Copyright law in special reference to the online platform [2020]


The new technology has expanded the significance of intellectual ideas and innovation. This new innovation might be in the field of Patent, exchange mark, Copyright, and so forth. At this point when we talk about copyright protection and copyright law, it comes in our brain that it is commonly utilized for unique artistic, melodic, sensational, or imaginative works. Be that as it may, the development of new innovation has offered to ascend new ideas like PC programs, database, designs, different layouts, and so forth.

So, it is exceptionally important to find out about copyright with respect to online programs/programming, system databases, and different work on the internet and know the Copyright law. Copyright law is the key issue in licensing intellectual rights in a systematic period[i].

Copyright law

This paper intends to show that business related to PC can be ensured under copyright law. While talking about the issue, this paper has been separated into three sections in view of different sorts of PC related works for example PC program, PC programming, PC databases, and the work of web.


A database is an assortment of information collected in a deliberate manner to consider the simple and effective recovery of data. It is a rule in an electronic form.

A database must be recognized from a database framework (in some cases known as a database executive’s framework) which is a product or system program which manages the database. This is a significant differentiation to remember while thinking about what is ensured in a database.

Computer database implies a portrayal of data, information, realities, ideas, or guidelines in text, picture, sound, a video that is being arranged or has been set up in a formalized way and has been created by a Computer, System framework, or System network.


A database can, for the most part, be taken to be just like an assortment of records, each of which contains at least one field (i.e., bits of information) about some substance (i.e., object), for example, an individual, association, city, item, show-stopper, formula, substance, or succession of DNA. For instance, the fields for a database that is about individuals who work for a particular organization may incorporate the name, representative ID number, address, phone number, date business, position, and compensation for every worker.


The term database is used to depict an accumulation of works, information, or other materials (for example assortment of realities) crafted in an orderly or by the consistent standardly precise way. At the end of the day, it is set up by the compiler.

On a fundamental level, the realities themselves cannot be ensured yet the request and association can, on the off chance that they show a specific degree of inventiveness with respect to the creator. When alluding to databases it is important to recognize, innovative databases on the grounds that each is managed under an alternate arrangement of lawful rules.

According to Lord Atkinson, for the resource of copyright, ‘it is fundamental work, ability and capital ought to be used adequately to give to the item some quality or character which the crude material doesn’t have and which separates the item from the material.

As referenced above, database alludes to an assortment of information, works, data or other free material orchestrated in a deliberate or precise manner following a few fundamental guidelines of assemblage; databases ought to be given copyright insurance regardless of whether they are the compilation of non-legitimate fills in as they are the aftereffect of expertise and work utilized by the creator in making the work.

For instance, a database of articles on ‘Indian Intellectual Property Laws‘ ought to be given copyright as it is a work that is the collection of works, aptitude, and capital utilized and judgment consumed in choosing and presenting the articles by the creator of the database. What’s more, in this manner, numerous nations have regarded databases as scholarly work and copyright insurance has been used to databases, if, they are original. The database has been given assurance under diverse Copyright Laws under exemplary and outstanding works.



Databases are ensured as collections or accumulations of scholarly and aesthetic works. The Indian Copyright Act or Copyright law, amended in 1994, gives an assurance to databases as ‘literary works’, which among others incorporate works, for example, PC programs, tables and arrangements, and PC databases (The Copyright Act, 1994).

It is the expertise, work, and judgment of the creator that is ensured, irrespective of the structure in which the item shows up. Indian Copyright Act, 1957 ensures “Databases” as ‘literary works under Section 13 (1) (a) of the Act which says that Copyright shall subsist through India in a unique scholarly, emotional, melodic and imaginative works.

The real meaning of the creative and specialized works which is characterized and explained under Section 2(o) of the Copyright Act, 1957 merely incorporates various PC programs, specific tables, and compilations of the needful which including systematic information basis.

Section 63(B) of the Indian Copyright Act or Copyright law provides that any individual who purposely makes use on a PC of an encroaching duplicate of computer programs will be culpable for a minimum time of 6 months and a maximum of three years in jail.

It is relevant to make references here that the Indian courts perceive copyright in databases. It has been held that the arrangement of a rundown of customers/clients created by an individual by committing time, money, work, and aptitude sums to “abstract work” wherein the creator has copyright under the Copyright Act or Copyright law. Accordingly, if any encroachment happens as for information bases, the re-appropriating guardian element may have a plan of action under the Copyright Act too.[ii]

The Information Technology Act, 2000 characterizes “Information” under Section 2(o) as a representation of data, information, realities, ideas or directions, which are being arranged or have been set up in a formalized way and is planned to be prepared.


It is being handled or has been prepared via a system, the system framework or system network might be in any structure (counting) system print outs, of attractive or optical capacity media, punched cards.

The term System Data Base has been characterized under the Indian Legal System without precedent for the data innovation Act, 2000 under Section 43 explanation (ii) as a representation of data, information, ideas or then again guidelines in text, pictures, sounds, video information being readied or have been set up in much more apt way or have been created by the system, the system framework or PC net-work are proposed for use in the computer, computer framework or computer network.


Section 43 of this Act is extremely vivid and wide as it covers the instances of ethical hacking out of the computer codes, system trespassing, accurate digital replication, the infringement of security, data theft, and identity theft, and so forth. Section 66 of the Act accommodates punitive liabilities to the individual, who with the intention to cause purposely that he is likely going to make wrong or misfortune or harm to the society or any individual, adjusts or ruins any data dwelling in the system assets or reduces its worth or utility or influences it, damaging using and all means, the term is popularly known as ‘hacking’ as per the Copyright law in India.



For a computer to initiate its working, it has to be specifically programmed, i.e. by giving a set of instructions in the form of language (Binary Language) that the computer system is able to understand. These programs are commonly referred to as “software“, and to distinguish them from “hardware” (the physical systematic objects that make up the computer system, such as microchips, processors, CPU, keyboard, etc.).

In this paper, the terms like “software” and “computer program” will be treated as words. Here are some examples of software:


  1. Operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, and Linux. The operating system is the computer program that organizes
  2. All of the other computer programs.
  3. The software in general, everyday use, such as Internet browsers, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, software for making presentations, etc.
  4. More specialized and advanced software, such as computer-aided design software, software for statisticians, software for accountants, etc.
  5. The software which makes the Internet work successfully, such as Web server software (whose role is to send Web pages to your Web browser on our demand)[iii]


As has been noted, there is a huge digital divide between the developed countries and the developing world currently. In this knowledge-based global economy of ours, computer and system technologies have become an essential requirement for accessing and using information, accelerating the fast-fledged technology transfer, and the impulsive boost for the growth of productivity. At the same time, computer software products are currently the most heavily protected and secured of all forms of knowledge-based products.

Under the TRIPS (Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement, computer programs now qualify for specific copyright protection just as any other literary work does, as well as for other forms of IP based protection, including by patent laws in some nations, such as the United States.

Developing countries, of course, have a wide range of requirements for special computer software applications in their industries, hospitals, schools, and government offices. But very commonly, they need affordable and just access to off-the-shelf business software packages, such as Microsoft Word processing, Excel spreadsheet, e-mails, and other Internet browsing products.


As the Internet is becoming more and more prevalent, the major need for copyright protection following Copyright law is also becoming a great necessity. Nowadays, copyright law has been adapted to protect and secure the Internet items, just as it was adapted through the previous years to protect various other new mediums and reforms.

It also protects the original work or work that is fixed in a tangible-like medium, meaning that it is either written, typed, or recorded. But as it was not designed specifically for the Internet platform, in some areas the copyright law on the Internet can be as clear as brown mud.

Internet facilities started in the United States approximately 30 years ago, in the government defense department as an acute transfer information tool during wartime. Initially, during (1950-1975), it was operating at a snail’s pace, and later with time, in 1983 internet came into its existence and replaced all of the above, and in this way, subsequently spreading across the globe. Now, it is known as a worldwide network of computers that share a common communication protocol with diversity and hence is independent of geographic location and the integration of the world’s global community.


In this essay, we are successful in concluding that how the countries have provided protection to the complex system of computer databases, software and mere programs, and the internet by amending and strengthen copyright laws.

But today, there are still yet many countries that still have to work faster to amend their copyright law as it is very essential as it acts as a shield cover of protection to various sources. The owners of the system and software have all been provided with the general rights available by the owners of the copyright system. These works include literary works, artistic works, cinematographic works, and so on.

The whole blueprint and foundation of the internet have tumbled down and improvised the Copyright law system, and this brings us to the question that is the whole deal with Copyrights shaken by the ongoing advancement of technology around us and is it really that effective in this current digital era. With all my research and knowledge gained, I am assured that the current Copyright laws do provide protection to copyright owners but it does have some drawbacks.

The issues of copyrights on people and their effect on civilization have been questioned. The boundless nature of the Internet era does seek a more effective and strong relationship with international organizations. Society as a whole should be very well educated on this issue of copyright law and its association to various online platforms. 


[i] “Copyright in the Digital World” ( (opens in a new tab)” rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow” class=”rank-math-link”><> accessed August 20, 2020

[ii] OECD, “CHAPTER 5. COPYRIGHT IN THE DIGITAL ERA: COUNTRY STUDIES” (2015) (opens in a new tab)” rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow” class=”rank-math-link”> <> accessed August 20, 2020

[iii] Rana L and Matthew M, “Internet Broadcasting And Section 31D Of Copyright Act 1957 – Intellectual Property – India” (, November 4, 2019)

Author: Rohit Raj Chittigala | College: Symbiosis Law School, Pune
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