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No Infringement U/S 51 If Person Holds Certificate By Registrar Or License By Owner: Gujarat High Court

The Gujarat High Court in the case of MAHESHBHAI KANBHAI HARIBHAI SOJITRA  v/s STATE OF GUJARAT led by the single bench of, Justice Niral Mehta has recently explained that when a person uses without the permission of the license owner or the Registrar, any product, it amounts to an infringement of copyright as under Section 51 of the Act. However, when the person is holding a certificate issued by the Registrar of Copyright, no infringement is committed.

 

FACTS

The Bench comprising Justice Niral Mehta was hearing an application challenging the FIR. It was averred that the FIR was an ‘abuse of process of law’ and filed with a view to oust the Applicant from the business. Further, u/s 51, if any person without a license granted by the owner of the copyright or the Registrar does anything, it would amount to a infringement. However, in the instant case, the Applicant had been issued certificates by the Registrar of Copyright and therefore, according to him, there was no infringement. Additionally, the police officers had invoked Section 64 of the Copyright Act to seize the material in question. Per the Applicant, this was a ‘sheer non-application of mind.

Per contra opposed the application by relying on sections 44, 45, 51, 63 and 64 of the Act which largely pertain to the register of the copyright, how any interested person can apply for copyright and the infringement of such copyright.

 

JUDGEMENT

The Gujarat High Court recently in the case Maheshbhai Kanbhai Haribhai Sojitra v/s State Of Gujarat observed and has explained that when a person uses without the permission of the license owner or the Registrar, or any product, it amounts to an infringement of copyright as under Section 51 of the Act. However, no infringement is committed, when the person is holding a certificate issued by the Registrar of Copyright.

Adding to it, it stated that because Section 64 of the said Act is not an offence, but the power envisaged to the police or Investigating Officer to seize the material and if any infringement is found for which, there cannot be any FIR.

Accordingly, the court found that the Applicant sought permission to withdraw his application as it had become infructuous. The Single Judge Bench granted the same.

 

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 Reviewed by DEEPA BAJAJ

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