Rights of an artist in a protected work

With the growth of the Internet and social media, and the importance they place on content, copyright has become more important than ever! Copyright covers all types of created content – physical or digital, written, videographic, sound recordings, paintings, photographs, etc. In legal jargon, the term “copyright” is a legal right that protects the interests of a creator with respect to his original work. . The criterion followed to qualify a work as an “artistic work” is that such a work must be created by an expression of thought which reflects skill and judgment on the part of the artist who creates such a work and must also to be his own creation. , original and unique for them. The idea behind such a work and its representation must be new, and on a case-by-case basis, can also be inspired.

Copyright is an intellectual property right which protects the original work of a creator such as literary works, dramatic works, musical and artistic works, cinematographic films and even extends to sound recordings as enshrined in Indian law under the Copyright Act, 1957 (“Copyright Law ”or“ Law ”) thus protecting an expression of idea than the idea itself.

Since the author of such a work is the original creator of his work and is said to have invested his sweat, skill, judgment and a lot of time in making such a work, a prototype of a masterpiece, it becomes essential to grant the artist with certain rights under copyright law.

It is usually the author or creator of the work who becomes the primary owner of the copyright, although there are exceptions where the employer is the copyright owner when an employee creates the copyright. work during the term of employment or that the work is created as a sanctioned project, by a freelance, etc.

It is always advisable to save your work as a copyright registration becomes of the highest value to the one who owns the copyright in the work as it helps to bring civil and criminal proceedings against the one who has. infringes the rights of the copyright owner.


The copyright law grants the author 2 major rights:

1. Economic rights:

As the owner of a work, an author has the economic right to make commercial gains through his copyright in literary, musical, dramatic, cinematographic or sound works. The author also has the right to reproduce, represent, communicate and adapt the work in any form whatsoever. It is interesting to note that the authors of paintings, sculptures, drawings, literary manuscripts, dramatic and musical works also have the right to share the resale price of the original work when this resale price exceeds 10,000 rupees.

2.Moral rights:

Moral rights find their place in Article 57 of the Copyright Act. While the concept of moral rights has been drafted under copyright law since its inception, however, this right saw its revival after the amendment of copyright law in 2012. Under With the amended law, the concept of perpetual moral rights was reintroduced, bringing back a dualistic model of separate regimes for economic rights and moral rights. The different rights under this umbrella of moral rights are mentioned below:

  1. Paternity rightIt is a right granted to an author to claim his authorship on the work as well as to have the right to prevent others from claiming his original work as theirs.

This right allows an artist to claim ownership of his work. This right aims to determine how and if the name of the artists should be affixed to the work. This right offers three types of protection:

  1. By making the creator of the work known to the public.
  2. Prevent others from usurping the creator’s work by someone else claiming to be the original creator.

b. Integrity rightThis right allows an author to prevent the deformation, mutilation or any kind of alteration of his work or related to his work which would endanger the honor or reputation of the author.

This right prevents the author’s work from being distorted, dismembered, distorted, ill-treated, the expression of the artist’s personality that could damage his honor and his reputation, thus protecting the interests of the personality in a legal manner. This right also allows an author to prohibit any modification of his work without his consent.

vs. Subsidiary rights:

Subsidiary rights are the rights to create, to publish such a work, the right to withdraw from sale a work already published, the right against excessive criticism, the right to prevent any other infringement of the author’s personality.


Moral rights would encompass literary, artistic, dramatic, cinematographic works as well as sound recordings. literary works such as most written materials and including computer programs. These rights apply to photos, paintings, sketches, films, television programs, advertisements, videos, murals, etc.

Moral rights generally last for the life of an author over seventy years. Moral rights last for the same period as copyright protection. Typically, copyright protection extends to the life of the author plus 70 years. In the case of films, copyright would last for seventy years after first publication, although the right to integrity would expire upon the death of the author.

When a moral right has been violated, the court can use its discretion to choose remedies that would extend to the prescription of damages, public apologies, review of labor mistreatment, etc.


In Amarnath Sehgal vs. Union of Indians and Others, a landmark judgment that helped determine the course of moral rights in the country. In that case, the Court concluded that copyright consists of a set of rights which can be exploited by the author independently to benefit economically from the use of those rights.


One can protect one’s right as an artist by obtaining copyright registration certification for the work that has been created. Certification and registrations in turn serve as first-hand evidence in court whenever a dispute arises over copyright ownership.


Therefore, an artist should be aware of his rights made available under the Copyright Act, while the best way for an artist to protect his work is to register such work to avoid unwanted legal disputes. , mental agony, harassment and financial suffering associated with owning one’s own job.

Previous Extreme flooding in Europe 'up to nine times more likely' due to climate change | Smart News
Next Unable to clear his loans, a rickshaw driver sets his vehicle on fire in Hanamkonda