Remedies for Infringement of Copyright under The Copyright Act,1957

Section 51 deals with what constitutes the infringement of copyright under The Copyright Act,1957. It also deals with exceptions to infringement of copyright. The true test to determine infringement is when a trader, spectator or viewer after having read or seen both the works should get an unmistakable impression that the subsequent work appears to be a copy of the first.This post discusses the remedies available in case of the infringement of copyright –

Various remedies available under Indian laws

S.No. Nature Remedies available Relevant provision
1 Civil remedies Injunction, Accounts, and Damages Section 55
2 Criminal remedies Imprisonment and fine Chapter XIII
3 Before Registrar Stop importation of infringing copies Section 53

Civil Remedies

The author of a work shall have the right –

  • to claim authorship of the work; and
  • to restrain or claim damages in respect of any distortion, mutilation, modification or other act in relation to the said work.

Criminal Remedies

The Copyright Act, 1957 provides for both imprisonment and fine under Chapter XIII –

                                                      Punishment for copyright infringement

Section Offence First conviction Second and subsequent convictions
Imprisonment Fine Imprisonment Fine
Section 63,

63A

Knowingly infringes or abets the infringement of-

(a) the copyright in a work, or

(b) any other right conferred by this Act

Imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but

which may extend to three years and

With fine which shall not be less than Rs 50,000 but

which may extend to Rs 2,00,000

With imprisonment for a term which

shall not be less than one year but which may extend to three years and

With fine which shall not be

less than Rs 1,00,000

but which may extend to Rs 2,00,000

Section 63B Knowing use of infringing copy of computer programme With imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven days but which may

extend to three years and

With fine which shall not be less than

Rs 50,000 but

which may extend to Rs 2,00,000

Section 65 Possession of plates for purpose of making infringing copies Imprisonment which may extend to two years and Shall also be liable to fine

 Competent Court under The Copyright Act,1957

  • Every suit or other civil proceeding arising under Chapter XII in respect of the infringement of copyright in any work or the infringement of any other right conferred by this Act shall be instituted in the District Court having jurisdiction.
  • Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall try any offense under this Act.

Remedies under Customs Act, 1962 

Section 11(2)(n) of Customs Act, 1962 empowers The Central Government to restrict or prohibit import and export of goods infringing trademarks, patents, and copyrights.

Disposal of infringing goods under Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules, 2007 (Rules 3,4, 6, 11 etc) 

These Rules enumerate detailed procedure regarding infringing goods and allow Deputy Commissioner of Customs or Assistant Commissioner of Customs to destroy the goods under official supervision or dispose them outside the normal channels of commerce after obtaining ‘no objection’ or concurrence of the right holder or his authorized representative.

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Bhumika Sharma

She is currently a Research Scholar, (PhD) at Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla. She finds peace in research and writing on a variety of social issues. She believes in the power of education and awareness to deal with various problems.

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