Photographs are protected as artistic works under Section 2(c) of the Copyright Act 1957 in India. Photographs are protected under copyright law because they are considered creative works. The quality of the work, on the other hand, is unimportant in determining whether it is an artistic production [as a result, a terrible photograph is still protected by law].To protect the copyright Pictures in an artistic creation, particularly a photograph, the photograph must be an original work that has been created with some degree of skill and effort.
Photographs in India are copyright protected for 60 years from the date of publication this simply means the date of the photograph; you don’t have to actually have it published in any magazine under Section 25 of the Copyright Act. Copyright is defined differently in different countries. For example, the period of copyright protection in the United States and the European Union is 70 years, although the Berne agreement stipulates a minimum duration of 50 years.
The copyright filing procedure begins with:
- submission of an application and payment of fees to the copyright office (http://copyright.gov.in/frmformsDownload.aspx).
- A diary number is assigned, and any objections must be raised within 30 days.
- If no objections are raised, the work is scrutinised by the examiner, who then transmits it to the Deputy Registrar for registration, who approves it.
- However, if objections are submitted, the registrar sends letters to both parties, and after receiving a response and hearing both parties, the registrar decides whether or not the application is accepted. If accepted, the previous procedure is followed.
- In both circumstances, however, if problems are discovered in the application, a discrepancy letter is issued to the applicant, followed by a hearing by the registrar.
- If the copyright is accepted, an acceptance letter is sent; if the copyright is rejected, a rejection letter is sent.
Challenging the Copyright
The most crucial idea in copyright law is the work’s originality. As previously stated, the owner of the work is either the person who hired the photographer to take the shot or, if not hired, the person who took the photograph. The issue about photography is that the concept distinguishes one work from another. Even if the subject matter has been used before, the choice of subject matter is a statement of a vision at the time, and the outcomes of that vision are what distinguishes the photograph as unique.
In Camera House, Bombay vs. State of Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court ruled that “on behalf of the tax payers, reliance was also situated on the provisions of the Indian Copyright Act 957, for the purpose of demonstrating that it is impossible in law that there could be any sale of a customer’s photograph, either to the customer himself or to anybody else.” It is argued that because the copyright in a photograph is vested in the user whose photograph it is, no image can be sold to the user, who is already the owner of that picture under the relevant provisions of the Copyright Act. It is further argued that the customer’s photograph could not be sold to anyone else because the customer, whose photograph it is, is the exclusive owner of the copyright therein. “Given my judgement on the issue of severability, it is unnecessary for me to address the argument submitted on behalf of the assesses in this matter based on the provisions of the Copyright Act.”
The Indian Copyright Act complies with the majority of international treaties, including the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of 1886, the Universal Copyright Convention of 1951, and the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement of 1995. The International Copyright Order was passed to protect copyright in convention and agreement member countries. As a result, foreign artistic works are protected in India.
Anyone other than a photographer, on the other hand, may use the images for any purpose other than profit. Photographs can be used for teaching, research, legislative reasons, and judicial procedures. This falls under the “fair use” concept and is acceptable usage of pictures without the photographer’s prior authorization. The Copyright Act of 1957 is a comprehensive act that successfully protects the rights of photographers in India. The legislation covers not only traditional images made by photographers but also online photographs, albeit this is not explicitly stated. The existing copyright legislation can properly meet the problems provided by cutting-edge technology and has a solid legal foundation for copyright protection.