Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021 notification issued


Elisha Vaswani

Government of India releases a fresh set of amendments vide Gazette notification under reference G.S.R. 225(E) dated 30th March, 2021. The domain of copyright is mainly governed by the Copyright Act, 1957 and the Copyright Rules, 2013 are of ancillary nature.

The Copyright Rules underwent an amendment previously in the year of 2016 and have remained untouched since then.

Prime objective of this neoteric amendment is to ensure harmony between the existing rules and other material legislations.

It seeks to provide for a plain sailing and meticulous implementation, bearing in mind the technological expansion which makes adoptions of electronic modes of communication not only convenient but also inevitable.

This introduces a novel provision of publication of a “copyright journal” which consequently eliminates the need of publication in the Official Gazette. The journal would be accessible via the website of the Copyright Office.

With a view to promote accountability and transparency, provisions have been included to monitor and deal with the undistributed royalty amounts and use of electronic and traceable payment methods while collection and distribution of royalties.

The amendments have successfully synchronized the Copyright Rules with the aspects of Finance Act, 2017 whereby the Copyright Board has been merged with Appellate Board.

There is a significant change brought about with respect to compliance requirements for registration of software.

It has been drastically reduced, the applicant would now possess has the liberty to file the first 10 and last 10 pages of source code, or the complete source code if it does not exceed 20 pages, without any blocked out or redacted segments.

The time limit for the Central Government to respond to an application made before it for registration as a copyright society has been further extended to 180 days, which would allow for a more comprehensive examination of the application.

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