The clearing of the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2012 by the Lok Sabha in this session comes as a jubilant news for the artists of the country considering the plight of many other veteran artists in the past. The Bill has passed through many working stages before receiving the final nod. Earlier, the Government had already decided and dropped out the provision for ‘Parallel Imports’ from the Bill. The said provision legalized the parallel import of books and other copyrighted material into India and was part of the initial copyright amendment Bill.

All in all, while the passing of the Bill has brought much relief to composers, lyricists, scriptwriters and singers of the country, granting them many new and much awaited rights with respect to their works, the producers
and music companies do not welcome the amendments for various reasons such as provisions relating to royalties and statutory licensing as it is expected to affect their businesses and profits in more than one ways.

Besides this, when viewed with respect to cover versions, the amendments in the law make it very difficult and the law tough to make covers. This is mainly because of certain issues like the requirement of the cover version to be in same medium as the original, only technical alterations shall be allowed in the cover version, etc. Many of these amendments will affect the cases where songs are covered without any permission.

As regards fair dealing like permitted use in education etc, though there has been a good amount of amendment in that area, however, more detailed guidelines with respect to fair dealing and what is not infringement are required to be formulated.

The Bill touches upon several issues and makes several amendments to the existing law on copyrights, but in some places ignores the need for the law to be liberalized which may result in too many copyright infringements. Nonetheless, the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2012 getting the approval of the Parliament is a milestone for the Film industry.

Ms. Deepika Vijay Sawhney
+911140622229, +919971673336,

Ms Stuti Bansal
+911140622240, +919810203315,

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