As per the Copyright Act 1957 and the Copyright Rules 2003, copyright exists in all original, published or unpublished artistic works like paintings, music compositions, literary works, sound recordings, cinematographic film, etc.

All the aforementioned artistic works are exclusively covered under the Copyright Act 1957, in any form of expression, however, such expression must be tangible. It could be an essay, poem, story, script or a play or say, it could be dance form/move or a photo, a song as well as computer graphics or coding which can be drawn on a paper or recorded and/or saved in any possible way. This gives the creator an exclusive right to use his/her creations or to distribute or publish it as per his own terms and conditions. The Copyright Act provides both civil, criminal as well as administrate remedies to the owner in case there is an infringement of copyrights.

The first Copyright Legislation i.e. The Copyright Act, 1914, was extensively inspired by the Copyright Act of the United Kingdom, 1956. The current Copyright Act is in sync with the international standards as contained in TRIPS. India is also a party to the Geneva Convention and is an active member of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The benefits of copyright as far as monetary gains are concerned can be made out by the fact that the most famous song in the word “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” by “Hill Sisters” launched in the year 1893 earned a whooping 50 Million Dollars worldwide, thus fetching highest amount in royalties. As far as paintings are concerned, “PABLO PICASSO” sold his painting for an amount as high as 179.4 Million Dollars.

Presently, a copyright owner may sue for civil as well as criminal remedies such as permanent injunction, damages or accounts of profits, destruction or delivery of infringing material and/or the cost of legal proceedings. The punishment for copyright infringement includes imprisonment from 6 months to 3 years and a minimum fine of INR 50,000 which may extend to INR 2,00,000.