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Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012

The Copyright (Amendment) Act 2012 has finally put to rest the controversy related to the royalties of singers, composers and lyricists. The Act has now made mandatory for the broadcasters to pay royalty to the artists each time their work is broadcast.

Amended Section 18 limits the right of the artists to assign the right to receive royalty from the utilization of their work in any form other than as part of the cinematographic film and sound recording.

Amended Section 19 prescribes that royalty will be shared by the artist and the assignee (producer) on “equal basis”.

The Act has also introduced anti – circumvention provisions by de-legalizing the breaking of digital rights management systems designed to protect the digital works as provided in the WIPO internet treaties, WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Phonograms and Performers Treaty, 1996.

This provision increases the burden of those who provide circumvention articles or assist in circumvention as the Act mandates to maintain records of the same. The Act does not obligate the copyright holder to provide means to circumvent the technological measures to the users when they need to circumvent for a legitimate purpose.

Parallel imports have also been made illegal as per the new amendment in the Act.Considering the overall outlook of the amendment, it is noted that a few amendments will have a deep impact on the present scenario. Compliance with the WCT without even being a signatory to the same and deleting the parallel imports shows that the amendments in the Act are much tilted in the favor of copyright owners.

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