Assignment under Copyright law

Copyright has been referred to as a proprietary right that subsists in the literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, sound recordings, cinematographic films. As known, the ownership of the copyright has been considered as an exclusive right of the owner or the author of the work, which means that the protection for such original and authentic works can only be owned by the person, or the author, or the owner who is producing it. The copyright is intangible in nature. If any of the third parties, try to claim ownership of the works of the author then he must be liable for copyright infringement.

One of the most important features of copyright law is that of granting assignment. As known, copyright can only be granted to the original owners and authors with the essentials of originality and authenticity, but there are circumstances and provisions in which the owners have been given the right for transferring their original and authentic work to third-party entities or organizations. Section 18 of the Copyright Act, 1957 briefly discusses the concept of assignment. It states that copyright can be subsided in the existing work which has been created by the owner to the other party either wholly or partially. The copyright over such a work can be granted to the assignee either for the whole term or for a specific period. This particular right to assign comes into existence when the work of the original owner and author has been published in the public domain. For instance, if a film is made then all the exclusive rights are granted to the producer, but if there are any ideas by any person, then in those circumstances the rights of assignment get transferred to him. However, such rights of assignment must not be assigned to any third party in any form of exploitation or illegal use. There are instances where the work can be transferred to a third party:

In the case of any cinematographic film, the authors and the owners of the literary or any musical works have been restricted from transferring the rights of assignment for the benefit of claiming royalties. The rights can be shared on an equal basis but not for the purpose of making them available to the public domain.
The authors have only been permitted to claim royalties to their legal heirs.
There are certain pre-requisites that are required to be followed, which have been mentioned under Section 19 of the Copyright Act, 1957.

The draft for the assignment must be formed in writing.
It should be rectified and signed by the Assignor.
The original work of the copyright must be identified and the rights to the assignee must be specifically mentioned.
The terms and conditions with respect to revision, royalty, and termination.
There is a necessity for mentioning the period of assignment, and if the period of assignment is not mentioned then it is deemed to be of a minimum of five years.

The agreement of the assignment should be made in a formalized manner and should contain all the necessary information pertaining to:

Identity of the work, which is to be further assigned to the third party.
The appropriate mentioning of the rights which are to be assigned to the assignee.
The appropriate tenure for which the work is to be assigned.
The territorial extent of the work which is to be assigned.
The amount of royalty that is required to be paid for the assigned work.
2 years ago