COPYRIGHT MADE EASY
CME [Student Series]
LW 1-14 “Sound Recording”.
The exclusive right of sound recording in respect of the work is first with the literary author emerging from Section 14(1)(iv).
The literary work can be story writing , lyrics , dialogues etc. (Not screen play because that comes under dramatic work). Practically its up-to the literary work author whether he wants to utilise the sound recording rights himself given under section 14(1)(iv) or the said author wants to assign and / or licence.
If the literary author decides to do the sound recording himself incorporating his literary work then the said literary author will become the “sound recording author” of the sound recording besides being the author of the literary work.
Hypothetically , suppose Chetan Bhagat who is a well known writer wants to record himself the literary work that he has written then he will be having two authorship(s) . One he himself being an author for the literary work that he has written and second as a sound recording author (for the sound recording work) that he has recorded himself.
Alternatively, the literary author has the option to assign to the film producer the sound recording right as given under section 14(1)(iv) to incorporate in the sound recording that being produced by the said film producer (unless any contrary stipulations in the agreement). In this situation , the film producer becomes the author of the “sound recording work”.
In either case, when the first sound recording is done , section 14(1)(iv) comes to play wherein the “master sound recording” is produced and from here when ANY OTHER sound recording is made embodying it, then section 14(1)(e) will trigger.
Given herein below the provisions given under Section 14(1)(e)(i)
In the case of a sound-recording –
- to make ANY OTHER sound recording embodying it [including storing of it in any medium by electronic or other means].
Analysing the above provisions, the critical point in the literary work and sound recording work is that copyright owner for literary work can be one only (who is the original author) but owners for sound recording work can be in multiple. That means when cover version is made , the sound recording author can be a different person (other than the first sound recording author) but the lyric writer (if same original literary work is used) there will be only one copyright owner for the literary work. In case you come across any CD or cassettes , have a close look , in the back you will find its written © for each original work which will be single only but “P” can be multiple. “P” stands for publishing owner.
For easy understanding , shown herein diagrammatically that when an original literary author produces himself by incorporating in the sound recording or a literary author assigns to the producer , first the “MASTER RECORDING” is created as per section 14(1)(iv) wherein the producer (either the literary owner himself or the producer ,as the case may be) becomes the author of the sound-recording and then it’s further assigned to the subsequent owner(s) or other owners. In india , generally for film contents , the (other owners) are the music companies and the “sound recording author(s)” are the film producers.
Please note that for this article only the literary work incorporated in the sound recording is covered and not the musical right which will be explained in subsequent article along with the transfer of titles under commissioned work, contract of service etc.
Definition of “sound recording” as per Section 2(xx) of the Copyright Act 1957.
“Sound recording means a recording of sounds from which such sounds may be produced regardless of the medium on which such recording is made or the methods by which sounds are produced”.
Term of Copyright in “Sound recording” – Section 27 of Copyright Act 1957.
“In the case of a sound recording work , copyright shall subsist until, [sixty years] from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the [sound recording] is published.
Term of Copyright in published literary work. Section 22 of Copyright Act 1957 states that – “Except as otherwise hereinafter provided, copyright shall subsist in any LITERARY , dramatic , musical or artistic work published within the lifetime of the author until [sixty years] from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the author dies”. Explanation : in this section, the reference to the author shall,in the case of a work of joint ownership , be construed as a reference to the author who dies last.
Significant change post 2012 amendment in Copyright.
After 2012 Copyright amendment, lyric writer and story writer for their literary work incorporated in sound recording work or cinematographic work , got the remunerative rights confirmed statutorily but please note, even today this right is not given to a simple book author who assigns the rights to the publisher (unless any contrary arrangement between the author and the publisher while negotiating the contract).
Nevertheless , the interesting factor is that though the author would have signed the dotted line as per the terms of the publisher but if the literary work is incorporated in the sound recording during the Copyright term , then the said book author will also be entitled for equal sharing of royalties (Section19(10).If the said publisher make any Cinematographic work incorporating the literary work in animation or video format then Section 19(9) of the Copyright Act 1957 will get attracted.
Section 19(10) & 19(9) of the Copyright Act 1957 given herein below :
” No assignment of the Copyright in any work to make a sound recording which does not form part of any cinematographic film shall affect the right of the author of the work to claim an equal share of royalties and consideration payable for any utilisation of such work in any form.
“No assignment of copyright in any work to make a cinematographic film shall affect the right of the author of the work to claim an equal share of royalties and consideration payable in case of utilisation of the work in any form other than the communication to the public of the work, along with the cinematographic film in a cinema hall”.
Important addition in Copyright amendment 2012 is that the provisions of mode of assignment (section 19) shall with necessary adaptations and modifications apply in relation to a license under section 30 as they apply in relation to assignment of copyright in a work. This means whether the transaction with the literary author and the publisher / producer / owner is by licence and / or assignment , sharing of the royalty on equal basis with the author cannot be waived under any circumstances on the utilisation of the formats from Copyright in respect of the work(s).
Practically as of date , when literary work of the book author is utilised for developing “audio books” then the publisher has to share the royalty with the literary author. For more details , please read the article ;