Are ‘Characters’ Copyrightable in India?

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Pravin Anand and Prachi Agarwal talk about the copyright law behind the recognition of characters that transcend their literary or filmic world and into real world consciousness.

You see a movie, read a book, or watch a show and sometimes the characters in the story and the dialogues associated with them leave behind a greater impact and warrant creative protection outside the realm of the story. These characters found in literature and cinema are well developed, unique and distinctive, making them sufficiently delineated, with widely identifiable names, catchphrase, traits, talents, costumes, tools, weapons and gadgets and sometimes even super-natural powers.

Their recognition persists long after the particular circumstances in which they were depicted have been forgotten. India, having one of the biggest Film Industries Bollywood demands that a stronger copyright protection be imparted to these characters, above and beyond the conventional norms.

Several of these issues emerged in recent times regarding one of the most iconic movie that the Indian Film Industry has ever created, ‘Sholay’. Before delving into the trajectory of the Sholay battle, it is important to enunciate what the law is and what it should be.

Read the full article at Media Law International.


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