“Piracy is not the problem, obscurity is.”
‘Copy and paste’ has become an anthem for the completion of projects and assignments in schools and colleges. Not only at the lower level has the duplication process taken place but also in the upper layers where the content is out there in the public. Since facts cannot be patented, it gives a wide open opportunity to copy or rather ‘steal’ to be more specific from the information available on the web. The basic knowledge of originality lacks in every place where individuals, institutions or groups think that they can steal a particular piece of work or invention. The importance of some words such as ‘patent’, ‘copyright’ or ‘trademark’ should be very vital in one’s perception.
The word piracy can be traced back to the age of conquerors where there was an existence of pirates who specialized in decoity, counterfeiting, criminal violence, looting and much more achievements travelling through the sea routes. Back from the past adventures, piracy in 21st century is what we call as online piracy.
This online piracy is the practice of selling copyrighted material without the permission of the creator or the owner of the product. There are different types of online piracies on which each act falls upon. They are:
1. Soft-lifting: The most common and widely performed piracy is software piracy. Here, this means that there is a registered legal owner of the software but the users of the content are way more. When someone purchases the genuine software whereas some other people illegally use that software by copying or downloading the software to their respective mode of computer.
For example, it is the money saving act of people from teenagers to any age, eventually make them borrow the software from someone and install a copy of that on their computers which rises to soft-lifting which is a piracy type.
2. Hard-disk loading: Again, this is one of the most common type of software piracy which mainly takes place in PC shops that results in selling or buying the software and hardware as well. The shop owner obviously purchases a legal copy of the software and duplicates its copies in multiple computers by installing it as the original one. Almost all the time customers/PC users are unaware of the fact that these software can be fake and they get the pirated version of the software in the original price or less than the original price. It is also known as commercial software piracy.
3. Counterfeiting: In counterfeiting is the process of duplicating the genuine or the legal programs topped up with the appearance of authenticity. Then these duplicated software are sold out at less costing or the same costing.
4. Client-Server overuse: In this type of piracy, more and more replicas of the software are installed surpassing the limit of downloads by a user. And then in local business sectors these are used in related tasks and install the software in all the computers for use by a number of employees which is an unauthorized and malpractice of the original piece in the local areas around.
5. Online Piracy: Online piracy is the process and the final action of purchasing the illegal software from online auction sites and blogs which is mainly achieved with the help of P2P (Peer to Peer) file-sharing system. Since it is obtained through the Internet, therefore it is often referred to as Internet Piracy.
PIRACY AND ENTERTAINMENT
The world of glitz and glamour is often accused of many things. One of the concerning issues which is and will continue to come up is the system of movie piracy. This is a system because of the chain reaction lingering in the web throughout. The movie piracy is mostly found on these certain websites which get hold of the original content and as hosts they upload the files in a downloadable format so that the public can get access to the same. Previously only blockbuster movies had the whole area to themselves but now web series have also made their space in between.
LAWS IN INDIA
The essence of copyright and its infringement is carried forward by the Copyright Act, 1957 and Information Technology Act, 2000. With the rapidly growing economies and modernizing societies, the world is stepping in the arena of internet and artificial intelligence which will eventually be the new normal, therefore it has become very important for the lawmakers to move forward and bring about certain updates in the form of amendments.
The Copyright Act, 1957 was amended in 2012 which forms a canopy on the creators. In the new amendment, Section 65A and 65B protect the interests of the creators.
"65A. (1) any person who circumvents an effective technological measure applied for the purpose of protecting any of the rights conferred by this Act, with the
Intention of infringing such rights shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.
(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall prevent any person from-
(a) Doing anything referred to therein for ·a purpose not expressly prohibited by this Act:
Provided that any person facilitating circumvention by another person of a technological measure for such a purpose shall maintain a complete record of such other person including his name, address and all relevant particulars necessary to identifY him and the purpose for which he has been facilitated; or
(b) Doing anything necessary to conduct encryption research using a lawfully obtained encrypted copy; or
(c) Conducting any lawful investigation; or
(d) Doing anything necessary for the purpose of testing the security of a computer system or a computer network with the authorization of its owner; or
(e) Operator; or
(f) Doing anything necessary to circumvent technological measures intended for identification or surveillance of a user; or
(g) Taking measures necessary in the interest of national security. 65B.Any person, who knowingly- Protection of Rights
(i) Removes or alters any rights management information without Management authority, or Information.
(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."
Another backup is maintained by the Information Technology Act, 2000 where Section 66 says:
"66. Computer related offences.–If any person, dishonestly or fraudulently, does any act referred to in section 43, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees or with both."
Though there are laws which protect the interests of the creators but those are not enough for the upcoming era of the web. And since this whole process of cyber crimes and its implementation is a new fruit in the basket, therefore it will take a while for the lawmakers and torchbearers to apply it. And as a result of the fresh entry, many explanations and concepts are in blind side.
In the case of “UTV Software Communication Ltd. & Ors Vs 1337x. To. & Ors”, the Delhi Court bench through MANMOHAN SINGH, J, held the following:
"The Court concluded the Defendant Websites were rogue websites.
1. The court observed that the act would amount to infringement under section 51(a)(i) of the Copyright Act, if the publication has been made without authorization and in the present case the publication made on the website of the Defendant is made without any license and authorization and hence was considered in violation of the said provision.
2. The Court held that a blocking injunction order against the entire website is permissible however, in doing so; courts must be guided by proportionality. The onus is on the right holders to prove to the Court’s satisfaction that each website which is sought to be blocked is a ‘rogue website’, primarily engaged in facilitating the widespread copyright infringement.
3. The Court granted a permanent injunction in favour of the Plaintiff, along with awarding the cost of the litigation.
4. The court further recommended that DoT and MeITY should frame a policy to issue warnings to the consumers watching infringing content. In the event that viewers continue to watch the infringing content, then fines may be levied against such viewers."
The intangible space needs a lot of exploration and changes to be applied in the real stage. The laws may be not enough but it can be improved through some suggestions. Internationally binding treaties can be created regarding piracy and can be made uniform throughout as much as possible to set laws. The concept of license could be introduced so that the access in the servers is safe. The states in our country can establish uniformity among themselves as well and thus creating a set of domestic laws. The most important aspect would be the liability of the offence committed. It becomes very toilsome in several cases where the source and liability is difficult to put on. Therefore, there is an urgent need of laws which have clarity to cover up the whole scenario.
The world of the internet might have conquered the lives of human beings but now it is becoming more of a curse than a blessing. The real challenge for all of us will be the rate of coping with the new explorations and their consequences. The government is trying every possible way to keep up with the surroundings. Digital rights management provisions and John Doe orders with other new aspects are being considered by the government.
It has reached the critical stage where education, awareness and precautions should be at par with one another for every living human being. The knowledge of the laws and being active about it can gradually cool down the array of problems. Since the entire fuss can not be ended once and for all, therefore, the mischief can be suppressed to reduce the loss as much as possible.
 UTV Software Communication Ltd. & Ors Vs 1337x. To. & Ors.
Citation: 2019 SCC OnLine Del 8002
● Copyright Act, 1957 and Copyright Act, 2012.
● Information and Technology Act, 2000.
● UTV Software Communication Ltd. & Ors Vs 1337x. To. & Ors.
● IPR and Digital Piracy: A Lost Cause By India Legal
● Types of Piracy
● Combating Copyright Online Piracy in India: Government’s Initiatives and Judicial Enforcement
● James T. C(1998), “The Internet As A Challenge For Intellectual Property Protection: An Indian Perspective”