COPYRIGHT MADE EASY – [ Student Series ]
CME [Student Series] LW 1 – 03
REPRODUCTION RIGHT IN LITERARY WORK OF
[ Book authors , Film story writers & Lyric writers ]
The exclusive right to reproduce original copyrighted work in copies may be
regarded as the most fundamental right granted by the Copyright legislation.
This exclusive right to prevent copying and reproduction is recognised in
Berne Convention, 1886 and also in the Universal Copyright Convention,
1952 as well as in the Copyright Act, 1957 through Section 14 which provide
for the author’s power to reproduce his work or authorise someone else to do
so, in all "works".
However, in this article too the assumptions are same as given in the article
LW 1.01 that Author is the FIRST OWNER and Proviso of Section 17 whether
the author is under "contract of service" or "contract for service" is not
The term “reproduction” is not defined in the Act and neither the term
“copying” . The judiciary pointed out the difference and similarities in a case
and held that the reproduction means copying and does not include cases
where author or a compiler produces a substantially similar result by
independent work without copying.
To constitute reproduction , it is not necessary that the copy should be exactly
same, even substantial copying will amount to reproduction. Reproduction
also means making a copy in a different form even if such copy is not
perceptible. Ladbroke Ltd v. William Hill Ltd  1 All ER, 465, 469 . The
meaning of the right to reproduction is interpreted by the court in India in the
case of Star India (P) Ltd v. Leo Burnett India (P) Ltd.
Further, the right is not restricted to reproduce the work only in the same form
but also provide protection for all other material form also , including storing of
it in any electronic form. Section 14 a (i), 14 b (i) of the Copyright Act, 1957
For reproduction of any Copyrighted material the work has to be fixed it in a
tangible and relatively permanent form in a material object. Here for authors
(book authors, book authors and lyric writers, the material object is the paper
and tangible form is the printing which the author has fixed.
Please note – second exclusive right of "issuing" is not used by the Author
which will be explained in next article.
Hence , for understanding purpose , before issuing or distributing the
copyrighted material , first of all the content has to be REPRODUCED by the
author or he has authorised to Copy it from his original work. Here under the
reproduction right , author has reproduced few copies of his own work and
kept it in his room. This is the period( reproduced himself or allowed to copy
it but not issued) when most of the authors are in vulnerable state wherein
infringement happens. Putting it in simple word this is the period when
authors complain that "somebody has stolen the contents " before parting
with the issuing rights.
From above , it can be safely said that whenever any infringement happens ,
infringement of the reproduction right can happen without infringing any
other exclusive right (especially the issuing right which has not been parted
by the author).
Interestingly , reproducing the work without parting with issuing / distribution
right ( usually by sale) rarely it will be of any benefit from a financial
standpoint . Therefore, any investor will certainly ask for the issuing rights
which is next most important exclusive right and combining these two rights
viz : reproduction right + issuing right the net resultant = publishing right.
To be continued in Article LW 1-04 with the crucial exclusive right-"issuing
right" of Book authors , Film story writers & Lyric writers.