COPYRIGHT MADE EASY
CME [Student Series]
LW 1-12 “Cinematographic Film”.
Once the literary author completes his writing work , one of the important derivative exclusive right that emerges is the “Cinematographic film” right as per Section 14 (a)(iv) of the Copyright Act 1957, which exclusively belongs first to the said literary author.
For explanation purpose we have covered the exclusive right “Cinematographic Film” in three parts – LW 1.11 , LW 1.12 & LW 1.13.
LW 1.11 – already published Dt : 5 July 2016
LW : 1.12 – is on the assumption that once the author finishes his literary writing , following options are available to the author to make deal in the exclusive right of Cinematographic film (including videos).
– First the author decides to produce the film himself. In this situation the said author is wearing two hats. One as a literary “author” for the story that he has written and second as a producer of the Cinematographic film that he has produced. As per section 2(d)(v) of Copyright Act 1957 “author” means in relation to literary work , the author of the work and in relation to a Cinematographic film , the producer is the “author” as per section 2(d)(v). Therefore legally , the term “author” is used for literary author and also for producer but the differentiation is on the “work” which is also defined under section 2(y)(i) for literary work and section 2(y)(ii) for Cinematographic film work.
- Other options that are available to a literary author is to either assign his literary work to the film producer or to sign a contract FOR service on commissioned project with the film producer. In both the option(s) , producer shall in the absence of any agreement to the contrary , be the first owner of the copyright therein pursuant to Section 17 (c) of the Copyright Act 1957. However, even though the producer has become the first owner as per the above mentioned provision but in the recent amendment of Copyright in 2012 a complete sweep has been made by the legislation by inserting a last proviso in Section 17 which gave protection to authors safeguarding their rights. The “proviso” being reproduced below;
” Provided that in case of any work incorporated in Cinematograph work , nothing contained in Clause (b) & (c) shall effect the right of the author in the work referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (1) of Section 13″.
The clause (b) and (c) is referred to Section 17 on “First owner of Copyright” and the protection on the “right of author” is for the work referred to in clause (a) of Sub section (1) of Section 13 consisting of original literary, dramatic , musical and artistic works which all are the underlying work when it’s incorporated in a Cinematographic film.
The underlying work principle and the royalty payments thereof are not the subject matter for this article so not touching the most precarious grey area that exist as of date. Various courts have different judgments and it’s highly debatable with plethora of “ifs” and “buts” on case to case basis and out of this , currently certain matters are pending before the Honourable Supreme Court for final decision on the standpoint of underlying works and royalty rights. Notwithstanding above reasons, the present endeavour is to put across the basics of Copyright in place and once its clear, then the above complex knot can be easily understood when it will be addressed in later articles.
Therefore, without deviating the fundamentals of the Copyright , moving forward on the assumption that “producer is the first owner” when the literary work is assigned by the author for incorporating in a cinematographic film and no contrary stipulations by the author in the executed agreements.
Till here the “Master copy” of the Cinematographic film has come into existence because the author has agreed to part with the exclusive right ( to make any Cinematographic film ) as given under section 14(a)(iv) of the Copyright Act 1957, to the film producer.
What is Master ?
Inserted below the diagrammatic chart for instruction purpose which explains the the Digital intermediate of the DSM ( Digital Source Master) or “Digital Cinema Distribution Master” – “DCDM” . For academic purpose “DSM” or “DCDM” is the “Master” of the “Cinematographic Film” and a line is drawn here because section 14(a)(iv) has come into existence and no publishing has taken place yet.
Next , from the the said master “DSM” or “DCDM” , copies are made and developed in print format or in digital format like DVD, Blue ray , digital screening etc. While making copies , Section 14(d) of Copyright Act 1957 comes to play to commercially exploit the exclusive rights given in the said provision and it will be explained in the next article LW – 1-13. Therefore, please note carefully that once the MASTER is developed then only Section 14(d) of Copyright Act 1957 comes into operation which legally provide to make copy of the film (for publishing) and to commercially exploit the other exclusive rights that arises from the said section.
Herein-below Diagram A.
Distinguishing the “master” and the “copy” is very crucial to demarcate the royalty sharing among authors , owners and other owners by utilising in all forms that have been introduced in Section 18 proviso, in the Copyright Amendment 2012. DSM ( Digital Source Master) or DCDM ( Digital Cinema Distribution Master) is the “Master” & “Copy” is the release prints or digital formats used from this source master for publishing. DCP (Digital Cinema Package) is a collection of digital files used to store and convey digital audio, image and data streams.
Term of Copyright in Cinematograph films :
Section 27 of Copyright Act 1957 – In the case of a Cinematographic Film, copyright shall subsist until [ sixty years ] from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the film is published.
The interpretation is that , first the film should be published to start calculating the time frame . Practically its witnessed very often that film producer has produced the film but could not release or publish it. In that case , section 27 of the Copyright Act 1957 will not come into operation because it’s not published. However , when the film is published then the calculation of copyright term will be done accordingly. Suppose , the film is released in the year 2016 January ( could be in print or through Internet release) , the 60 years calculation will start from 2017 as first year and the term of copyright will last till December 2077. After expiry of the term of Copyright , Cinematograph work will be in public domain unless any further extension given on the term by the statute.
To be continued LW 1- 13
* Diagram source given in the pic-footer which have been used under fair use pursuant to Section 52 of the Copyright Act 1957.