What rights are covered under Copyright – ©

Copyright is a type of intellectual property that protects original works of authorship as soon as an author fixes the work in a tangible form of expression. Copyright refers to the legal right of the owner of intellectual property. In simple terms, copyright is the right to copy. This means that the original creators of products and anyone they give authorization to the only ones with the exclusive right to reproduce the work. Works covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture, and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, and technical drawings. Copyright law gives copyright owners rights that let them benefit from their creative works and this helps them keep creating.


There are two type of copyright:

Economic rights, which allow the rights owner to derive financial reward from the use of their works by others;

Moral rights, which protect the non-economic interests of the author.

Economic rights:

As per Section 14 of the Copyright Act, 1957, different rights are recognized for the works considering its nature. The section provides that it is the exclusive right of the author to do or authorize the doing of the acts provided thereunder. The important rights generally recognized by all types of works under the Indian statute that attracted much judicial interpretation include reproduction rights, right of distribution, and right to communicate work to the public. Economic rights includes:

  1. Right of Reproduction
  2. Right of Distribution
  3. Right to communicate work to the public
  4. Right to make cinematograph film or sound recording in respect of work
  5. Right to make translation of work
  6. Right to make adaptation

Moral rights:

The Copyright Act of 1957 confers copyright protection also in the form of moral right. Section 57 of the Act defines the fundamental moral rights of an author or creator. This section establishes (i) the right of paternity and, (ii) the right of integrity, of an author.

The categories or genres of creations that moral rights can be applied to include-

  1. Musical works
  2. Literary works (written, computer programs, etc.)
  3. Dramatic works (plays, screenplays, etc.)
  4. Artistic works (paintings, designs, sketches, craftwork, photographs, murals, maps, etc.)
  5. Cinematographic films (documentaries, feature films, commercials, music videos, television programs, etc.)
  6. Sound recordings (music, lyrics, words, podcast, broadcast, etc.)

A copyright grants protection to the creator and his or her representatives (by way of an agreement), for the works and prevents such works from being copied or reproduced without their consent.

The creator of a work can prohibit or authorise anyone to:

  • reproduce the work in any form, such as print, sound, video, etc.;
  • use the work for a public performance, such as a play or a musical work;
  • make copies/recordings of the work, such as via compact discs, cassettes, etc.;
  • broadcast it in various forms;
  • Translate the same to other languages.


The scope of copyright extends to the literary or artistic works which demands creativity including Database and computer software. The purpose of copyright is to protect the rights of the creator and provide the incentives and economic benefits to the creator.


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