The Copyright Act, 1957/Chapter 4

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The Copyright Act, 1957
by the Parliament of India
Chapter IV

CHAPTER IV

Ownership of copyright and the rights of the owner

17. Subject to the provisions of this Act, the author of a work First owner of copyright. shall be the first owner of the copyright therein:

Provided that—

(a) in the case of a literary, dramatic or artistic work made by the author in the course of his employment by the proprietor of a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical under a contract of service or apprenticeship,for the purpose of publication in a newspaper,magazine or similar periodical,the said proprietor shall,in the absence of any agreement to the contrary,be the first owner of the copyright in the work in so far as the copyright relates to the publication of the work in any newspaper,magazine or similar periodical,or to the reproduction of the work for the purpose of its being so published,but in all other respects the author shall be the first owner of the copyright in the work;
(b) subject to the provisions of clause (a), in the case of a photograph taken,or a painting or portrait drawn, or an engraving or a cinematograph film made,for valuable consideration at the instance of any person,such person shall,in the absence of any agreement to the contrary,be the first owner of the copy-right therein;
(c) in the case of a work made in the course of the author's employment under a contract of service or apprenticeship, to which clause (a) or clause (b) does not apply, the employer shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright therein;
(d) in the case of a Government work, Government shall,in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright therein;
(e) in the case of a work to which the provisions of section 41 apply; the international organisation concerned shall be the first owner of the copyright therein.

18. (1) The owner of the copyright in an existing work or the Assignment of copyright.prospective owner of the copyright in a future work may assign to any person the copyright either wholly or partially and either generally or subject to limitations and either for the whole term of the copyright or any part thereof:

Provided that in the case of the assignment of copyright in any future work, the assignment shall take effect only when the work comes into existence.

(2) Where the assignee of a copyright becomes entitled to any right comprised in the copyright, the assignee as respects the rights so assigned, and the assignor as respects the rights not assigned, shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as the owner of copyright and the provisions of this Act shall have effect accordingly.

(3) In this section, the expression "assignee" as respects the assignment of the copyright in any future work includes the legal representatives of the assignee, if the assignee dies before the work comes into existence.

19. No assignment of the copyright in any work shall be valid Mode of assignment.unless it is in writing signed by the assignor or by his duly authorised agent.

20. Where under a bequest a person is entitled to the manuscript Transmission of copyright in manuscript by testamentary disposotion.of a literary, dramatic or musical work, or to an artistic work, and in the work was not published before the death of the testator, the bequest shall, unless the contrary intention is indicated in the testator's will or any codicil thereto, be construed as including the copyright in the work in so far as the testator was the owner of the copyright immediately before his death.

Explanation. — In this section, the expression "manuscript" means the original document embodying the work, whether written by hand or not.

21. (1) The author of a work may relinquish all or any of the Right of author to relinquish copyright.rights comprised in the copyright in the work by giving notice in the prescribed form to the Registrar of Copyrights and thereupon such rights shall, subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), cease to exist from the date of the notice.

(2) On receipt of a notice under sub-section (1), the Registrar of Copyrights shall cause it to be published in the Official Gazette and in such other manner as he may deem fit.

(3) The relinquishment of all or any of the rights comprised in the copyright in a work shall not affect any rights subsisting in favour of any person on the date of the notice referred to in sub-section (1).