs included in cinematograph films or sound recordings must receive royalty for commercial exploitation of such works.
With the aforesaid purposes in mind, the Committee has decided to invite memoranda containing views/suggestions from individuals/organizations interested in the subject-matter of the Bill. Such written memoranda, either in English or Hindi, may be sent to Shri J. Sundriyal, Director, Rajya Sabha Secretariat, 141, First Floor,Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi- 110001. (Tel: 23034541 and Fax: 23793633) E-mail: [email protected] and [email protected] within May 31, 2010. Those who are willing to appear before the Committee for oral evidence besides submitting the memoranda may indicate so. However, the Committee’s decision in this regard shall be regarded final and irrevocable.
The memorandum submitted to the Committee would form part of therecords of the Committee and would be treated as confidential and would enjoy the usual privileges due to the Committee. The Bill has been published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 2, dated the 19th April, 2010. Copies of the Bill can be obtained on written request to the abovementioned Officer or can be downloaded from the official web-site of the Rajya Sabha (http://rajyasabha.nic.in) under the caption “Bills with the Committees”.