What is the impact of copyright on the media industry?

calendar24 Oct, 2023
timeReading Time: 9 Minutes
Impact Of Copyright On The Media Industry?

Copyright is one of the important intellectual property rights protecting the original works of authorship once the creator of the work communicates the creative effort in a physical form. Books, music, paintings, sculptures, and films are among the “creative works”. To be eligible for copyright, a work must be original, different from an author qualify as authorship, and be fixed in a physical form of expression.

This right grants the creator control over his or her invention to explore advantages if utilized by others. Media platforms, including social media, new ideas, pictures, sounds, scripts, and many other means and techniques of communication for professional, commercial, and personal goals. Piracy poses the most significant and serious challenges to the entertainment sector.

While unauthorised duplication and distribution of cinematograph pictures and music is not a new phenomenon, the magnitude of the problem has grown in recent years with the impact of copyright to the point where it threatens the existence of the entire industry. Advances in replication and invention have made it a very simple affair for even a novice to manufacture copies that are of a comparable standard with the duplicates being honestly made and sold by the firm. Piracy, for example, as a impact of copyright causes income loss to copyright owners through royalties, unlawfully adds to the pirate’s coffers, and defrauds the state of collecting cess through multiple degrees of production and sale.

Without diminishing the gravity of the repercussions, the music/film sector is the most severely disadvantaged. This article examines the impact of copyright on the media industry.

Impact of Copyright On The Media Industry

Copyright is a technique used by the entertainment and media industries to safeguard their original work so that no one may access it without their permission being the major impact of copyright on media industry. The material is copyright-protected, and the owner has the exclusive right to use it. Because of the increased competitiveness in the entertainment sector, it is now vital to get a impact of copyright to the original work. The lack of copyright on the work may result in significant losses for the author or creator.

Copyright has a significant influence on the media and entertainment industries since it is required to safeguard and prohibit the creator’s original work. In the current context, the advancement of technology leads to an increase in piracy of original work, resulting in loss to the owner. As a result, there is a need to safeguard the owner’s original work from copyright infringement, so that no one may access the owner’s original work without their permission or license. As a result, in the entertainment sector, the owner must hold exclusive rights to the work or content.

Importance of Copyright in the Media and Entertainment Industry

Let us now discuss the importance and impact of copyright in the media and entertainment industry:

Original Dramatic Work

Section 14 of the Act defines “copyright” as a limited right granted to the proprietor to change an abstract, musical, or creative work. A motion picture is a “cinematograph film,” and the word

“author” in reference to a cinematograph film refers to the motion picture’s producer. Section 51 of the Act further states that any individual who performs something in which the owner holds the copyright without obtaining a license to do so infringes on the copyright.

“When two authors depict the same occurrence in literary or dramatic form, involving people reacting to the same emotions in an environment constructed of the same materials, similarities in incidental details necessary to the environment or setting are unavoidable; however, they do not constitute evidence of copying unless there is any similarity in the dramatic development of the plot or in the lines or action of the principal character.” They are akin to similarities in two pieces of art created by different artists from the same source topic, yet in most cases are too little and insignificant to constitute a serious appropriation of copyrighted material.”

According to the Copyright Act of 1957, “dramatic work” comprises any composition for recitation, choreographic work, or amusement in a dumb show, the scenic arrangement or performing form of which is set in writing or otherwise, but excludes cinematography films.

Original Musical Work

Section 2(p) of the Act specifies that musical work includes the music itself and its graphical notation, but excludes any words or actions intended to be sung, spoken, or performed in conjunction with the music. As a result, the Act distinguishes between musical work and a song that may or may not be accompanied by music. However, even if a song is sung and contains music, it will not constitute a musical. In Corelli v. Gray, the similarities between the copyrighted work and the duplicate give the impression that the respondent imitated the original work. Moreover, the similarities between the two works are not coincidental, a reasonable deduction of colourable impersonation or apportionment of the work of the proprietor of the copyright by the litigant is demonstrated. The proprietor filed an action for infringement of the duplicate right. Lord Hans Worth, M. R. discovered that the sum taken was generous and that a significant portion of the musical copyright might be duplicated apart from the genuine picture.

Choreographic Work

Choreography is the art of conceptualizing or arranging ballet or theatrical dance in symbolic language which is also an impact of copyright. It should be reduced to writing in order to qualify for copyright protection. The style of writing is unimportant.

The Supreme Court was hearing an issue of dancing steps in the case Academy of General Education, Manipal vs B.Malini Mallya which tells the impact of copyright. According to the circumstances of the case, Dr. Karanth created the Yakshagana ballet in which he performed the will in favour of Manini Mallya, transferring the dance’s copyright to her.

According to the facts, Dr. Karanth created the Yakshagan ballet and then licensed the rights to Manini Mallya. Later, she launched a lawsuit against the Academy, alleging copyright infringement for performing the dance without her authorization or permission.

The Supreme Court ruled that Ms Mallya’s rights were valid because a novel form of a ballet dance that is replicated in a literary style is regarded as a copyrightable dramatic work.

Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement is the process of illegally using someone else’s copyrighted work. It is the use of content that is normally protected by copyright without the permission of the owner of the material or copyright. It basically indicates that someone is violating a copyright holder’s right to exclusive use of a product or work without their consent. Copyright infringement mostly affects the entertainment business, which includes movies and music. Copyright is violated when the content or a major portion of it is utilized without the authorization of the true owner.

It is, in general, the infringement or violation of another person’s intellectual property (IP). Copyright infringement may also be characterized as piracy of the producer’s invention and original work, as well as profiting from the material. Infringement of copyright is defined under Section 51 of the Copyright Act.

Copyright Infringement in the Media Industry

The illegal use of someone else’s copyrighted work is known as copyright infringement. Thus, it is illegally using someone else’s copyrighted work, thereby infringing on the copyright holder’s rights, such as the right to distribute, reproduce, display, or perform the protected work.

Copyright infringement is the way through which some unauthorised use of someone else’s copyrighted work can result in a severe impact of copyright. As a result, it is the unauthorized use of someone else’s protected work.

When a copyright is infringed, it is specified in Section 51 of the Copyright Act and is also an impact of copyright. According to this section, copyright is violated if:

  • A person conducts any act that only the copyright holder is entitled to do without the permission of the copyright holder. 
  • A person authorizes the use of a location for communication, sale, distribution, or display of an infringing work unless he is unaware or does not know that such consent would result in a copyright violation.
  • A person brings in unauthorized copies of a work.
  • A person reproduces his work in any form without the permission of the copyright holder.

Copyright Infringement Remedies

In case of copyright infringement, the owner of copyright has two types of remedies available:

  • Civil Remedies
  • Criminal Remedies

Let’s understand both remedies one by one.

Civil Remedies for Copyright Infringement

Section 55 of the Copyright Act of 1957 defines civil remedies for copyright infringement. The following civil remedies are open to the owner:

Pecuniary Remedies

The original work’s owner may also pursue three remedies under Section 58 of the Copyright Act of 1957. For starters, the individual profited from illegal action. Second, compensating damages were given to the owner as a result of the infringement. Finally, conversion damages are calculated by considering the worth of the product or work is an impact of copyright.

Anton Pillar Orders

It entails the following procedures: first, a preliminary injunction on the dissemination of work by prohibiting the infringer from destroying or infringing on it. Second, an order was issued to the plaintiff’s lawyer to search the defendant’s residence and seize any commodities or merchandise. Third, an order requiring the defendant to reveal the identities of distributors and consumers.

Interlocutory Injunction

Interlocutory injunctions are an important remedy accessible to the owner in the event of a violation of the original work’s copyright. In most circumstances, an interlocutory injunction is obtained against the infringement, and the case is rarely pursued further. To obtain the benefit of the interlocutory injunction, certain conditions must be met. First, the case must be prima facie. Second, there must be a balance of comfort. Finally, the owner must have suffered irreparable harm.

Mareva Injunction

When the court of law notices that the defendant is attempting to postpone the proceedings and obstruct the implementation of the decision imposed against him, this injunction is utilized against him. The court of law has the authority to order the defendant to place the property, in part or entirely, at the disposal of the court in order to meet the court’s ruling.

Norwich Pharmacal Order

When a third party’s information is requested, this order is issued against the defendant.

Criminal Remedies for Copyright Infringement

The following criminal remedies are available to the owner of copyright as an impact of copyright in case of infringement:


Section 63 of the Copyright Act, 1957 specifies a sentence of imprisonment of not less than six months, as well as a fine ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 200,000.


The person guilty of committing the copyright infringement may be imprisoned for a minimum of six months and a maximum of three years to create an impact of copyright for infringement.

Search and Seizure

Search and seizure can be granted as a remedy in accordance with the infringing goods process.

Return of property

The court may order the infringing party to return the infringing property or items to the rightful owner as a remedy.


With the Media and Entertainment business becoming more dynamic and adding new aspects, the rules and policies governing it must keep up. The above is a summary of the fundamentals of India’s Copyright Act and its pervasive interaction with the Media and Entertainment business. The impact of copyright does not apply to ideas, unrecorded works, performances, titles, names, symbols, facts, and statistics. Every sort of intellectual property contributes to the economy, with the Media and Entertainment business relying heavily on intellectual property in the form of music, pictures, and literary works.

With time, these intellectual assets are used to provide economic effects, such as job creation and income production, which enhance the nations’ GDP development. Intellectual property must be preserved and commercialized in order to reap advantages for both current economies and the inventors of such work.


1. What is copyright in the media industry?

Copyright is an intellectual property that protects original works of authorship once the creator of the work communicates the creative effort in a physical form..

2. What is the impact of copyright?

Without copyright protection, others might easily use these works without paying royalties or recompense to the work’s owner as an impact of copyright. Copyright protects not just the creator’s original work, but also the reproduction of all or parts of that work or works through multiple means.

3. What are copyright issues in digital media?

Various copyright issues have arisen, including piracy, infringement, and the unauthorized use of copyrighted works. Piracy is one of the most serious issues in the digital era. It entails the unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copy-protected materials such as music, films, software, and books.

4. What is the role of copyright?

Copyrights safeguard a creator’s work against unauthorized copying or use. Nobody can duplicate, imitate, or generate another work if it is protected by Copyright Registration, according to the Copyright Act.

5. What media is protected by copyright law?

Copyright law protects the orginial works of autorship, which includes literary, theatrical, musical, audiovisual, and creative works such as poetry, movies, novels, songs, computer software, and architecture.

6. What is the impact of copyright on the media industry?

Copyright is a technique used by the entertainment and media industries to safeguard their original work so that no one may access it without their permission. The material is copyright-protected, and the owner has the exclusive right to use it.

7. What are copyright violations in the entertainment industry?

Copyright infringement takes place when someone uses a copyrighted work without the owner’s permission or violates one of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights. This frequently takes the form of unlawful copying, distribution, or performance of a copyrighted work in the entertainment sector.

8. What are the copyright laws regulating the entertainment industry in India?span>

The Copyright Act, 1957 governs copyright laws in India. In India, copyright rules protect original works of literature, visual art, music, cinema, and computer programming.

9. What is the role of copyright in the entertainment industry?

It gives legal protection while discouraging inventive and one-of-a-kind works. Copyright acts as an interface for films, pictures, sculptures, drawings, sound recordings, and other forms of entertainment.

10. What is copyright in media?

Copyright is a legal word that describes the ownership and control of the rights to use and distribute particular works of creative expressions, such as books, videos, motion pictures, musical compositions, and computer programs.

11. What are examples of copyright infringement in social media ?

For example – Your firm has a handy “how-to” guide for your brand’s blog that was developed in-house. Someone notices the same information being used word for word on Pinterest later that week. This is a case of copyright violation on social media.

12. What is copyright infringement in Indian film industry?

To be given copyright under Section 13 of the Act, a film must be an original work, and it is an infringement to make a film that is a clone of the original film without the owner’s consent.

13. What are the laws related to media and entertainment?

The Copyright Act of 1957 protects and registers literary, dramatic, musical, sound recording, and creative works. The act’s major goal is to avoid the misuse of monopolies given by copyrights and to strike a balance between individual rights and public interest.


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