Copyright Infringement: Understanding and Avoiding It

by  Adv. Rupa K.N  




3 mins


Copyright Infringement


  • The term “copyright” describes a group of legal privileges that belong to the person who first created an original work of authorship, such as a piece of literature, music, film, or software. 
  • The owner of the copyright, or the person who created the original work, has authority over it. He can provide others access to it or maintain complete ownership by forbidding others from reproducing or duplicating it.
  • It is highly advised to take legal consultation in cases of copyright infringement. 

What is the definition of Copyright provided under the Act?

According to Section 14 of the Copyright Act of 1957, copyright is the exclusive right to perform or authorize the performance of any of the following acts in relation to a work or any significant portion thereof:

  • Any kind of reproduction is permitted, including saving the work in any format.
  • Publicize the work and distribute copies of it.
  • Execute the Task in the Public
  • Create any cinematic production in homage to the work
  • Create an adaptation of the work by translating it.

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Registration of Copyright

To assert copyright & to protect against copyright infringement, no registration is necessary, and it starts the moment the work is produced. However, registering the work is encouraged for better protection because it will act as evidence in a dispute.

According to Section 13 of the Copyright Act of 1957, copyright may only be granted for an original work. Once provided, copyright protection lasts for 60 years.

What is the scope of Copyright Protection?

All original writing, artwork, music, plays, sound recordings, and cinematography are protected by copyright laws. The requirement for copyright claims is the originality of the work. Original work denotes the absence of plagiarism. Regardless of the quality or content of a work, it is protected.

Are You Infringing Copyrights Without Knowing? Get Legal Advice Now!

What is Copyright Infringement?

The unauthorized use of the work protected by registered copyright is referred to as copyright infringement. Thus, it is the unauthorized use of someone else’s copyrighted work that violates the owner’s rights, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, exhibit, or perform the protected work.

When copyright is infringed is specified in Section 51 of the Copyright Act. Section 51 of the Act states that a copyright infringement occurs if:

  • Any act that only the copyright holder is authorized to perform is carried out by a person without the copyright holder’s consent.
  • Unless he was unaware or had no cause to suspect that such consent will result in a breach of copyright, a person permits the use of the location for selling, exhibition, communication, or distribution of an infringing work.
  • Someone brings in pirated copies of a work.
  • Without the copyright holder’s permission, someone reproduces his work in any way.

What are the essential elements of Copyright Infringement?

There are certain elements that constitute the offense of copyright infringement- 

  • The author was the sole creator of the piece.
  • In fact, the accused plagiarized the author’s work. It is crucial to remember that not every factual copying is punishable by law. To demonstrate that the defendant has done the author’s copyright infringement, it must be shown that the works of the defendant and the author are substantially similar.

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What are the types of Copyright Infringement?

Copyright Infringement is of two types-

  1. Primary Copyright Infringement– The actual act of duplicating the work of the copyright holder is referred to as primary copyright infringement. For instance, making copies of books to distribute them for profit. However, a person might occasionally merely duplicate a little portion of the work, like a paragraph from an article. In such a situation, the copyright holder must prove two things:
  • Significant Taking- Only when an unauthorized person copies a significant portion of the work does a copyright infringement occur. Taking a lyricist’s memorable phrase as an example. The court considers how the work will be seen by the average person when making its decision. It is considered plagiarism if the average person can tell that the work was taken from another source. In a court of law, similarity in writing style, vocabulary, and errors to the work that is protected by copyright will be used as proof of plagiarism. The claim of infringement will not be affected by the person’s minor adjustments to a copyright holder’s work.
  • Casual Relationship- The owner of the copyright must demonstrate a similarity between their works and those of the infringer. This could, however, be for a number of other reasons, such as the fact that both of them employed the same research source. The owner of the copyright cannot make an infringement claim in such a situation.
  1. Secondary Copyright Infringement– The term “secondary infringement” describes the violation of a work’s copyright without actually reproducing it. There are several ways that this copyright infringement might occur:
  • Creating a location where copyright infringement- can occur if someone offers a location or allows it to be used (for profit) for conveying a work to the public and that communication constitutes copyright infringement, that person may be held accountable for the crime of copyright imprisonment. However, the individual cannot be held accountable for copyright infringement if they are ignorant of it or have no reason to suspect it is taking place.
  • Selling unauthorized copies– When someone sells copies of the copyrighted work that directly violate the rights of the copyright owners Copyright infringement occurs.
  • Disseminating Illegal Copies– Copyright infringement occurs when someone disseminates illegal copies of works that have a copyright holder. An example of copyright infringement is when someone freely uploads a movie to the internet.
  • Bringing In Illegal Copies– A copyright infringement also occurs when an Indian copyright holder imports their infringed work. However, copyright infringement will not have occurred if the offender imported the infringing work for domestic or personal use.


The goal of copyright is to uphold the creator’s legal rights while also offering financial incentives. A person who violates the copyright of another person’s work is subject to both criminal and civil penalties.

However, there are several exceptions to copyright infringement, meaning that in some circumstances, a person may not need the copyright holder’s consent to utilize his work. However, it is always advisable to create unique content rather than unauthorized use of another person’s copyrighted work.

For a content developer his content is everything because they have spent their time in processing it. That’s why it is necessary to always register your copyright to save it from infringement. To take the help of a legal expert in obtaining copyright get online advice.

Adv. Rupa K.N

Adv. Rupa K.N


5 | 277+ User Reviews

Advocate Rupa K.N, with over 24 years of independent practice, specialises in providing legal expertise, advice and guidance to a broad range of customers. Having been practising law independently for several years after doing her B.A. LLB from Bangalore University and PGDM from the National Institute of Personnel Management.

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