COVID-19: The Chief Global Digital Amplifier
Seeing the speed of the pandemic, and the tsunami of digital content on multiple platforms it is absolutely essential that legislation, judicial pronouncements move in sync with the greatest transformational journey the entertainment and content industry is witnessing write authors Petal Chandhok, Rupali Gupta and Simran Gupta from Trust Legal.
India being recently hit by the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has seen a major change in the Intellectual Property landscape where the focus has largely shifted to digital platforms like Netflix, Instagram and YouTube to name a few.
Consumers are now spending most of their time on OTT platforms for entertainment amidst lockdown in various States in the country. The OTT platforms, which now appear to be a multi-million dollar industry, have almost threatened the very existence of conventional cinema halls.
According to Statista, a research published on 27th April 2021, there has been an increase in engagement shares for over-the-top (OTT) video original content and movies, along with television soaps between January 2020 and January 2021. User penetration, it said, will be 24.7% in 2021 and is expected to hit 31.5% by 2025.
With the increase in the number of content creators and artists, there is also an increase in issues relating to copyright infringement, ownership and licensing.
Currently, there is a need felt to apply the existing laws on Copyright protection in India as creators are gradually becoming aware of their existing rights and are hence seeking protection of their content. For instance, the existing rise in the creation of memes and comedy over the internet has raised serious concerns for stand-up comedians and other content creators for the protection of their performances and content.
The authors and creators not being aware of their rights under the existing copyright law in India being the Copyright Act, 1957 as amended, are thus not able to take benefit.
Covid-19 has proven to be a Chief Digital Transformational Officer, as it has led to a rise in the number of copyrights filed tremendously. Even though at present, the courts in India are limited to hearing matters on an urgent basis, there may thus be a rise in sustained IP litigation in the future.
The use of John Doe orders, for example, is like the arrival of a hero to prevent piracy and protect the copyright owners in the film industry.
Artists have now been independently making millions of dollars by creating and selling digital versions of their music, art and videos during the pandemic. For instance, Kings of Leon being the first band to release an album as an NFT (non-fungible token). Also, in February 2021, DJ and music producer 3LAU made $11.6 million by selling NFT’s in only 24 hours. An NFT is what artists assign to their digital work to auction off the same to the fan who pay using cryptocurrency. Each time a buyer of that digital copy sells it to somebody, the artist also receives royalties. NFT addresses the issues relating to the originality of work as well as revenue generation.
Undoubtedly, the need of the hour is to implement and interpret the existing laws by our courts while looking forward to furthering amendments in the future.
Seeing the speed of the pandemic, and the tsunami of digital content on multiple platforms it is absolutely essential that legislation, judicial pronouncements move in sync with the greatest transformational journey the entertainment and content industry is witnessing.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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