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  • Writer's pictureOishika Banerji

Implementation of the bundle of rights: a discussion

Copyright, a bundle of rights, not only protects original works by vesting exclusive rights on the owners but also carries with it a list of remedies available to the owner which are to be used in occasions of infringement. The Indian Copyright Act, 1957 provides remedies in three categories which are; civil, criminal, and administrative by nature. These remedies are independent of each other, thereby entitling the affected party to sue for any of the reliefs available to him, established under the law. With this clarification, it is now necessary to delve into each of the mentioned remedies.

The Apex Court in the noteworthy case of Dabur India Ltd. v. K.R. Industries had observed that Section 55 of the Act provides remedies in the form of damages, injunctions, and accounts. The plaintiff will therefore be entitled to all three reliefs depending upon his need and the court's observation. The right to claim compensation for infringement is vested only on the owner as defined under Section 17 of the Act. The civil remedies are listed under Section 54 to 62 of the 1957 Act. The remedies available are hereunder;

  • Injunction: Order XXXIX of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 places the governing principle of the injunction with the purpose that the plaintiff restricting the defendant from unauthorized use of the copyrighted work, can seek relief by exercising temporary, permanent, or interlocutory injunction.

  • Anton Pillar Order: Followed by the courts of England, the Order was formulated to address the rising concerns surrounding copyright piracy, the volume of sound recording, and video. Also familiar by the name of the search and seizure order, the courts while making this order permits the plaintiff accompanied by his attorney to enter the defendant's premise for the purpose of inspection of relevant documents belonging originally to the plaintiff, to remove and be placed under safe custody.

  • Mareva Injunction: The Mareva injunction is a form of interlocutory injunction which is issued to locate the whereabouts of the defendant and his assets.

  • John Doe Order: This Order is meant for an unknown individual who has been involved in the exploitation of copyright and trademark but cannot be discovered by the plaintiff. In India, the name which is used while passing this Order is "Ashok Kumar". The John Doe (Ashok Kumar) order found its place in the well-known case of Taj Television v. Rajan Mandal.

  • Damages and account of profit: The two kinds of damages which the plaintiff is sanctioned are; damages for illegal use of his copyright, and modification or conversion of the concerned copyright work into a different form. As an alternative to these damages, the plaintiff is also entitled to receive accounts of profit.

Section 62 of the Act of 1957 providies that the power to declare remedies for infringement of copyright shall lie with the District Court having jurisdiction. While the plaintiff have the right to seek remedy, the defendant is also vested with certian defences such as the concerned work is not eligible to be granted copyright, the work carried out by the defendant is independent by nature and many others.

In addition to a civil suit, the plaintiff can file criminal proceeding against the illegal user. What can be inferred from this is that copyright infringement is both a criminal offence and a civil wrong. The punishment comprises of both imprisonment and fine depending on the offence committed. Section 63, 63-A, 63-B, 65, 65-B, 67,68,68-A, 69 of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 provides the offences along with the presribed puishments. For any criminal proceeding, the case may be instituted in the court of first class Magistrate with the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 being applicable in the same.

When one talks about administrative remedies, it reflects the powers vested with the Registrar and the Copyright Board to function as a check and balance for copyright violation. While the Registrar can impose prohibition on import of unauthorize copies of the original work undr Section 53, an original owner who has been subjected to frequent threats of infringement of his work can seek reemdy provided under Section 60.

In order to exrcise any of the remedies mentione above, the knowledge and awarness regarding the same must not be left to be ignored. Rights can be exercised only when they are valued, therefore the responsbility lies on the copyright holder to value both rights and duties that he has been provided with.


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