The Internet has become a part and parcel of our life. We cannot imagine our lives without Internet access says William D King. It is used both in personal and professional life, private and government sectors. It is used to transfer data from one location to another through various ways like landline telephone, microwave transmission, Satellites etc. Internet started with slow dial-up connections, but with time it has developed into a high speed broadband network that can be accessed wirelessly or through wire lines. Along with its development number of cyber crimes is also increasing day by day. The latest technology tablets are coming up which are connected through 3G technologies which provide faster speed of surfing the net even in remote areas where no internet facility is available now.
We sometimes feel secure using the Internet as we know our personal computer ids and passwords are safe with us but sometimes it happens they get leaked over the internet without knowing anyone and we become a victim of cyber crime like Identity Theft. So to avoid such kind of problems and to make our use of Internet better there is need for us to understand the related laws and regulation which we must abide by so as not to fall prey in any future trouble due to misuse of technology. India has also brought up some specific rules and regulations keeping this increasing number of cyber crimes in mind and called them Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act).
Now let’s discuss those laws one by one:
1) Indian Copyright Act, 1957:
Copyright law protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works that have been express in tangible forms such as literary, dramatic or musical work written on paper or via modern equivalents such as emails etc.; artistic works such as paintings, graphics or sculptures in any material form; and compilations such as computer software etc says William D King. The Indian Copyright Act was last amend in the year 2012. This amendment is famous as ‘The Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012’. This means that copyright law only protects the form/format and not the subject matter itself. Thus if you take an author’s story and write your own book on similar lines then this action will not violate the author’s right over his work under section 51(1)(a) of the Copyright Act.
2) Punishment for Copyright Violation:
Convention on the Grant of International Rights in Copyright Works -Paris Act, July 24, 1971:- If you violate any copyright law then this act provides for imprisonment which may extend to two years or with fine up to Rs. 10 lakhs or both! In addition to this civil remedies are available under section 52 and section 13 to the owner of the copyright. The court is also empower to order that infringing copies be destroy or dispose off outside the channels of commerce. In such a manner as not to cause any harm/damage to the copyright holder.
3) Protection against Piracy:
As per Section 51(b) (ii), it will be a punishable offence. To make or distribute infringing copies of the work in any commercial way. This provision is limited only to commercial copyright infringement and not for personal use. This means that if you have an infringing copy of a copyright work at your home. This action will not violate section 51(b) (ii) of the Copyright Act.
4) Maintenance & Inspection of Records:
Every person who is authorize by the copyright owner to carry on an activity. Which is usually cover under copyright protection needs to maintain and keep records. In respect to such activities for six years from the date when such activity was first commenced (section 50). These records should be available for inspection by any officer mention under section 52(1
5) Criminal Proceedings: Sections 52 and 53 of the Copyright Act lay down the procedure to be followed for criminal complaints in case any infringement is carried out.
These sections say that a complaint can be file at:
i) The police station under whose jurisdiction the offence has been commit, or
ii) The court having jurisdiction to try such offence.
As seen from the above discussion, Copyright law is very complex. And covers a vast area of subject matter explains William D King. In fact, it involves two legal regimes. A trademark is one regime and Copyright the other. We will discuss Trademark law in detail in our next article. Meanwhile, keep visiting us and stay tuned for more articles on law and technology.