Limitations on Exclusive Rights and Exceptions to Copyright Infringement

calendar30 Sep, 2020
timeReading Time: 6 Minutes
Limitations on Copyright Infringement

The copyright laws have strong exceptions to copyright infringement that enable the fair use of material for other purposes. Exceptions and limitations can be in a form of statutory or compulsory licenses, or they can be incorporated into fair dealing provisions. The exceptions can either be compensated or uncompensated, whereas, it’s uses are uncompensated within the context of fair dealing provisions.

Legal Analysis of Exceptions and Limitations

To have access to copyrighted works and achieve goals to transfer knowledge as per the deliberated Copyright Registration, the developing countries must adopt pro-competitive measures under copyright laws. The countries like India should be allowed to maintain or adopt broad exemptions for educational, research, and library uses in the national copyright laws.

Limitations and Exceptions under the International Legal Framework

The implementing of an international copyright standard considering the exceptions to copyright infringement in the developing world must be undertaken with the proper appreciation of continuing high level of need for improving the availability of these products. India was first a signatory to the Berne Convention, last revised in 1971, which specifically recognizes an exception for “teaching purposes” in Article 10 (2).

The TRIPS Agreement by Article 9(1) of TRIPS provides that, it is a matter for legislation in the countries of a Union and special agreements. It is to permit the utilisation, extent the justification by the purpose of literary, artistic or musical works by way of illustration in publications, broadcasts or sound or visual recordings, so that such utilisation is compatible with fair practice.

Understanding the scope of this article requires an understanding of the meaning of several key terms as used in the article. However, a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute resolution panel has not heard any disputes related to the teaching exception and thereby providing us with an official interpretation of these terms. Hereby, we must analyse them as the WTO hypothetically would, using the interpretive rules outlined in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

Briefly, these rules stipulate that unless the parties to the treaty have assigned a term a special meaning, the ordinary meaning of terms in their original context should be applied. Ancillary agreements and instruments signed by the parties in relation to the treaty as well as subsequent agreements signed by the parties and applicable international law should also be examined. If these sources prove inconclusive, then other materials such as preparatory documents may be used.

Read our article:Copyright Registration in India – Process, Requirements and Duration

Limitation of Owners Exclusive Rights

The owner will not be entitled to the remedy if the defendant proves the following:

Limitation of Owners Exclusive Rights

Exceptions to Copyright Infringement

The following are exceptions to copyright infringement

  • Any fair dealing with work, not being a computer programme for the purposes  mentioned below:
  1. Such as for private or personal use, including research
  2. For criticism or review, whether of that work or of any other work;
  3. For reporting of the current events and current affairs, including the reporting of a lecture delivered in public.
  • In consonance with the exceptions to copyright infringement, any making of copies or adaptation of any computer programme by the lawful possessor of a copy of such computer programme for a purpose, comes under the purview :-
  1. To utilise a computer programme for the purpose for which it was supplied.
  2. To make back-up copies purely for temporary protection against destruction, loss, or damage in order only to utilise the computer programme.
  • The doing of any act reflecting the exceptions to copyright infringement which is important to obtain information, essential for operating, inter-operability of an independently created computer programme by a lawful possessor.
  • To make copies or adaptation of a computer programme from a personally legally obtained copy for non-commercial personal use.
  • For transient or incidental storage of a work or performance purely for the technical process of an electronic transmission or communication to public.
  • The transient or incidental storage of work or performance to provide electronic links, access, where the right holder has not expressly prohibited such links, access or integration
  • The reproduction of work for the purpose of judicial proceeding or for the purpose of the report of judicial proceeding
  • The reproduction or a publication of work prepared by the Secretariat of either House of Legislature, exclusively for a use of the members of that Legislature
  • The reproduction of work in the certified copy made or supplied in accordance with any law for the time being in force.
  • The reading or the recitation in public by reasonable extracts from the published literacy or dramatic work
  • The publication is a collection, composed of non-copyright matter, bona fide intended for instructional use in any advertisement issued on behalf of the publisher, from literary or dramatic works, not published for them.
  1. The reproduction of any work
  2. By teacher in a course of instruction
  3. Any part of the question to be answered in an examination.
  4. Any answers to such questions
  • Use for performance or activities for an educational institution, of a literary, or musical or dramatic work by staff and students of the institution, or a sound recording or of a cinematograph film.
  • The making of a new recording which is heard in public by utilising it:-
  1. In the enclosed room or hall meant for common use of residents in the residential premises (not being a hotel or other commercial establishment)
  2. Any part of activities of the club or similar organisation which is not established for-profit
  • The performance of a literary, musical, or dramatic work by a club or society, if the performance is given to the non-paying audience, or for a benefit of religious institution
  • The reproduction in a magazine, newspaper, or other periodicals of an article on current economic, social-political, or religious topics, unless the author of article has expressly reserved to himself the right of such reproduction
  • To store a work in any medium by electronic means by the non-commercial public library, for preservation, if the library already possesses the non-digital copy of that work
  • To make copies not more than three of the book (including pamphlet, sheet of music, map, chart or plan) under the direction of the person in charge of a non-commercial public library if that book is not available for sale purposes
  • The reproduction, for research purpose or for private study or with a view to publication, of an unpublished literary, musical or dramatic work kept in a library, museum or other institution to which the public has access
  • The reproduction or publication of
  1. Any matter which has been published in an Official Gazette except an Act
  2. Any Act of Legislature subject to a condition if is reproduced or published together with commentary thereon or any other original matter
  3. The report of a committee, council, commission, board or other like body appointed by a Government if that report has been laid on the Table of the Legislature unless the Government prohibits the reproduction or publication of such report
  4. A judgment or order of court, or tribunal or other judicial authority, unless the court prohibits the publication of such judgment or order, the tribunal or other judicial authority
  • The publication of the translation in any Indian language of an Act of a Legislature and any rules or orders made thereunder
  1. If translation of such Act or rules or orders has not previously been produced or published by the Government in that language
  2. Where the translation of such Act or rules or orders has been produced or published by the Government[1], but that translation is not available for sale to the public
  • To make or publish of a painting, engraving, drawing, or photograph of work related to architecture or the display work of architecture;
  • To make or publish of a painting, engraving, drawing, or photograph of a sculpture, or other artistic work, if that work is permanently situated in the public place or any premises to which the public has access
  • The inclusion in a cinematograph film of—
  1. Any artistic work permanently situate in the public place or any premises to which public has access; or
  2. Any other artistic work, if inclusion is only by way of background or is otherwise incidental to principal matters represented in the film
  • The use by an author of artistic work, where an author is not the owner of the copyright therein, of any sketch, cast, plan, model or study made by him for the purpose of the work
  • To make the 3-dimensional object from a 2-dimensional artistic work, such as the technical drawing, for the purposes of industrial application of a useful device
  • A reconstruction of the building or structure in accordance with the architectural drawings or plans by reference to which a building or structure was originally constructed
  • In relation to a literary, artistic, dramatic, or musical work recorded or reproduced in any cinematograph film, the exhibition of such film after an expiration of the term of the copyright therein:
  1. To identify the work by its title or other description and
  2. unless they work is anonymous, or required that no acknowledgement of his name should be made, or the author of the work has previously agreed 
  • To make an ephemeral recording, by a broadcasting organisation using its own facilities for its own broadcast by a broadcasting organisation of a work which it has the right to broadcast
  • The performance of literary, musical or dramatic work or the communication to public of such work or sound recording in the course of an official ceremony held by the Central or State Government or any local authority.
  • The reproduction, adaptation, issue of copies or communication to the public of any work in an accessible format, by—
  1. Any person to facilitate the persons with disabilities to access to works that include sharing accessible format for personal or private use, educational purpose or research with such person
  2. Any organisation working for a benefit of persons with disabilities in case the normal format prevents the enjoyment of such works.
  • The importation of copies of any literary, musical or artistic work, such as labels, or promotional or explanatory material or company logo that is purely incidental to other goods or products being imported lawfully


Exceptions under the Copyright Act of India can be found both in provisions dealing with the statutory licenses as well as the fair dealing provisions. Any revisions to the exceptions must be consistent with India’s relevant international legal obligations, specifically the Berne Convention and TRIPS. In case if you seek professional guidance on Trademark Registration, connect with CorpBiz’s without any hesitation.

Read our article:8 Incredible Benefits of Copyright Registration in India

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