Saturday, July 31, 2021

Rules for copy right meme?

 A Meme falls under ‘artistic works’ defined under the provision of section 2 (c) of the Copyright Act, 1957 which states that an artistic works include paintings, sculptures, drawings (including

diagrams, maps, charts or plans), engravings, photographs, works of architecture and works of artistic craftsmanship. Thus, an image/photograph in the meme is copyrighted, hence, sharing
without an authorization will constitute an infringement.

Memes are constantly being copied and get viral on the social media platforms very easily. The memers put a lot of time and hard work for creating the meme and thus are protected by the
copyright law.

But, above all, is Meme considered to be legal? Well, the answer for this lies in the “Doctrine of Fair Use”. Section 52 of the Copyright Act, 1957, details the various exceptions to infringement.
This Doctrine is an exception to the law, which permits a person to use any work that is protected under the Copyright Act, 1957, with limited usage of such work so as to maintain the
sanctity and originality of such work as well as the registered proprietor of the work.

Section 52 provides,
Certain acts, which would not constitute an infringement of copyright namely fair dealing with a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work not being a computer program for the purposes of:

    • private use, including research;
    • criticism or review;
    • reporting current events in any print media or;
    • by broadcast or in a cinematographic film or by means of photographs;
    • reproduction for the purpose of a judicial proceeding or of a report of a judicial proceeding;
    • reproduction or publication of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work in any work prepared by the Secretariat of a Legislature or, where the Legislature consists of two Houses, by the Secretariat of either House of the Legislature, exclusively for the use of the members of that Legislature;
    • the reproduction of any literary, dramatic or musical work in a certified copy made or supplied in accordance with any law for the time being in force;
    • the reading or recitation in public of any reasonable extract from a published literary or dramatic work;
    • the publication in a collection, mainly composed of non-copyright matter, bona fide intended for the use of educational institutions;
    • the making of sound, if made by or with the license or consent of the owner of the right in the work.

If a meme is created and posed on any social media, other users can share or retweet it. But, if someone merely copies the meme, without the consent of the original owner, and posts it on their
own feed or anywhere outside of social media, it does constitute for infringement and not for Fair use.

Hence, it is expected that the Memes that include text written around the cinematographic still is protected by fair use and those Memes that are created for marketing purpose of any product
shall be considered as infringement as they are often created for commercial benefit and not for individual enjoyment or information dissemination. If the meme is about their favorite leader, the
consequences are unpleasant.

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