In this enactment. However, the Act specifically reserved the

In a span of 200 years ,Modern copyright law gradually
developed in India. The first initiative of India with copyright law happened
in year 1847 through an enactment during the East India Company’s regime. The
Act passed by Governor-General of India affirmed the applicability of English
copyright law to India.1
According to the 1847 enactment, the term of copyright was for the lifetime of
the author plus seven years’ post-mortem and could not exceed forty-two years
on the whole. Though the author refused publication after his death, the
Government had the authority to give licence for its publication. The act of
infringement was inclusive of unauthorized printing of a copyright work for
“sale, hire or export”, or “for selling, publishing or exposing to sale or
hire”. The suit for infringement under this act could be instituted in the
“highest local court exercising original civil jurisdiction”. The Act also
specifically provided that under a contract of service copyright in “any
encyclopaedia, review, magazine, periodical work or work published in a series
of books or parts” shall vest in the “proprietor, projector, publisher or
conductor”. It was deemed that the copies of the infringed work were the
property of the proprietor of the copyrighted work for all purposes. Most importantly,
the copyright in a work was not automatic unlike today. Registration of the
work with Home Office was mandatory for the protection of rights under this
enactment. However, the Act specifically reserved the subsistence of copyright
in the author, and his right to sue for its infringement to the extent
available in any other law except 1847 Act. At the time of its introduction in
India, copyright law had already been in the developing stage in Britain for
over a century and the provisions of the 1847 enactment were reflected in the
later enactments2. The Copyright Act 1911,
while repealing earlier statues on the subject, was also made applicable to all
the British colonies including India. In 1914, the Indian Copyright Act was
enacted which modified some of the provisions of Copyright Act 1911 and added
some new provisions to it to make it applicable in India. The Indian Copyright
Act 1914 remained applicable in India until it was replaced by the Copyright
Act 1957.3

In India, the Copyright Act, 1957 (as amended in
1999), the Rules made there under and the International Copyright Order, 1999
govern Copyright and neighbouring rights. This Act has been amended five times
i.e 1983,1984,1992,1999 and most recently in 2012

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1 Kala
Thairani, How Copyright Works in Practice,
1996, at 2

2Rajkumar
S.Adukia, Handbook on Intellectual
Property Rights in India, http://www.metastudio.org/Science%20and%20Ethics/file/readDoc/535a76367d9d331598f49
e2d/34_Hb_on_IPR.pdf,
accessed on 10/03/2016.

 

3 V.K
Ahuja, Law of Copyright and Neighbouring
Rights: National and International Perspectives,
2007, p.2-3