Who is an ‘author’?
Section 2 (d) of the Copyright Act, 1957 defines as to the meaning of the term ‘author’. It states, "author" means:
in relation to a literary or dramatic work, the author of work;
in relation to musical work, the composer;
in relation to an artistic work other than a photograph, the artist;
in relation to a photograph, the person taking the photograph;
in relation to a cinematographic film or sound recording, the producer; &
in relation to any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work which is computer generated, the person who causes the work to be created.
The act provides an inclusive definition to the term ‘literary work’. As per section 13 (1) (a) of the act, it includes tables & compilations.
As was observed in a famous case1 ‘literary work’ cover work which is expressed in print or writing, irrespective of the question whether the quality of style is high.
The author to own property in a literary work, has to prove the ‘originality’ in the work. In case of copyrights, the degree of ‘originality’ required is ‘low’. What is required to be original, is not the idea but the expression of the inventive idea or thought. The thought may not be original or novel.
Section 51 if the Copyright Act, 1957, describes ‘when a copyright is said to be infringed’. Infringement may be through direct or indirect use of the copyrighted work. No ‘intention’ to infringe is to be proved against the copier. Therefore not the intention or motive but only the fact of infringement of a work is enough to attach liability on the wrongdoer.