[Answered] Making copyright infringement a cognisable offence under the CrPC. will impinge on civil liberties, impede the ease of business and suppress free speech. Discuss

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain how making the copyright infringement a cognisable offence will impede the ease of business and suppress free speech.
Way forward: Brief conclusion.

Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive right for its use and distribution. It includes literary & artistic works such as novels, poems, plays, films, musical works, drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, architectural designs. The Supreme Court of India has passed a far-reaching judgment that copyright infringement is a cognisable offence under the CrPC.

Making copyright infringement a cognisable offence under the CrPC will create following issues which impede the ease of business and suppress free speech:

  • Due to this judgement, almost every Bollywood production house may face criminal investigations by police forces, based on a complaint filed by scriptwriters on the claims of copyright infringement. These cases will hinder ease of doing business in the industry.
  • It weaponizes copyright (as was recently done by the Beverly Hills police) for targeted action against the critics. Anyone posting content for critical analysis can be jailed now.
  • As the offense of copyright infringement is made cognizable and non-bailable, it takes away the right of the accused to post a bail bond with the police. Thus, the person might be incarcerated in jail, while the case remains under adjudication. It is against civil liberties.
  • The present levels of training and funding of the police officers is not sufficient to conduct an efficient investigation into copyright infringement due to its complicate nature.

Copyright is very essential in today’s world. It is important not only for individual or an organisation but for whole humanity. The law should be amended to not only differentiate between the different acts of copyright infringement but also require prior judicial cognisance as a precondition of criminal investigation by the police.

 

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