Copyright law comprehends an intellectual property right granted by the government that gives the owner exclusive rights to use the original expressive work with some limited exceptions. Notable instances entitled to copyright protection include the original works of fictional writings, non-fictional writings, music, lyrics, architectural design, artistic works, paintings, and sculptures etc.
It is the right of literary property as recognized and sanctioned by a positive law, the Copyright Ordinance, 1962 as amended by Copyright (Amended) Act 1992. An intangible, incorporeal, right granted by these statutes to the author or originator of certain literacy or artistic productions, whereby he is invested for a limited period, with the sole and exclusive privilege of multiplying copies of the same and publishing and selling them.
Are you seeking a law firm that may efficiently protect your artistic work from potential or real threats? Our team of copyright lawyers and consultants in Pakistan possesses extensive experience in filing copyright application, registration and securing your copyrights in Pakistan.
COPYRIGHT PROTECTION IN PAKISTAN
Copyright protection subsists in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Works of authorship include following categories:
- Literary Works;
- Musical Works including any accompanying words;
- Dramatic Works, including any accompanying music;
- Pantomimes and choreographic works;
- Pictorial, Graphic, and Sculptural works;
- Motion pictures and other audio-visual works; and
- Sound recordings.
In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated or embodied in such work.
Common Law Copyright is that right which author has in his unpublished literary creations, a kind of property right whose extent is to give him control over first publication of his work or to prevent its publication.
Copyright, in a literary work may be infringed in several ways:
- By reprinting the whole work verbatim;
- By reprinting verbatim a part of it;
- By imitating the whole or part, or by reproducing the whole or part under abridged form;
- By reproducing the whole or part with colourable alternation;
- By converting it into a dramatic work;
- By making mechanical contrivance whereby it may be reproduced;
- By performing it in public; and
- By dealing with copies made or imported in contravention of Copyright Act.
Nothing can with greater propriety be called in man’s property then the fruit of his brain. The property in any article or substance accruing to him by virtue of his own mechanical labour is never denied to him, the labour of his mind is no less arduous and consequently no less worthy of the protection of the law. It has nevertheless been a matter of frequent controversy whether copyright is a natural right or one entirely dependent on statute.
If it is a natural right then the period of protection must be logically to have been unlimited.
KNOW YOUR LEGAL DEVICE
We deal in copyright registration, help in making agreements to get license, protect international copyright and infringement. Though frequently overlooked in the business world, copyright is an inexpensive, yet powerful, legal device. By protecting the expression of innovative ideas such as publications, computer applications, and designs, a strategic copyright program helps to ensure continued success for technology-based enterprises.
At ZA-LLP, our copyright attorneys have extensive experience in helping clients file for copyright protection, and work proactively to identify ownership issues before they arise. In addition to counseling our clients on the registration of original works of authorship, we can assist them in establishing systems for policing and enforcing their copyrights.
In this day and age, maintaining control of digital works can pose special challenges for businesses. Our attorneys have expertise in the applicability of copyright to digital mediums such as software, digitized text, and electronic databases, and can provide insight into how the law impacts high-technology companies.
SEEKING A RESPONSIVE COPYRIGHT LAW FIRM?
Our knowledgeable copyright attorneys have many years of pre-law industry experience, and can appreciate the sophistication of our clients’ technologies. The solid intellectual backbone of our firm allows us to cater to a wide range of electrical, chemical, mechanical, and biological arts. Representative technologies include communication systems and protocols, hybrid circuitry, power systems, integrated circuits, transducers, computer-implemented applications, quantum well devices, supercritical fluids, polymer compounds, textiles, and tools and related gadgetry.
In keeping with the firm’s core philosophy, our associates are dedicated to providing responsive and courteous service at all stages of copyright prosecution. We invite you to learn more about how our Law Firm can help safeguard your company’s valuable intellectual property assets.
COPYRIGHT PROTECTION UNDER COPYRIGHT ORDINANCE, 1962
DURATION OF COPYRIGHT
The period of copyright of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work (other than a photograph) is the life of the author and 50 years thereafter. In the case of a cinematographic work and a photograph, copyright subsists until 50 years from the beginning of the calendar year from publication of the work.
INFRINGEMENT OF COPYRIGHT
The act of copying of work, which is entitled to copyright protection, by any method, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device constitutes an infringement of the copyright in the work. Section 56 of the Ordinance provides that copyright in a work shall be deemed to be infringed in the following cases:
A. When any person without the consent of the owner of the copyright or without a licence granted by such owner or the Registrar under the Ordinance or in contravention of the conditions of a licence so granted or of any condition imposed by a competent authority under the Ordinance:
- Does anything the exclusive right to do which is by this Ordinance conferred upon the owner of the copyright; or
- Permits for profit any place to be used for the performance of the work in public where such performance constitutes an infringement of the copyright in the work unless he was not aware and had no reasonable ground for suspecting, that such performance would be an infringement of the copyright, or
When any person:
- Makes for sale or hire or sells or lets for hire, or by way of trade displays or offers for sale or hire, or
- Distributes either for the purpose of trade to such as extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright, or
- By way of trade exhibits in public, or
- Imports into Pakistan, any infringing copies of the work.
INFRINGEMENT OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMES
Pursuant to the restrictions imposed under Section 56 of the Ordinance, even the purchasers of computer programmes may not copy, adapt or make copies of adaption of the programmes in connection with their use by themselves or their employees. The unauthorized use of a computer programme in a computer is also infringement of the copyright. Accordingly, if a duplicate of a computer programme is acquired by someone who has no licence to use it, the copyright owner has the right to prevent him using it. Section 56 also restricts rental of computer programmes to un-authorised users. Intention to copy computer programmes is not an essential ingredient of infringement; nor is it essential that the copying be in the same medium. Thus, a computer programmme stored on diskettes (or any other magnetic media) can be infringed by copying the same on paper, or taking a print-out of the same.
LIABILITY FOR INFRINGEMENT
In the event of infringement, liability of infringement falls upon the person who, without the consent of the owner of the computer programme does any of the restricted acts; or authorizes any other person to do any such acts; or commits any acts of infringement.
REMEDIES FOR INFRINGEMENT
There are two remedies for breach of copyright in Pakistan; civil proceedings and criminal proceedings. Accordingly, a person whose copyright has been infringed is able to sue for damages, claim an injunction, an account of the profits gained by the defendants as a result of the infringement, delivery up of infringing articles etc. Recently added section 74(3) of the Ordinance provides that all offences under the Ordinance are cognizable and non-bailable. Section 59 of the Ordinance provides that an action may be brought by the original owner of the copyright, which, inter alia, include the person to whom an exclusive licence has been granted. Amended Section 65 of the Ordinance provides that every suit or other civil proceedings regarding infringement, at the discretion of the applicant, should be instituted and tried in the Court of the District Judge.
Section 66 of the Ordinance, as amended by the Amendment Act, provides that any person who knowingly infringes or abets the infringement of the copyright in a work (defined to include computer programmes), or any other right conferred by the Ordinance shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to 3 years, or with fine which may extent to one hundred thousand rupees (one US dollars nearly equals twenty five rupees), or with both. Additionally, Section 70B of the Ordinance provides that where any person convicted for an offence punishable under, inter alia, Section 66 is again convicted for the same offence, he shall in such event be imposed with a fine (beside the imprisonment which may extent to 3 years) up to rupees two hundred thousand.
Recently amended Section 74(1) of the Ordinance now gives additional powers to police to seize infringing copies of the work. The section empowers any police officer, if he is satisfied that an offence in respect of infringement in any work has been, is being, or is likely to be committed, to seize without warrant all copies of the work and all plates and recording equipments used for the purposes of making infringed copies of the work, wherever found, and all copies, plates and recording equipments so seized shall, as soon as possible, be produced before a Magistrate.
OFFENCES BY COMPANIES
Section 71 of the Ordinance provides that where an offence under the Ordinance is committed by a company, every person who at the time was in charge of, and was responsible to the company for the conduct of the business of the company as well as the company is deemed to be guilty of such offence and is liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly. Except in the circumstances, the accused proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence, he is deemed guilty.