Legal Notice for Copyright Infringement

Everything You Need to Know About Legal Notice for Copyright Infringement

Online Legal India LogoBy Online Legal India Published On 25 Nov 2022 Updated On 06 Jan 2023 Category Legal

As the name implies, intellectual property rights are a claim over work that includes the human mind. Copyright, like any other intellectual property, gives the author or creator sole ownership of their work.

What is a Copyright?
 

As previously stated, copyright is an intellectual property right that allows the author of a certain work involving human intelligence the exclusive right to that work. Because of its capacity to cover a wide range of creative and literary works, copyright is rarely referred to as a "bundle of rights." For example, a person can claim copyright over original literary, dramatic, musical, and creative work, cinematograph films, and sound recordings under Section 13 of the Copyright Act 1957.

Copyright Infringement
 

The only right to protect literary and creative works is granted to the Copyright holder under the Indian Copyright Act 1957. According to Section 18 of the Copyright Act of 1957, the holder of a Copyright may be an assignee of the Copyright or the author of the work. To utilise a work protected by the Copyright Act of 1957, one must get permission from the holder of the Copyright in the form of a licence from the holder of Copyright.

In general, referring to a work or original invention for inspiration, ideation, or even outright copying from the original work results in copyright infringement. Copyright infringement is used to safeguard the use of a creator's or inventor's original works by a third party.

According to the Copyright Law that is applicable in India, the law distinguishes between activities that qualify as Copyright Infringement and those that do not qualify as Copyright Infringement.

This distinction is stated in Sections 51 and 52 of the Copyright Act, 1957, where Section 51 contains provisions regarding 'acts' that result in Copyright Infringement and Section 52 contains provisions pertaining to 'acts' that do not result in Copyright Infringement.

Essentials of a Copyright Infringement Notice
 

  • Both parties' names;
  • the work that is copyrighted;
  • date of the work's creation;
  • the date on which the book was originally published;
  • date of registration of copyright (if relevant);
  • description of the copyright infringement;
  • asks for restitution to the infringing party;
  • requests for the course of action to be carried out by the infringing party in order to prohibit the violation of the copyright holder's rights.

When to send a Copyright Infringement Notice?
 

When the proprietor of a copyright becomes aware of the infringement of their copyright by a third party, the holder of the copyright is immediately entitled to submit a Copyright Infringement Notice to the party violating the copyright. On the other hand, the proprietor of the Copyright can send the Copyright Infringement Notice to a third party if specific circumstances are met.

The copyright holder should have valid proof that a third entity is attempting or has attempted to exhibit the original work of the copyright holder as their own work. Copyright Notices can also be filed when the author or holder of the copyright plans to save the work of the copyright holder ahead of time so that no other entity can begin infringing the work in the first place.

Measures To Be Taken
 

Sending a Legal Notice for Copyright Infringement to the infringing party, stating all the facts pertaining to the infringement of the copyright via any legally accepted methods of communication, is the very first step that the Copyright holder could take before pursuing any of the available civil or criminal remedies under the Copyright Act, 1957.

When the entity holding the copyright delivers a legal notice for reserved copyright, the recipient has the choice to either resolve the dispute or respond by contesting the legal copyright notice.

The proprietor of the copyright may also seek an injunction from the Court to prohibit the infringement from copying the work or from engaging in illegal behaviour.

The company sending the lawful copyright notice has the legal right to seek damages to compensate for the loss & inconvenience caused by copyright infringement.

The owner of the copyright can potentially take legal action by declaring the violation of copyrighted content a criminal offence. Section 63 of the Copyright Protection Act will apply to the aforementioned criminal offence. This allows for punishment in the form of jail and a fine for the offending entity. The law gives a minimum penalty of six months in jail and a fine beginning at Rs. 50,000. For a second or subsequent offence of the same sort and kind, the fine can be increased to Rs. 100,000 and one years in jail.

Characteristics & Benefits of Possessing Copyright Protection
 

  • A Legal Notice for Copyright Infringement is written in the same style as a cease and desist letter. A stop and desist notice is a sort of legal notice that bans a person from performing specific activities that may infringe on a person's legal rights.
     
  • The most basic benefit of providing a copyright infringement notice to cease and desist from the act of copying and recreating an original work is that it demonstrates, to the extent of lawful validity, the judicious and legal efforts made by the plaintiff, the copyright holder, in order to avoid the lawsuit and warn the copyright infringer.
     
  • The Honourable Supreme Court decided in Midas Hygiene Industries P. Ltd. and Anr. v. Sudhir Bhatia and Ors., 2004 (3) SCC 90, that a notice of cease and desist works as a significant and valuable instrument to pronounce injunctions. As a result, the notice is regarded as a critical instrument for resolving cases of copyright infringement in favour of the copyright owners.
     
  • Another advantage of having a proper copyright notice issued is that it grants the creator of the original work the sole right to enjoy the work. This implies that the original work's copyright holder has the benefit of being the single entity to decide whether or not the work can be duplicated.
     
  • As previously indicated, the Copyright Infringement Notice can be produced in court as legal documentation of a legitimate step to prevent litigation. As a result, if necessary, it can be utilised as evidence in the trial and adjudication of offences committed by an entity under the Copyright Act, 1957 that can be tried by a court lower than the level of a Judicial Magistrate of First Class/Metropolitan Magistrate.
     
  • In order to complete the purpose of the notice, certain features in a copyright notice must be mentioned and taken care of, such as the type of work guarded by the Copyright, the date of creation of the work & first date of publication, the demand of fine with regard to giving compensation to the infringed party, and so on.

Role of A Lawyer in Sending Legal Notice for Copyright Infringement

 

It is critical to understand the intricacies of legal notice for copyright infringement to design a legal notice that covers all areas and has no loopholes. For the same reason, a Lawyer is required when a formal copyright notice must be issued.

 

A lawyer must consider several crucial criteria while creating a legal notice for copyright infringement, such as the entity being accused of copyright infringement's name, precise facts and grievances with correct dates, and location of residence. In addition, it should specify the precise date on which the infringement of copyright occurred.

The legal notice should also state how the infringement has caused annoyance and violated the rights of the original author of the work/the holder of the original work's copyright, as well as the future course of action the copyright holder intends and is entitled to take.

All communications relevant to the abovementioned notice must be conducted through legal communication, and the notice must explicitly indicate all recorded conversations. Furthermore, a fair length of time, such as 15-20 days, must be allowed to resolve the situation by any manner of peaceful conversation or settlement between the copyright holder and the infringement.

Conclusion
 

The advancements in the field of copyright law in India are still regarded to be in their early stages, with much room for improvement; yet, the efforts to provide enhanced and better copyright protection may be seen in the newest modifications to Indian laws.

The Copyright Infringement Notice serves as a legal threat and warning to those who infringe or violate the Copyright. Legal notice of copyright infringement clearly states the parties' and all stakeholders' legal obligation for the original production and work.


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