License and Assignment of Copyright

calendar30 Jan, 2020
timeReading Time: 3 Minutes
License and Assignment of Copyright

The copyright is a certification provided to people of the different field for acknowledging their intellectual input. The main aim of copyright is to give exclusive rights or to authorize others to perform various acts in respect of the work. This recognition of rights protects the interest of the creator. Section 13 of the Copyright Act, 1957[1] provides the set of fields where copyright can be given for literature, drama, artistic and musical work etc. Here in this blog have a discussion about the license obtained by owners of the copyright and the assignment of the copyright.

Section 18- Assignment of Copyright

The owner having copyright of an existing work or also for future work, can assign his copyright to any other person. The assignee who receives the assignment by the owner possesses the same rights regarding the copyright as that of the owner. General or partial limits can be imposed by the owner to the assignee to share mutual benefits in the copyrights. However, the selling of the copyrighted work and granting the right to publish the work does not amount to an assignment of copyright, its mere a publishing right.

No assignments will be applicable where the work did not exist at the time of assignment of copyright. In the case of assignment of copyright for future shall take into effect when the work comes into existence. When the assignee receives the copyrights, he shall be treated as the owner of the copyright. The legal representative in case of death of the assignee shall be entitled to the benefits of the assignment of copyright.

  • The literature work or a musical work used in a cinematography film or in a sound recording will entitle the owner of copyright to receive the royalties which cannot be waived off after assignment.
  • Also, the right of receiving royalties cannot be waived off in the case where the author of literary work or a person of musical work does not perform in sound recording or cinematography film themselves.

Section 19- Mode of Assignment of Copyright

The mode of the assignment of copyright under section 19 of the act can be done on the following conditions:

  • The assignment of the copyright for any work can be assigned to an assignee in writing and duly signed by the assignor or by his agent.
  • The assignment of copyright shall specify the rights assigned, also mention the duration and territorial extent of the assignment.
  • The assignment of the copyright can be revised, extended or terminated on terms mutually agreed by the parties.
  • The assignment must contain a considerable payable amount paid to the author or his legal heirs during the assignment of copyright
  • If the assignee does not exercise his rights of the assignment of copyright within one year from the date of the assignment, then such rights shall be deemed to lapse.
  • If not specifically mention then assignment of copyright will last up to five years.
  • If not specifically mention then assignment of copyright will extend to the whole of India.
  • Any work which is contrary to the terms and conditions of the assignment of copyright in the field where the author works shall be void.

Read our article:How Can You Apply For Online Trademark Registration in India?

Section 19A- Disputes with Respect to Assignment of Copyright

The Appellate Board on receiving the complaint under section 19(A) of the act on behalf of the party will conduct an inquiry as necessary. If the other party fails to comply with the terms and conditions mention at the time of assignment, then the Appellate Board can do the following:

  • Revoke the assignment
  • Recovery of any royalty payable
Note:The Appellate Board shall make final orders within 6 months from the date of receiving of the complaint. In case of delay, the reasons shall be recorded by the Appellate Board for the same.(Given under section 19A (3) of the Copyright Act 1957).

Section 30- Licensing of Copyright

The owner having copyright of an existing work or also for future work may grant any interest in the copyright through a licence. The license can be granted by the owner in writing and duly signed by him or by an authorised agent. In the case of a licence relating to copyright for any future work, the licence shall take effect only when the work comes into existence. The legal representative in the absence of any provision shall be entitled to the benefits of the license.

Section 30(A) Application

The provisions that were applicable in section 19 with necessary adaptations and modifications in relation to the assignment of copyright, in the same manner, will be applicable in the case of the license given by the owner.


The owner of copyright work can generate wealth by sharing his work with others for mutual benefits. This can be easily done by way of assignment or licensing of copyright. The Corpbiz helps in the copyright registration and also provides guidance regarding the licensing and assigning of the copyrights.

Read our article:How To Obtain Copyright Registration in India?

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