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TRADITIONAL INDIAN ART
AND COPYRIGHT LAW
Nandita Saikia (@nsaikia)
PROPERTY LAWS GOVERNING ART
• Real Property
• Intellectual Property
• Geographical indications
• Designs
• Copyright via the 1957 Copyright Act
@nsaikia | Traditional Indian Art and Copyright 1
SCOPE: 1957 COPYRIGHT ACT
• The statute governs —
• Copyright in its entirety
• Neighbouring rights: performers’ rights & broadcast
reproduction rights
• Allied rights: moral rights & artists’ resale rights
• All of these rights interact with each other
@nsaikia | Traditional Indian Art and Copyright 2
WHAT COPYRIGHT PROTECTS
• The 1957 Copyright Act determines protectability considering —
• The nature of art, through fluid categories
• If statutory requirements for protection are met
• Western practices are privileged
• Authorship and genius
• Modes of creation: the artist v. the artisan
• Indigenous practices tend to be disadvantaged
@nsaikia | Traditional Indian Art and Copyright 3
SUBSISTENCE & OWNERSHIP
• Copyright comprises many separable rights
• No registration is required for copyright’s subsistence
• Copyright ownership is indicated by law
• Authors are usually the first owners of works they create
(although, sometimes, it’s producers, commissioners, or the
employers of authors who own copyright)
• Contracts can often override statutory assumptions
@nsaikia | Traditional Indian Art and Copyright 4
EXPLOITATION & INFRINGEMENT
• Unauthorised copyright exploitation is infringement
• Owners determine who can exploit copyright but for...
• Statutory and compulsory licences
• ‘Fair Use’ exceptions to infringement
• Public domain art can be exploited without concern for
copyright restrictions
@nsaikia | Traditional Indian Art and Copyright 5
PROTECTING THE ‘UNPROTECTABLE’
• Developing protective community and business practices
beyond the 1957 Copyright Act
• Bringing art within the statutory framework
• Creating documentation
• Dealing with orphan works
• Determining which mode of protection works best, if at all
@nsaikia | Traditional Indian Art and Copyright 6
TRADITIONAL INDIAN ART
AND COPYRIGHT LAW
Nandita Saikia (@nsaikia)

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Indian Art and Copyright Law

  • 1. TRADITIONAL INDIAN ART AND COPYRIGHT LAW Nandita Saikia (@nsaikia)
  • 2. PROPERTY LAWS GOVERNING ART • Real Property • Intellectual Property • Geographical indications • Designs • Copyright via the 1957 Copyright Act @nsaikia | Traditional Indian Art and Copyright 1
  • 3. SCOPE: 1957 COPYRIGHT ACT • The statute governs — • Copyright in its entirety • Neighbouring rights: performers’ rights & broadcast reproduction rights • Allied rights: moral rights & artists’ resale rights • All of these rights interact with each other @nsaikia | Traditional Indian Art and Copyright 2
  • 4. WHAT COPYRIGHT PROTECTS • The 1957 Copyright Act determines protectability considering — • The nature of art, through fluid categories • If statutory requirements for protection are met • Western practices are privileged • Authorship and genius • Modes of creation: the artist v. the artisan • Indigenous practices tend to be disadvantaged @nsaikia | Traditional Indian Art and Copyright 3
  • 5. SUBSISTENCE & OWNERSHIP • Copyright comprises many separable rights • No registration is required for copyright’s subsistence • Copyright ownership is indicated by law • Authors are usually the first owners of works they create (although, sometimes, it’s producers, commissioners, or the employers of authors who own copyright) • Contracts can often override statutory assumptions @nsaikia | Traditional Indian Art and Copyright 4
  • 6. EXPLOITATION & INFRINGEMENT • Unauthorised copyright exploitation is infringement • Owners determine who can exploit copyright but for... • Statutory and compulsory licences • ‘Fair Use’ exceptions to infringement • Public domain art can be exploited without concern for copyright restrictions @nsaikia | Traditional Indian Art and Copyright 5
  • 7. PROTECTING THE ‘UNPROTECTABLE’ • Developing protective community and business practices beyond the 1957 Copyright Act • Bringing art within the statutory framework • Creating documentation • Dealing with orphan works • Determining which mode of protection works best, if at all @nsaikia | Traditional Indian Art and Copyright 6
  • 8. TRADITIONAL INDIAN ART AND COPYRIGHT LAW Nandita Saikia (@nsaikia)