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Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
What does copyright cover?
63. What does copyright cover?
(i) Literary, dramatic and
musical work. Computer programs/software are covered within the definition of literary
64. What are the rights of a copyright holder (which when violated lead to infringement)?
(a) In the case of literary, dramatic or musical work, not being a computer program-----
(b) in the case of computer program -
(c ) in the case of an artistic work
sub-clauses (i) to (vi);
(d) in the case of a cinematography film -
(e) in the case of sound recording -
Explanation :- For the purpose of this section, a copy which has been sold once shall be deemed to be a copy already in circulation.
65. How is computer defined for the purpose of copyright?
Computer includes any electronic or similar device having information processing capabilities.
66. What is the definition of a computer program?
Computer program means a set of instructions expressed in words, codes, schemes or any other form, including a machine readable medium, capable of causing a computer to perform a particular task or achieve a particular result.
67. What is the term of a copyright?
Documentation which normally accompanies the program is regarded as separate work and for this reason if the same has to be registered, it must be separately registered and not combined with the computer program in single application.
69. If an employee in a company develops a program, would this employee own the copyright?
No. In the case of a program made in the course of author's employment under a contract of service or apprenticeship, the employer shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright.
70. If an independent third party develops a program for a company, who owns the copyright?
Works created by third parties on commission do not automatically vest the copyright in the commissioning party. If the third party is an independent contractor, it is essential for the commissioning party to obtain the copyright through a written deed of assignment. It is a common misconception that the copyright automatically belongs to the commissioning party. Thus, it is only where the developer is an employee creating the work under a contract of service that the! Rights belong to the employer.
71. What is the rule for the transfer of copyright?
The owner of the copyright in an existing work or prospective owner of the copyright in a future work may assign to any person the copyright, either wholly or partially in the following manner.
72. Is there a possibility of divulging secrets through deposit of source code?
Once the copyright is registered, the work is open to public inspection. For this reason, it is advisable, only to file a small extract of the computer program rather than the full program itself. It is important, however, to know that the part of the computer program which is! not being filed would remain the trade secret of the owner and can be subject matter of a protection against any person who wrongfully obtains and utilizes the said program.
73. In order to further ensure that secrets are protected, is deposition of computer program in object code permissible?
Although the recent amendment (1994) in the Copyright Act enlarges the meaning of a computer program, it is still not very clear as to whether it includes both object code and source code. However, keeping in mind the proclaimed object of the amendment, presumably the benefit of the Copyright Act will be available to both. As per experts' opinion, it is easier to determine from source code whether the deposit represents copyrightable material. Deposit of object code may be possible, but registration presumably would be accepted pending on assurance that the code does represent copyrightable material. Procedures for these do not exist at present with the Copyright Office.
Generally, all copyrightable expressions embodied in a computer program, including screen displays, are protectable. However, unlike a computer program, which is a literary work, screen displays are artistic work and cannot therefore be registered in the same application as that covering the computer program. A separate application giving graphic representation of all copyrightable elements of the screen display is necessary.
75. What notice needs to he put on computer program copies to seek copyright protection?
When a work is published by authority of the copyright owner, a notice of copyright may be placed on publicly distributed copies. As per the Berne Convention for protection of literary and artistic works, to which India is a signatory, use of copyright notice is optional. It is, however, a good idea to incorporate a copyright notice.
The major provisions are :
(i) the doing of any act necessary
to obtain information essential for operating inter-operability of an
independently created computer program with other programs by a lawful
possessor of a computer program provided that such information is not
otherwise readily available;
Some important fees are given below :-