The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has issued a notification on 30 March 2021 to amend the Copyright Rules, 2013. It may be noted that many of the changes now notified were earlier published for public comments in May 2019 through the Draft Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2019. Some of the changes are listed below.
- Electronic means of communication has now been deemed as a communication of the written intimation from the Copyright office and the Registrar of Copyrights.
- Application for copyright registration of computer programme now must accompany only ‘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’. Hitherto, the provision provided for submission of source code and object code. Effectively, the entire source code need not accompany the registration application now if the code is more than 20 pages.
- Copyright societies to make public an annual transparency report. This report is to be presented in the annual General Body meeting, filed with the Registrar and published on the website of the society. New Rule 65A contains the list of 8 types of information that this report must contain.
- Copyright societies need to create a system of payment (for collection and distribution of royalty) through electronic modes and need to establish a system through which the payments so made are traceable.
- Royalties which could not be distributed within specified time are to be kept separate in accounts of copyright societies while the societies must take all necessary measures to identify and locate the authors. Royalties remaining undistributed to be transferred to the welfare fund of the copyright society after specified time period.
- Words ‘Official Gazette’ has been substituted at many places with the word ‘journal’. Effectively, the notifications now need not be published in the Official Gazette and will be published in the Copyright Journal which will be made available at the official website of the Copyright Office.
- Interestingly, the latest amendments substitute the ‘Copyright Board’ with ‘Appellate Board’, while the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has been abolished within 5 days of the amendments, thus rendering the specified amendments otiose.