New Copyright (Amendment) Rules highlight adoption of electronic means

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 08, 2021

Provisions to deal with undistributed royalty amounts

The government has notified Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021, which includes new provisions to deal with the undistributed royalty amounts and use of electronic and traceable payment methods for collection and distribution of royalties to encourage accountability and transparency.

“The amendments have been introduced with the objective of bringing the existing rules in parity with other relevant legislations. It aims to ensure flawless compliance in the light of the technological advancement in digital era by adopting electronic means as primary mode of communication and working in the Copyright Office,” according to an official release of the Commerce & Industry Ministry.

A new provision regarding publication of a copyrights journal has been incorporated, thereby eliminating the requirement of publication in the Official Gazette. The journal would be available at the website of the Copyright Office.

Reinforcing transparency

In order to encourage accountability and transparency, new provisions have been introduced, to deal with the undistributed royalty amounts and use of electronic and traceable payment methods while collection and distribution of royalties, the release said.

“To reinforce transparency in working of copyright societies, a new rule has been introduced, whereby the copyright societies will be required to draw up and make public an Annual Transparency Report for each financial year,” it pointed out.

The amendments have harmonised the Copyright Rules with the provisions of Finance Act, 2017 whereby the Copyright Board has been merged with Appellate Board.

The compliance requirements for registration of software works have also been largely reduced. The applicant now has the liberty to file the first ten and last ten pages of source code, or the entire source code if less than 20 pages, with no blocked out portions, the release pointed out.

The time limit for the Centre to respond to an application made before it for registration as a copyright society is extended to 180 days, so that the application can be more comprehensively examined, it added.

Published on April 08, 2021

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