The copyright landscape and copyright bodies have constantly been evolving since the amendment of the Copyright Law 1957 in 2012. The newest addition to the news now is that, The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry recommendation to access to the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performers and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT)which extends the coverage of copyright to the internet and digital environment. Further, it recognizes the rights specific to the digital environment, of making work available, to address ‘on-demand’ and other interactive modes of access.
This has been a long-standing demand of the copyright industries that rely on commercialization of IP. The approval is a step towards the objective laid in the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy adopted by the government on May 12, 2016, which aims to get value for IPRs through commercialisation by providing guidance and support to EPR owners about commercial opportunities of e-commerce through the internet and mobile platforms.
Mr. Mandar Thakur Chairman of PPL said “We applaud the very progressive steps taken by the Indian Government and the DIPP to approve the accession of India and it’s creative industries into the WCT and WPPT treaties. This is a landmark moment for intellectual property and it’s progression in India”
Indian Copyright Act
After the administration of Copyright Act which was created in 1957 was transferred to DIPP in March 2016, a study was initiated to examine the compatibility of Copyright Act 1957 with WCT and WPPT. Also, a joint study was undertaken with WIPO.
The Copyright Act, 1957 was amended in 2012 to bring it in conformity, with WCT and WPPT, includes an amendment in the definition of “Communication to the public” to make it applicable to digital environment as also introduced provisions related to:
- Technological Protection Measures & Rights Management Information
- Moral rights of performers
- Exclusive rights of the performers
- Safe harbour provisions over an electronic medium
What are these Treaties?
WIPO stands for World Intellectual Property Organisation. They are one of the United Nations 15 specialized agencies that were created to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world.
IFPI welcomes this move from the Indian Government. Accession to the WIPO Internet Treaties is excellent news for the protection of Indian music – within India and globally.
Kudos to the DIPP for implementing this landmark decision, this will ensure additional investments in content creation in India as content from India will now be protected globally and monetization of Indian content will get a further boost in the global markets. – Blaise Fernandes, President & CEO, IMI
Apart from these, the treaties ensure the right to instil confidence and distribute creative works in a digital environment with return on investment and spur business growth and contribute to the development of a vibrant creative economy and cultural landscape. Thus helping the music industry to progress and gain more revenue in the process as well.
WIPO Copyright Treaty came in force on March 6, 2002, and has been adopted by 96 contracting parties till date and is A Special agreement under Berne Convention (for protection of literary and artistic works). It has provisions to extend the protection of copyrights contained therein to the digital environment. Further, it recognises the rights specific to the digital environment, of making work available, to address “on-demand” and other interactive modes of access,
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty came in force on May 20, 2002, and has 96 contracting parties as its members. WPPT deals with rights of two kinds of beneficiaries, particularly in digital environment – (i) Performers (actors, singers, musicians etc.) (ii) Producers of Phonograms (Sound recordings). The treaty empowers right owners in their negotiations with new digital platforms and distributors. It recognizes the moral rights of the performers for the first time & provides exclusive economic rights to them.
Both the treaties provide framework for creators and rights owners to use technical tools to protect their works and safeguard information about their use i.e. Protection of Technological Protection Measures (TPMs) and Rights Management Information (RMI).
Mr. Shridhar Subramaniam, Chairman, IMI says
This move from the government of India is a huge victory for all Indian IPR owners. The provisions to protect copyright in the Digital Environment was much needed. This would enable growth for Indian IP by instilling confidence and spur investments and growth in the creative Industries.
Commenting on this momentous occasion, Mr. Rajat Kakar President & CEO of PPL said
“We are committed to professional collective management of rights for our Member Record Labels and this progressive decision by the Indian Government under the stewardship of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) is a welcome move and enhances the economic value of the members copyrights in Sound Recording”