Lights, camera, action! Identifying performer’s rights

By Rahul Chaudhry,Lall Lahiri & Salhotra

An interesting facet of copyright law is that in every work that is copyrightable, there is usually more than one individual with concurrent rights. These concurrent rights are differently defined and overlap with one another. The simplest example for explaining this can be a book. Of course, in accordance with the law, the author is the first owner of copyright in the work. However, the publisher too holds rights.

Not only is the publisher contributing financial resources to make the work available to the public, he is also taking upon himself the risks associated with publishing a book. A publisher buys out most economic rights in a book and is thereafter also a copyright holder in the work. Thus, the author now holds some financial and mostly moral rights in the book, while the publisher holds other financial rights. These rights, of the publisher and the author, independent of each other, also overlap.

Rahul Chaudhry,Partner,Lall Lahiri & Salhotra
Rahul Chaudhry
Lall Lahiri & Salhotra

In the case of musical, dramatic, cinematographic and other such works, the original rights are vested in the statutorily recognized original owners, i.e. composers in case of musical works, producers in case of cinematographic works, etc. However, the law recognizes creative input from a number of individuals involved in creation of these works and each person has exclusive rights according to their inputs.

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Rahul Chaudhry was called to the bar in September 2002. He joined Lall Lahiri & Salhotra in January 2004 and became a partner just four years later. Along with the firm’s founding partners, Anuradha Salhotra and Amar Raj Lall, Chaudhry is regarded as one of the most prominent faces of IP management in India.


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