Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021 notified; Amendments will bring the existing rules in parity with other relevant legislations; New rules will encourage accountability and transparency

The Government of India has notified Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021 vide Gazette notification under reference G.S.R. 225(E) dated 30th March, 2021. In India, the copyright regime is governed by the Copyright Act, 1957 and the Copyright Rules, 2013. The Copyright Rules, 2013 were last amended in the year 2016.

The amendments have been introduced with the objective of bringing the existing rules in parity with other relevant legislations. It aims to ensure smooth and flawless compliance in the light of the technological advancement in digital era by adopting electronic means as primary mode of communication and working in the Copyright Office. A new provision regarding publication of a copyrights journal has been incorporated, thereby eliminating the requirement of publication in the Official Gazette. The said journal would be available at the website of the Copyright Office.

In order to encourage accountability and transparency, new provisions have been introduced, to deal with the undistributed royalty amounts and use of electronic and traceable payment methods while collection and distribution of royalties. To reinforce transparency in working of copyright societies a new rule has been introduced, whereby the copyright societies will be required to draw up and make public an Annual Transparency Report for each financial year.

The amendments have harmonised the Copyright Rules with the provisions of Finance Act, 2017 whereby the Copyright Board has been merged with Appellate Board.

The compliance requirements for registration of software works have been largely reduced, as now the applicant has the liberty to file the 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.

The time limit for the Central Government to respond to an application made before it for registration as a copyright society is extended to one hundred and eighty days, so that the application can be more comprehensively examined.

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MINISTRY OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
(Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade)
NOTIFICATION
New Delhi, the 30th March, 2021

G.S.R 225(E).—In exercise of the powers conferred by section 78 of the Copyright Act, 1957 (14 of 1957), the Central Government hereby makes the following rules, further to amend the Copyright Rules, 2013, namely :-

1. Short title and commencement. – (1) These rules may be called the Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021.

(2) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.

2. In the Copyright Rules, 2013 (herein after referred to as the principal rules) in rule 2, in sub-rule (1),-

(i) in clause (b) for the words “a Copyright Board as defined in sub-section (1) of ” the words “the Appellate Board as provided in” shall be substituted;

(ii) after clause (d), the following shall be inserted, namely: –

“(da) “journal” means the Copyright Journal, made available at the official website of the Copyright
Office;”.

3. In the principal rules, in Chapter II, for the title “THE COPYRIGHT BOARD” the title “THE APPELLATE BOARD” shall be substituted.

4. In the principal rules, for the rule 3, the following rule shall be substituted, namely:-

“3. Appellate Board.–The Chairman and other members of the Board shall be appointed as per the provisions of the Trade Marks Act, 1999;

Provided that the Technical Member of the Board for the purposes of the Act shall have the qualifications as specified in the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2020”.

5. In the principal rules, in rule 7,-

(i) in sub-rule(1), after the words “the owner of the copyright”, the words “through electronic means or” shall be inserted;

(ii) in sub-rule (5), for the words “notified in the Official Gazette”, the words “published in journal” shall be substituted.

6. In the principal rules, in rule 11,-

(i) in sub rule (4), for the words “Register of Copyrights”, the words “Registrar of Copyrights” shall be substituted;

(ii) in sub-rule (6), for the words “notified in the Official Gazette and”, the words “published in journal” shall be substituted.

7. In the principal rules, in rule 16, for the words “if decides to make a request”, the words “as required” shall be substituted.

8. In the principal rules, in rule 18,-

(i) in sub-rule (1), after the words “shall be served” on both places where they occur, the words “through electronic means or” shall be inserted;

(ii) in sub-rule (5), for the words “notified in the Official Gazette”, the words “published in journal” shall be substituted.

9. In the principal rules, in rule 19, for the words “Copyright Board”, on both the places where they
occur, the word “Board” shall be substituted.

10. In the principal rules, in rule 23, in sub-rule (1), in second proviso, for the words “Official Gazette”, the word “journal” shall be substituted.

11. In the principal rules, in rule 27, in sub-rule (2), for the words “Official Gazette”, the word “journal” shall be substituted.

12. In the principal rules, in rule 29, in sub-rule(1),in the last proviso, for the words “Official Gazette”, the word “journal” shall be substituted.

13. In the principal rules, in rule 31,-

(i) In sub-rule(1), the words “immediately after its constitution” shall be omitted;

(ii) in sub rule (2), for the words “Official Gazette”, the word “journal” shall be substituted;

(iii) in sub-rule (3), for the words “public notice”, the words “such notice” shall be substituted.

14. In the principal rules, in rule 33, in sub-rule(1), for the words “Official Gazette”, the word “journal” shall be substituted.

15. In the principal rules, in rule 34,-

(i) in sub-rule(1), for the words “Official Gazette”, the word “journal” shall be substituted;

(ii) in sub-rule (3), for the words “Official Gazette”, the word “journal” shall be substituted;

(iii) in sub-rule (6), for the words “notified in the Official Gazette” the words “published in journal” shall be substituted.

16. In the principal rules, in rule 39,-

(i) in sub-rule(1), after the words “application shall be served”, the words “through electronic means or” shall be inserted;

(ii) in sub-rule (5), for the words “notified in the Official Gazette”, the words “published in journal” shall be substituted.

17 In the principal rules, in rule 49, in sub-rule (1),for the words “sixty days”, the word “one hundred and eighty days” shall be substituted.

18. In the principal rules, in rule 50, in sub-rule(2),in clause(a), the words “not below the rank of Deputy Secretary to the Government of India” shall be omitted.

19. In the principal rules, in rule 55,-

(i) in sub-rule(2), for the words and figures, “rule 71” the words and figures “rule 67” shall be substituted;

(ii) after sub-rule (2),the following sub-rule shall be inserted, namely:-

“(3) The copyright society in relation to collection of royalty under sub-rule (1) and distribution of royalty under sub-rule (2) of this rule, shall create a system of payment through electronic modes and shall establish a system through which the payments so made are traceable.”

20. In the principal rules, in rule 56, in sub-rule(1), after the word “frame” the words “and publish” shall be inserted.

21. In the principal rules, in rule 58, after sub-rule(10), the following sub-rules shall be inserted, namely: –

“(11) A copyright society must ensure that where the royalty cannot be distributed within the time specified in sub-rule (8) as the relevant author or other owner could not be identified or located; such royalties are kept separate in the accounts of the copyright society.

(12) A copyright society must take all necessary measures to identify and locate the authors and other
owners and must publish on its website, at the end of every quarter, the following information:

(a) the title of the work;

(b) the name of the author and other right owners of the work, as available; and

(c) any other relevant information available which could assist in identifying the right holder.

(13) In case the royalty due to author and other owners remains undistributed at the end of the period of three years from the end of the financial year in which collection of the royalty occurred, the copyright society shall transfer such amount to the welfare fund of the copyright society.

22. In the principal rules, in rule 59, for sub-rule (7), the following sub-rule shall be substituted, namely: –

“(7) The Chairman and other members of the Governing Council shall be elected for a term of two years
and shall be eligible for re-election”.

23. In the principal rules, in rule 62, after clause (viii), the following new clause shall be inserted, namely:–

“(ix) The annual transparency report as provided under rule 65A”.

24. In the principal rules, in rule 64, after the words “maintain the following registers” the words “in physical or digital format,” shall be inserted.

25. In the principal rules,-

(i) in rule 65, after clause(vii),the following new clause shall be inserted, namely:–

“(viii) The annual transparency report as provided under Rule 65 A.”;

(ii) after rule 65, the following new rule shall be inserted, namely:

“65A. Annual transparency report. —(1) The copyright society must draw up and make public a special report to be referred to as the annual transparency report for each financial year within six months following the end of that financial year. The copyright society shall publish on its website the annual transparency report and ensure that the annual transparency report remains available on its website for at least three years.

(2) The annual transparency report must contain the following information, namely:—

(a) report on the activities in the financial year;

(b) number of refusals to grant a licence;

(c) financial information on total royalties collected;

(d) the total royalties paid to author and other owners;

(e) the total royalties collected but not yet attributed to author and other owners;

(f) the total administrative deductions made from royalty collected;

(g) the details and use of the amounts deducted for the activities conducted under the welfare scheme as provided under rule 67; and

(h) Information on amounts received from and paid to the foreign societies or organisation”.

26. In the principal rules, in rule 66, in sub-rule (1),after clause(l), the following new clauses shall be
inserted, namely:–

“(m) the facility to search from the database of works forming part of the repertoire of the copyright
society;

(n) the annual transparency report as approved by the General Body; and

(o) the details of the undistributed royalties on account of the work belonging to authors and other owners who could not be identified or located”.

27. In the principal rules, in rule 69, in sub-rule (1),-

(i) for the words, “physical and electronic”, the words “physical or electronic” shall be substituted;

(ii) in Part VI, the words “tables and compilations including computer databases” shall be omitted.

28. In the principal rules, in rule 70, in sub-rule(5), for the words “the source and object code”, the words “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”, shall be substituted.

29. In the principal rules, in rule 72,-

(i) in sub-rule(1), for the words “both in physical and electronic”, the word “in physical or electronic” shall be substituted;

(ii) sub-rule (2) shall be omitted.

30. In the principal rules, CHAPTER XVI, shall be omitted.

31. In the principal rules, for rule 82, the following rule shall be substituted, namely:-

“82. Mode of Communication by the Copyright Office, etc.— Every written intimation from the Board, the Copyright Office or the Registrar of Copyrights shall be deemed to have been duly communicated to any person if such intimation is sent to the known address of such person through electronic means or by registered post.”

32. In the principal rules, for rule 83 the following rule shall be substituted, namely:-

“83. Fees.- (1) The fees to be paid in respect of applications or any other matters under the Act and the rules shall be those as specified in the Second Schedule.

(2) Where in respect of any matter, a fee is required to be paid under the rules, the form or the application or the request of the petition thereof, it shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

(3) Fees may be paid electronically or by demand draft or Banker’s Cheque in favour of the Registrar of Copyrights drawn on a scheduled bank at New Delhi.

(4) Where a fee is payable in respect of filing of a document and where the document is filed without such fee or with insufficient fee, such document shall be deemed not to have been filed for the purposes of any proceedings under these rules.

(5) No fee is required to be paid for taking extracts from Register of Copyrights or indexes for official purposes by the Central Government or the State Government.

33. In the principal rules, in the First Schedule,-

(i) in FORMS II, III, V, VI and VII,-

(a) the words and punctuation “Registrar of Copyrights/”, wherever they occur, shall be omitted;

(b) for the words “Copyright Board” wherever they occur, the words “Appellate Board” shall be substituted;

(c) the words “Copyright Office” wherever they occur, shall be omitted;

(ii) in Form XIV, for the words and figures “the Copyright Rules, 2012”, the words and figures, “the
Copyright Rules, 2013”, shall be substituted.

34. In the principal rules, in SECOND SCHEDULE, in serial number 9, in clause (b),-

(i) the word “Literary or” shall be omitted;

(ii) after the word “goods”, the words “or services” shall be inserted.

35. In the principal rules, in SECOND SCHEDULE, in serial number 10, in clause (b),-

(i) the word “Literary or” shall be omitted;

(ii) after the word “goods”, the words “or services” shall be inserted.

36. In the principal rules, in SECOND SCHEDULE, serial number 19 and the entries relating thereto
shall be omitted.

[F.No. P-24029/62/2020-IPR-VII]
SHAILENDRA SINGH, Addl. Secy.

Note: The principal rules were published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, section 3, sub-section(i) vide notification number G.S.R. 172(E), dated the 14th March, 2013 and last amended vide notification number G.S.R. 788(E),dated the 10th August, 2016.

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