The Background Score to the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012
Prashant Reddy T.
Volume 5 Issue 4 (2012)
The Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012 stands to correct the legislative imbalance of rights assigned to composers and lyricists and is a path-breaking remedy for the copyright regime in India. The build-up to the amendment demonstrates the undying efforts of the otherwise passive composers and lyricists. In order to understand the context of the amendment and the manner in which these new provisions are likely to be interpreted by courts, the paper attempts to appreciate Mr. Javed Akhtar’s contribution to the movement and describes the long, contentious history between authors and music labels and the nature of their conflict. The panacea was sought in the form of a legislative amendment addressing the concerns of the composers and lyricists for the purpose of protecting their rights. These include protecting the composers and lyricist from unfair contracts through a statutory right to remuneration, protection from the assignment of copyrights in future technologies by the authors and a change in the manner in which copyright societies were administered, as they were primarily controlled by the music labels. However, the extent to which the amendments will succeed in achieving its objectives would largely depend upon the collective efforts of the authors and the judiciary alike.