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Government Initiatives for IP Promotion

Ministry of Human Resoure Development

Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD)

Department of Secondary & Higher Education

Copyright Act

The Copyright Office under the Department of Secondary and Higher Education in the Ministry of Human Resource Development has taken several measures to strengthen the enforcement of copyright. These include setting up of Copyright Enforcement Advisory Council, organization of seminars/workshops to create greater awareness about copyright law among the enforcement personnel and the general public, setting up of collective administration societies and creation of separate cells in state police headquarters. The States and Union Territories of Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Orissa, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu have either set up copyright enforcement cells or special cells in the Crime Branch to look after copyright offence cases.

In order to facilitate proper coordination between the industry and the enforcement agencies in the matter of enforcement of copyright laws, the Ministry requested the State Governments to designate nodal officers. The States of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal and the Union Territories of Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep and Pondicherry have designated nodal officers.

The Copyright Enforcement Advisory Council (CEAC) was set up on November 6, 1991 to review the progress of enforcement of the Copyright Act periodically and to advise the government regarding measures for improving the enforcement of the Act. The term of Copyright Enforcement Advisory Committee is 3 years.The CEAC is reconstituted after perodically after expiry of the term.The current CEAC has been reconstituted on 22nd February,2005 for a period of 3 years.

The Copyright (Amendment) Act, 1994 provides for setting up separate Copyright Societies for different categories of works. So far four Copyright Societies have been registered: one each for cinematograph films (Society for Copyright Regulation of Indian Producers of Films and Television, SCRIPT), musical works (Indian Performing Right Society Limited, IPRS) and sound recordings (Phonographic Performance Limited, PPL) and the last one recently established is the Indian Reprographic Rights Organization (IRRO) for books/literature/artistic photocopy rights. These societies have been actively participating in generating awareness about Copyright and IPR issues. They also have set up their own Anti Piracy Cells which in collaboration with Police/Enforcement authorities have been actively engaged in curbing piracy in musical/sound recording works. Department of Secondary and Higher Education interacts frequently with these Copyright Societies and encourages them to be proactive in the field of Copyright Administration.

The Department implements a Scheme of Intellectual Property Education, Research and Public Outreach for effective implementation of the cause of promoting awareness/research on Copyright/IPRs and WTO matters. Under the Scheme, financial assistance is provided to UGC recognized universities, institutions affiliated to those universities, educational institutions, Copyright Societies and Registered voluntary organizations for creating general awareness by way of organizing seminars and workshops on Copyright matters and carrying out activities on IPR related matters.

The Copyright Act in India was enacted in the year 1957. It has been amended five times since then, once each in the years 1982, 1984, 1992, 1994 and 1999. Though the amendment in the year 1994 was quite comprehensive, only minor changes were introduced through the amendment made in the year 1999 to bring the Act in conformity with the TRIPS Agreement.

In order to keep pace with the developments at national and international level, particularly with the rapid advance of technology, it has become necessary to consider amendments to the Act once again. The Government of India has asked for suggestions from various individuals, stakeholders, experts and industries in the Copyright Act, to make it more effective and amendments to the Act are expected to be finalized shortly.

The Scientist, the Patent and the Mangoes - Tripling the Mango Yield in the Philippines

By Elizabeth March, WIPO Magazine Editorial Team** Source: WIPO Magazine Issue No. 6/2008 dated June 2008
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