The government of India has earlier introduced amendments to the Copyright rules, 2013. The changes introduced in the 2021 amendment framework are designed to bring harmony between all existing laws and other related legislation. The copyright laws and the Copyright Act, 1957 are the main laws governing the registration and regulation of copyrighted work in India.

The changes introduced in the 2021 amendment framework are designed to bring harmony between all existing laws and other related legislation. Some of the changes focus on compliance by changing the rules to take into account technological advances. Outstanding amendments are discussed in this article.


The main purpose of the amendment is to bring in existing laws in line with other laws relating to not only intellectual property laws but also other general and specific laws. The amendment aims to ensure smooth and accurate compliance with legal requirements, taking into account technological advances in this digital age. This was driven by changing and promoting “electronic communication” as the primary means of communication for all legal purposes.


1.    The Copyright Board is replaced with the “Appellate Board”:

The amendment will however have to be read with the changes brought about by the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalization and Conditions of Services) Ordinance, 2021 published on 4 April 2021 which then changed the Appeal Board to the Court or the High Court, as the case may be.

2.    Changes to rules for collection of royalty by Copyright Societies:

Copyright Societies that are registered under the Copyright Act are engaged in the business of issuing and granting copyright licenses related to writing, theater, music, or artwork included in film or recording. A copyright society is allowed to collect royalties according to the tariff schemes laid in relation to the licenses issued for the specific rights for the specific work that the society has been authorizing to administer. Sovereignty collected by the copyright community in such a way is usually distributed through a distribution system. Rules 44 to 67 set the guidelines for copyright organizations under copyright laws.

Under the amendment the following law is enacted into law 55 dealing with copyright collection: “(3) The copyright community in respect of the collection of royalty under sub-rule (1) and the distribution of monarchy under sub-rule (2) of this Act, will create an electronic payment system and establish a system for tracking payments. ”The law stipulates that a digital payment system must be developed to collect and distribute the monarchy by copyrighted communities, and the same must be maintained by electronic means.

As mentioned above, CRO emphasizes and promotes electronic communication methods. However registered posts as a means of communication are still welcome.

3.    Copyright Journal:

Similar to that of trademarks, a copyrighted journal has been introduced and would be made available on the official website. This replaces the Official Gazette and removes the need for publication in the Gazette.

4.    Appellate Board:

The amendment rules have provided for the substitution of the ‘Copyright Board’ with the ‘Appellate Board’. This has further implications when read with The Tribunals Reforms (Rationalization and Conditions of Service Ordinance), 2021 where references to the Appellate Board in IP Acts including the Copyright Act have been substituted with ‘Commercial courts’.

5.    Accountability and Transparency:

The onus has been placed on copyright societies whereby they are now required to draw up and make public an ‘Annual Transparency Report’, which primarily contains information such as:

•    Performance report for the financial year;

•    The number of refusals to issue a license;

•     Financial information on total royalties collected;

•    Number of royalties paid to the author and other owners;

•    Total royalties collected but not yet issued to the author and other owners;

•    Details and use of deductions for social services as provided for in section 67;

•    Details of prices received from and paid for by organizations or an external entity.

In addition, provisions have also been made to deal with undistributed royalty amounts and the use of electronic and traceable payment methods for the collection and distribution of royalties.


A new law regarding the publication of the annual confidentiality report was introduced by patent organizations. The following legislation is enacted after Act 65 and directs that all copyright organizations must compile and publish an annual report of public performance within six months from the end of each financial year. The report must be made available on the copyright public website for at least three years.


Rules have been changed to respond to the use of electronic media and to the development of technological advances. The following changes have been introduced:

•    A copyright journal has been introduced, which will be available on the official website. This will eliminate the need for publication in the official gazette, as it will have to be published in a copyrighted journal instead.

•    Rule 70 which details the requirements for application for the registration of copyright has been amended to lessen the compliance requirement for registration of copyright of software.

•    In sub-rule 5 of Rule 70, instead of the “source and object code”, the applicant might also additionally put up the first ten and remaining ten pages of the supply code.

•    In (1) of Rule 69, the phrase “The Register of copyrights will be kept in physical and electronic form” has been modified to physical or electronic form. 

•    Similarly, in (1) of Rule 72, the Indexes can be kept with-inside the copyright office in physical or electronic form. The requirement of arranging the indexes in alphabetical order has been removed. 

•    Rule eighty-two has been changed to allow that every written communication from the Board, copyright office, or Registrar of Copyrights will be deemed to be communicated if it has been to the deal with of the required person through electronic means or post.

•    New rules for a charge of fees under Rule eighty-three were prescribed. Fees can be paid electronically or through a bank by a call for a draft.


Amendments to copyright laws were introduced primarily for the purpose of harmonizing copyright laws with other similar laws. The amendments also introduce new measures to make more information available on websites, publish in copyright magazines, reduce compliance requirements for computer software copyright, etc. With a view to adopting electronic means as the main means of communication and promoting the adoption of advanced technologies.

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Damini Nagar
B.A LLB from Indore institution of Law

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