The Copyright Act, 1957
by the Parliament of India

The Copyright Act was based on the Copyright Act of 1914, framed by the British during the Colonial rule and also borrowed extensively from the 1956 Copyright Act of the United Kingdom.


No. 14 of 1957





  1. Short title, extent and commencement.
  2. Interpretation.
  3. Meaning of publication.
  4. When work not deemed to be published or performed in public.
  5. When work deemed to be first published in India.
  6. Certain disputes to be decided by Copyright Board.
  7. Nationality of author where the making of unpublished work is extended over considerable period.
  8. Domicile of corporations.

    Copyright Office and Copyright Board

  9. Copyright Office.
  10. Registrar and Deputy Registrars of Copyrights.
  11. Copyright Board.
  12. Powers and procedure of Copyright Board.



  13. Works in which copyright subsists.
  14. Meaning of copyright.
  15. Special provision regarding copyright in designs registered or capable of being registered under the Indian Patents and Designs Act, 1911.
  16. No copyright except as provided in this Act.

    Ownership of copyright and the rights of the owner


  17. First owner of copyright.
  18. Assignment of copyright.
  19. Mode of assignment.
  20. Transmission of copyright in manuscript by testamentary disposition.
  21. Right of author to relinquish copyright.

    Term of copyright

  22. Term of copyright in published literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works.
  23. Term of copyright in anonymous and pseudonymous works.
  24. Term of copyright in posthumous work.
  25. Term of copyright in photographs.
  26. Term of copyright in cinematograph films.
  27. Term of copyright in records.
  28. Term of copyright in Government works.
  29. Terms of copyright in works of international organisations.


  30. Licences by owners of copyright.
  31. Compulsory licence in works withheld from public.
  32. Licence to produce and publish translations.

    Performing rights societies

  33. Performing rights society to file statements of fees, charges and royalties.
  34. Objections relating to published statements.
  35. Determination of objections.
  36. Existing rights not affected.

    Rights of Broadcasting authorities

  37. Broadcast reproduction right.
  38. Other provisions of this Act to apply to broadcast reproduction rights.
  39. Other rights not affected.

    International copyright


  40. Power to extend copyright to foreign works.
  41. Provisions as to works of certain international organisations.
  42. Power to restrict rights in works of foreign authors first published in India.
  43. Orders under this Chapter to be laid before Parliament.

    Registration of copyright

  44. Register of Copyrights.
  45. Entries in Register of Copyrights.
  46. Indexes.
  47. Form and inspection of register.
  48. Register of Copyrights to be prima facie evidence of particulars entered therein.
  49. Correction of entries in the Register of Copyrights.
  50. Rectification of Register by Copyright Board.

    Infringement of copyright

  51. When copyright infringed.
  52. Certain acts not to be infringement of copyright.
  53. Importation of infringing copies.

    Civil remedies

  54. Definition.
  55. Civil remedies for infringement of copyright.
  56. Protection of separate rights.
  57. Author's special rights.
  58. Rights of owner against persons possessing or dealing with infringing copies.
  59. Restriction on remedies in the case of works of architecture.
  60. Remedy in the case of groundless threat of legal proceedings.
  61. Owner of copyright to be party to the proceeding.
  62. Jurisdiction of court over matters arising under this Chapter.



  63. Offence of infringement of copyright or other rights conferred by this Act.
  64. Power of police size infringing copies.
  65. Possession of plates for purpose of making infringing copies.
  66. Disposal of infringing copies or plates for purpose of making infringing copies.
  67. Penalty for making false entries in register, etc., for producing or tendering false entries.
  68. Penalty for making false statements for the purpose of deceiving or influencing any authority or officer.
  69. Offences by companies.
  70. Cognizance of offences.


  71. Appeals against certain orders of magistrate.
  72. Appeals against orders of Registrar of Copyrights and Copyright Board.
  73. Procedure for appeals.


  74. Registrar of Copyrights and Copyright Board to possess certain powers of civil courts.
  75. Orders for payment of money passed by Registrar of Copyrights and Copyright Board to be executable as a decree.
  76. Protection of action taken in good faith.
  77. Certain persons to be public servants.
  78. Power to make rules.
  79. Repeals, savings, and transitional provisions.

This work is the work of Government of India. Section 52(1)(q) of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 allows for the reproduction or publication of

  • any matter which has been published in any Official Gazette except an Act of a Legislature;
  • any Act of a Legislature subject to the condition that such Act is reproduced or published together with any commentary thereon or any other original matter;
  • the report of any committee, commission, council, board or other like body appointed by the government if such report has been laid on the Table of the Legislature, unless the reproduction or publication of such report is prohibited by the government;
  • any judgement or order of a court, Tribunal or other judicial authority, unless the reproduction or publication of such judgement or order is prohibited by the court, the Tribunal or other judicial authority, as the case may be.

The decision of the Supreme Court of India in "Eastern Book Company & Ors vs D.B. Modak & Anr" on 12 December, 2007 interpreted this section of the Act as making the material public domain.

This work is also in the public domain in the U.S. because it is an edict of a government, local or foreign. See § 313.6(C)(2) of the Compendium II: Copyright Office Practices. Such documents include "legislative enactments, judicial decisions, administrative rulings, public ordinances, or similar types of official legal materials" as well as "any translation prepared by a government employee acting within the course of his or her official duties."

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