The article Multimedia Protection under Copyright Law by Saman Rizwan is a comprehensive study about the concept of multimedia, the role of copyright, and the advancements that can be used to protect the copyrights of multimedia work. Knowledge is the foundation of society, and preserving human intelligence’s creations is critical. With the rapid technological advancements of the computer… Read More »

The article Multimedia Protection under Copyright Law by Saman Rizwan is a comprehensive study about the concept of multimedia, the role of copyright, and the advancements that can be used to protect the copyrights of multimedia work. Knowledge is the foundation of society, and preserving human intelligence’s creations is critical. With the rapid technological advancements of the computer and the Internet, multimedia information is becoming increasingly limitless. Individuals of all backgrounds can create, modify, and use multimedia information all over the world. The article discusses the way in which multimedia has essentially introduced a new time of correspondence and data flow, which has had a significant impact on society.

The article explains that the Creators have more opportunities to create content, particularly in the multimedia position. Through technological advancements such as the internet and computers, multimedia information is becoming limitless in an increasingly digital environment. As multimedia ushers in a new communication era, data flows worldwide, allowing people to adjust, create, and modify information.

It is quite easy to create content with additional opportunities in this position. The author sums up that it is difficult for the legal framework to respond to continuous multimedia changes and implement reforms for intellectual property protection. However, it is critical to protect the creator’s rights and interests while promoting multimedia advancements.

Introduction: Multimedia Protection
under Copyright Law

As multimedia technology transcends people’s lives, it significantly impacts society. The majority of these works are created using someone else’s creative and original material. Copyright is an intangible, incorporeal right granted by statute to the author or originator of certain literary or artistic productions, whereby he is invested for a specific period, with the sole and exclusive privilege of multiplying copies of the same and publishing and selling them.

The copyright law protects the expressions and ideas contained in the works, but it also harms the creator’s rights and interests. Content learner support and certification are the main ingredients for effective multimedia teaching materials for distance learning. With the availability of various solutions for copying and altering content such as sound, video, picture, content, and so on in the computerized age, it turns out to be critical the development of strategies and policies for better management of concepts and use of intellectual works, particularly those related to multimedia teaching materials.

From a legal branch’s perspective, intellectual property is part of the intangible or incorporeal property; in other words, it is invisible and intangible, including contractual, obligational, and intellectual rights. The branch of law deals with all of humanity’s intellectual creations.

Digital works are expressed using binary digital coding, which is organized, processed, stored, and transmitted to digitalize information before being restored to its original form. As a result, a wide range of works is expressed digitally, with the mode of spreading information. Traditional copyright law is vastly different, despite being applicable to digital multimedia works. It is necessary to study the digital information environment in light of the copyright regime in order to improve, strengthen, and analyze the constantly evolving intellectual property system.

Characteristics of multimedia

Because of the many interpretations, the term “multimedia” has many definitions. The characteristics of multimedia and its application vary by community. However, a more comprehensive definition is

“all those interactive software including videos, audios, graphics, animations, texts, special effects, and photography stored, sent, and transmitted in digital form for visualizing and performance on sound systems and digital screens.”

In a broader sense, multimedia is a system that provides a variety of information in a variety of contexts. Comprehensive and comparative examinations like microscopic detailing, learning through feedback systems, web-based collaborative spaces, and distributing content through CDs and other catalogues are some of the relevant examples of Multimedia. Also, multimedia licenses can be provided to any intellectual property, though the majority include films, pictures, audio, videos, texts, graphics, and animations. These create more issues relating to publicity and copyright.

Modern technology is divided into hardware and software or a combination of ideas and devices. Multimedia, in addition to enabling, expressing, and exchanging information, can also process, collect, and store various types of media technology. Art, education, entertainment, medicine, advertising, business, and scientific research are also included in multimedia information. Multimedia works are technically combined with communication technology and information technology.

Compared to the traditional form, the density of multimedia information is much greater. Multimedia works pose the same characteristics of intellectual property, making its approach similar.

Traditional Copyrights In Relation To Multimedia Works

In the most basic sense, copyrights are incorporeal; thus, the property in work is justified by the fact that the right owner created or made it. It begins in the mind of the individual before taking physical form. However, copyright law does not protect all thoughts or ideas. The ones turned into material form are recognized and protected under copyright law. Further, the copyright law gives immune exclusive rights, where the right owner can prevent others from copying works or any other activity that can only be done by him as per the decision in the case of Time Warner Entertainment Company v. RPG Netcom[1].

The copyright holder is considered the author of the work. The author can also assign ownership to the entrepreneur when publishing content, transferring ownership and other rights to the entrepreneur in general. Once ownership is transferred to someone other than the author, the content faces a high risk of failure and profit. The content that is in the hands of another person must be safeguarded. Otherwise, the ‘pirate’ can make copies of the content and sell them without permission, resulting in exploitation of the content. This is where copyright limitations, fair usage of content, and licensing come into play to protect the owner’s economic rights.

The intellectual rights in multimedia works differ from those in traditional works. To highlight the representative in the network environment, the work is created by repurposing existing material. External information is mostly used to create content in multimedia works. If the material is copyrighted, such used material is frequently adapted or cited, resulting in power coexistence.

Texts, images, sounds, and other work integration can be complicated for copyrighting, as multimedia works in various collaborations have a chance of being copyrighted and others do not. Such requirements are considered organizational structures in the design of digital library information and can have different rights and permissions arising from each element or every piece of information. This ultimately prevents property disputes in multimedia development.

The Scope of Copyright Law

Humans create intellectual works, which are then made public through various forms of communication. These are reasonably accessible, and their presence indicates potential benefit. The Copyright Law, Act No. 9610, February 19, 1998, lists the intellectual works that are protected by copyright.

The list is merely indicative and not exhaustive. Text, drawings, carvings, engravings, illustrations, dictionaries, plastic, dramatic, photographic, choreographic, audio, and visuals, compilations, engravings, maps, computer programs, and translation with new intellectual creations are examples of the works. Copyrights are protected by law because the work is known for any of the types, and they highlight the limitations and care that authors must take in their work.

Protection of Multimedia by Intellectual Property Law

Texts, images, films, videos, dramatic works, audios, and pictures are all protected by copyright. However, the multiplicity of rights available to owners under its purview makes it difficult to protect the rights of authors and owners. Section 51 of the Copyright Act of 1957 elaborates on copyright infringement.

Infringement of multimedia rights occurs when the creator’s work is copied without consent, when audio is dubbed or sold through multimedia means without the creator’s permission, when copies of prints and literary works are made without the permission of the owner or author, and when multimedia products are distributed for purposes other than education[2]. However, these are the directly relevant infringement possibilities.

Intellectual property infringement occurs when an act violates the legal provisions and harms the exclusive rights of the copyright’s creator/author/owner. The same legal consequences apply to the infringement of multimedia. However, as technology advances, the characteristics of infringement change as the object changes. They are one-of-a-kind, highly technical, and have varying scopes and types of infringement.

This makes identifying and protecting intellectual property difficult. In different situations, the elements of infringement that violate the copyright should be treated separately. When deciding the case, the principle of fault liability is followed.

The possibility of negligence, the person’s intention, and actual opportunity all fall under the person’s category of ‘fault’. However, proving that there is a fault is more difficult than proving that there is none. As a result, the complexity of multimedia works is higher, and more reforms are required on a global scale.

Legal Prononcement Dealing With Multimedia Infringement

The Napster Case in which the plaintiff was sued by the defendants for P2P file sharing, is one of the most cited lawsuits worldwide for digital copyright infringements[3]. In this case, Napster provided software that allows the user to share media files (MP3 files) stored on his computer with other Napster users. Since the Napster Inc case was filed, music companies have sought USD 1,000,000 for each copyright-protected song downloaded via Napster. The parties reached an agreement in which Napster agreed to give the settling parties a third of all future profits, and Napster Inc. was shut down in 2000.

In Eastern Book Company Limited v. D. B Modak[4], the appellants were in the business of printing Supreme Court of India judgments through their publication ‘Supreme Court Cases.’ They would copyedit these decisions to make them more user-friendly by adding cross-references, inputs, paragraph numbers, formatting, and headnotes. The appellants contended that because the creation of the headnotes required significant skill, labour, time, and expense, the work is an original literary work and that the appellants alone had exclusive rights to make hard copies or electronic copies of the publications under Section 14 of the Copyright Act, 1957.

The appellant claimed that the respondent created Grand Jurix software by scanning, copying, and reproducing portions of the Appellant’s publication, which constituted copyright infringement under Section 51 of the Copyright Act. When the high court denied the appellant’s request for an interim injunction, the matter was appealed to a division bench, which ordered the respondents to sell their software without the appellants’ headnotes or text.

The Division bench held that the footnotes and headnotes are protected by copyright in contempt petitions filed against the respondent for noncompliance with this order, but it did not grant an injunction against the sale of the copyedited judgments as a whole. The issues before the Supreme Court were what is the standard of originality in copyedited judgments and what will give such derivative work copyright protection. Another question was whether the entire copyedited judgment or any part of it, such as the footnotes, deserved copyright protection.

The Supreme Court cited CCH Canadian Ltd v. Law Society of Upper Canada[5] and stated that derivative work must have some distinguishable quality or feature that the original work lacks. Only (Canada)insignificant inputs will fail the author’s copyright test. Copyright does not require novelty or innovation, but it does require a minimum level of creativity.

The Court observed that copyedited texts of appellants’ judgments deserved copyright protection and partly allowed the appeals, directing that while the matter is pending in the high court, respondents may sell their CDs with their own editorial content and headnotes, but they may not use the appellants’ footnotes, headnotes, editorial comments, and inputs.

In Microsoft Corporation v. Yogesh Popat[6], the Delhi High Court dealt with a copyright infringement case and awarded Microsoft Corporation compensation of Rs 23.62 lacs against M/s Compton Computers Private ltd and its directors for uploading pirated Microsoft software on computers the company sold after assembling parts.


As mentioned in Section 1 of the Copyright Act of 1957, traditional copyrighted work was the foundation for copyright laws and cases. Because multimedia is still in its early stages, it is difficult to apply copyright laws to it. As a result, a new model for copyright protection through multimedia is being pursued. The disadvantages of stretching current copyright laws should be overcome by a well-designed copyright model and technology.

Because computer technology has advanced so much and it is critical to protect copyrighting rights, strict rules on copying and distributing must be enforced, as described in Section 2.

Copyright laws and cases have primarily been developed for large manufacturers with a significant economic presence, such as film studios and record labels. Copyrightable work is constantly created, distributed, and modified (derivative work) on Social Networking Services(SNS). As a result, we must identify and protect copyrights for both original and derivative work. Identification is the first step in this process. Because SNS makes it easy to distribute creative works, the need for legal protection for multimedia may eventually carry over to individuals in the near future as SNS becomes a prevailing life standard.

The elements listed below are components of a future agenda for multimedia copyright protection.

  1. Copyright protection for multimedia should be accompanied by subsequent action between the parties.
  2. Terms and conditions of SNS-reflection of copyright legal reality (Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest).
  3. Law must be a binding decision for each specific case in the real world, subject to changes based on the totality of circumstances.
  4. A well-designed protocol will aid in law enforcement and the creation of creativity.
  5. The most effective way to control a large number of individual users while avoiding legal chaos.
  6. Warning effectiveness: A warning is not a binding disposition, but rather a warning of the possibility of prosecution if certain rules are not Legal practice must be supported, and economic entities must collaborate. The use of a warning increases the general public’s understanding of copyright for multimedia. Warnings, on the other hand, should not deter creative activity.
  7. International nature of SNS: subject to each nation’s jurisdiction rather than copyright, as it is extremely difficult to be sufficiently unified; while computer technology is not the law in and of itself, an internationally unified approach will enable reasonable and efficient copyright enforcement for multimedia.

The following can be proposed protocol requirements that would be implemented.

  1. Network protocol design requirement
  2. The rationale for legislation and network protocol design is to make it easier for individuals to identify their rights and for the public to recognize those rights.
  3. Computer engineering task: to facilitate author and work identification/to facilitate checking the range of distribution of work in terms of time and space.
  4. Create a computer (programming, network, and hardware) protocol based on its own logical model to meet future needs, implying that “technology can lead law.”
  5. Protocol application domains (creating, copying, distributing, using, modifying multimedia).
  6. Not just limited to technical means that can identify multimedia work by specific manufacturer/no. limited to multimedia produced by major corporations and distributed through a few well-established sales channels/include data filed that aids in later proofing.


Multimedia works can be easily modified, altered, and created in the internet and computer innovations age. It is necessary to have a legal structure that binds and deals with the unpredictability of multimedia. The articulation of work is governed by Copyright rules. However, traditional copyright cannot be linked or systematically applied to multimedia, resulting in high complexity. New approaches to copyright law must be developed to protect multimedia, despite the enormous effort and expense.

The evolution of multimedia works is constant, making copyright law even more difficult to apply. To solve problems, a new approach to copyright law is required. A well-drafted model must be prepared by expanding current copyright legislation. The copyright rules were primarily intended to protect manufacturers such as production houses, publishing entities, record labels, and film studios. However, in today’s world, copyright material is constantly distributed, modified, and created, making it difficult to distinguish between original and derivative work.

The first step is the identification process. Because it is now so simple to share creative works via social media. As social media has become a way of life in society, legal protection for multimedia should eventually extend to individuals.

A network protocol for copyright and related information would provide a basic outlined framework for implementing copyrights for authors, content, and distribution, enabling the advancement of multimedia works. The rapid advancement of social media has increased so much that the focus of creation has shifted away from real organizations and authors. This change in the copyright regime necessitates the involvement of the general public rather than a few major multimedia corporations.


[1] 2007 (34) PTC 668 (Del) (DB)

[2] The Copyright Act of 1957, Available Here

[3] A&M Records Inc. v. Napster Inc. 2000 WL 573136, I (N.D. cal 2000)

[4] (2008) 1 SCC 1

[5] (2004) 1 SCR 339 (Canada)

[6] 2005 (118)DLT 580

Updated On 23 Aug 2022 10:22 AM GMT

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