What happens when one doesn't have a license ?

Copyright infringement or usage of any type of content without a license from the copyright owner has serious economic & legal implications for any individual/organization/entity. In other words the concerned individual/organization/entity may not only be required to pay a hefty fine in case of copyright infringement but also undergo serious criminal prosecution in courts of law.

Under ‘CHAPTER XIII’ (Offences) of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957, following are some of the highlights of the negative implications of copyright infringement (but not limiting to):

Excerpts from the Copyright Act

·Section 63(Offence of infringement of copyright) - Any person who knowingly infringes or abets the infringement of - (a) the copyright in a work (b) any other right conferred by this Act, except the right conferred by section 53A shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to three years and with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees

·Section 63A (Enhanced penalty on second and subsequent convictions) - Whoever having already been convicted of an offence under section 63 is again convicted of any such offence shall be punishable for the second and for every subsequent offence, with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to three years and with fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees

·Section 64 (Power of police to seize infringing copies) - Any police officer, not below the rank of a sub-inspector, may, if he is satisfied that an offence under section 63 in respect of the infringement of copyright in any work has been, is being, or is likely to be, committed, seize without warrant, all copies of the work, and all plates used for the purpose of making infringing copies of the work, wherever found, and all copies and plates so seized shall, as soon as practicable, be produced before a Magistrate

·Section 65B (Protection of Rights Management Information) - Any person, who knowingly,—(i) removes or alters any rights management information without authority, or (ii) distributes, imports for distribution, broadcasts or communicates to the public, without authority, copies of any work, or performance knowing that electronic rights management information has been removed or altered without authority, shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine

·Section 69 (Offences by companies) - Where any offence under this Act has been committed by a company, every person who at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to the company for, the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company shall be deemed to be guilty of such offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

·Apart from the Copyright Act, any person who uses/exploits the contents without obtaining license from Shemaroo, such person may be prosecuted under several sections of Indian Penal code such as receiving, retaining and exploiting stolen property, cheating, dishonestly making wrongful gain for himself and causing wrongful losses to Shemaroo and may be punished for such offences by Hon'ble court on evidence. It is always to be remembered that "copyrights" are held as property of owner/right holder of copyright.

·The only exclusions are provided in Section 52 of the Copyright Act.

The above mentioned pointers are only some of the implications. Hence it is mandatory for an individual / organization / entity to acquire the license of any content from the content owner or copyright owner in case the content is to be used.

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