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Volume 16 Issue 2 (2020)

Evolution of Copyright Law – The Indian Journey

Justice Prathiba M. Singh

Out of all the forms of protection given to innovation and creation, copy- right law is the most versatile. This law encompasses recognition, protection and enforcement of rights for a very large variety of creative works including traditional forms of works such as books, articles, poetry, lyrics of songs, paintings, musical compositions, sculpture, architecture, script in a drama or a film, to modern forms of copyrighted works such as computer software, databases, compilations, broadcasts etc. Protection for copyright finds its justification in fair play. The law strikes a fine balance between the rights and interests of authors/owners of copyright and the right of the public to access public domain material.
The three most important areas that deter-mine this balance are: The Test of Originality; Remedies for Copyright Violations, and; Fair Use/Fair Dealing provisions The manner in which judicial precedents have evolved on these core are as shows that India has actually curated copyright law to suit its social, economic and cultural context.


Justice Pratibha M. Singh is a Judge of the Delhi High Court and was a Senior Advocate before that. The author would like to acknowledge the research assistance provided by Aadya Chawla and Tejasvini Puri.

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