Copyright owner has economic rights as well as moral rights:
i) Economic rights:
Copyright protection is a form of intellectual property which provides similar right as to the owner of Land/Home. The owner of a land can use, may give it on lease, and sell it. Similarly, the protection provided by Copyright to the efforts of writers, artists, designers, dramatists, musicians, architects and producers of sound recordings, cinematograph films and computer software, creates an atmosphere conducive to creativity, which induces them to create more and motivates others to create. A Copyright owner can:
- Make use, sell and distribute his/her work to earn economical reward: The Copyright owner can make copies of the work protected by Copyright or related right and sell the same.Examples: Printed copies of the book and sell the same directly.
- Assign the work (sell): The Copyright owner can assign his/her current work or proposed work to a third-party in return of onetime payment or royalty. For e.g. an author is writing a book and once fixed assigns the rights to sell the printed copies of this book to a publisher. However, for the proposed work, assignment will come into force only when the book is completed and fixed in a tangible format. The Copyright owner can completely or partially assign his/her right but this assignment is only valid if it is in written format signed by the Copyright owner or his/her legal representative. Term of assignment and extent of territory must also be specified as per the Copyright Act, otherwise by default the term of protection will be 5 years and will extend for whole of India.
- License the work (Lease): The creator/author can license his or her work to one or more companies with certain fixed set of terms and condition in exchange for payment.
ii) Moral Rights or Author’s Special Rights: Independent of the author’s copyright and even after the assignment either wholly or partially of the said copyright, the author of a work shall have the right:
- To claim the authorship of the work; and
- To restrain or claim damages in respect of any distortion, mutilation, modification or other act in relation to the said work, if such distortion, mutilation, modification would be prejudicial to his honour or reputation.