Strict enforcement of copyright law stressed

Concerned over rampant copyright infringement, the Copyright Enforcement Wing (CEW) has sought the strict enforcement of Copyright Act, in an effort to protect the work and financial lifeline of authors, artists and musicians in the country.

Addressing reporters here on Friday, the nodal officer of the CEW, Partha S Chakraborty, said the State government had already sent a circular to all deputy commissioners and superintendents of police, asking them to enforce the Act and review the status of violations at their monthly meetings. “However, implementation of the direction has been very poor,” Chakraborty admitted.

The violations involve more than mere online sharing and piracy. According to Chakraborty, organisers of big or small-scale events in major hotels and other prestigious establishments are required to procure a separate Public Performance Licence prior to the date of every event, in order to comply with the Copyright Law. Many, however, have been lax. “Failure to procure the licence may lead both the event management company as well as the premise owners where the event is organised into legal hassles,” he added.

A violation of Copyright Act is a cognisable, non-bailable offence and it attracts a heavy penalty of up to Rs two lakh in fines and three years imprisonment.

Media assistance

The CEW has also sought the assistance of the media in spreading awareness among the public about the importance of the Act. “There is a scope of generating about
Rs 50 crore from copyright licences, but ironically less than five per cent of the target amount has been achieved. Licence fee ranges from Rs 500 to Rs  50,000 per annum from each licencee,” Chakraborty said.

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