The Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021 (Ministry of Commerce and Industry, DPIIT)
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, on March 30, 2021 notified The Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021 which amends the Copyright Rules, 2013 to introduce certain changes in the administration of Copyright Law in India. The Amendment introduces measures to digitize the whole process of functioning of the Copyright Office. A Copyright Journal has been introduced to be maintained at the Official Website of the Copyright Office which would replace the Official Gazette. Moreover, applications for license can also be served through electronic means, in addition to registered post, to the owner of the Copyright. Electronic mode of payment has also been introduced. Changes have also been introduced for administration of Copyright Societies under the Act. The period of registration of Copyright Societies by the Central Government has been increased from 60 days to 180 days. A new Annual Transparency Report has been introduced through the Amendment. An annual transparency report needs to be maintained and published by the Copyright Societies for each financial year, within 6 months following the end of that financial year on their website for at least 3 years. A list of particulars that needs to be there in the report is also mentioned in the Amendment. Further, the Amendments also aim to bring about transparency in the management of royalties collected and distributed by the Copyright Societies. The Copyright Societies shall need to establish a traceable electronic system of payment for collection and distribution of royalties. Undistributed royalties in lieu of non identification or traceability of the owner of Copyright is required to be kept in a separate account of the Copyright Society and make all possible efforts to locate such owners. The undistributed fund would need to be transferred to the welfare fund upon expiry of 3 years, if the owner could not be traced. The Code of Conduct rules for Copyright Societies has also been revised to require every society to additionally update a searchable database of Society’s repertoire, Annual Transparency report and the details of undistributed royalties. New provisions have been made to substantially reduce the compliance requirement for the registration of a Computer Programme. Now, the applicant can file at least first 10 and last 10 pages of source code, or the entire source code if less than 20 pages, with no blocked out or redacted portions. Chapter XVI dealing with ‘Importation of Infringing Copies’ has been omitted along with other relevant amendments to forms and schedules.