Intellectual Property Rights and it's Protection in the Cyber World


This article is written by Devesh Badoliya, a student at

Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab.





Intellectual property rights have acquired enormous importance with the remarkable introduction of computers and the Internet and the growing prevalence of E-Commerce. There is, however, a downside to this trend of expanded dependence on the Internet and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), specifically the issue of presenting intellectual property detection and security in digital world infringements.


The dilemma is how one can safeguard one's intellectual property rights and protect one's unauthorized online usage. To a greater degree, Intellectual Property infringements occur online rather than offline, due to the ease of how information can be viewed, copied, and transmitted and the resulting privacy of knowledge associated with cyberspace. Intellectual property rights and cyber laws are inseparable and need protection for digital content.


There are many challenges in the world of technology for any innovation and one such challenge is the internet that has invaded the physical marketplace and turned it into a virtual marketplace. It is necessary to develop efficient property management and security system to safeguard the business interest, bearing in mind the substantial amount of commerce and business that takes place in cyberspace. In today's world, building a strong and cooperative IP management system and security strategy is essential.


Thus the ever-approaching threats in this virtual environment could be tested and controlled. The legislators have proposed various methodologies and legislation to lift the risk in conveying a secure layout against such cyber threats. However, the proprietor of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is duty-bound by constructive steps to prevent and mitigate certain mala fide actions by criminals. The increased usage of the internet would bring about a greater challenge to IPR security than at present. As the internet is all prepared to go for an immense leap, there are no viable solutions to the intellectual property rights issues of the Internet, as exact information on such issues is extremely confined. Intellectual Property Rights issues exist but they are more in the zone of theory rather than in practicality.


The protection under copyright law covers "original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.”


The protection under copyright law covers the following types of work:

· literary and musical works,

· pictorial and graphic works,

· motion pictures and other audio-visual works, and

· sound recordings.


The work protected by copyright law is work of authorship, however, there are certain exceptions to this protection as this protection does not apply to "any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work."


The following rights are given to the creator of work under copyright law:

· The right to reproduce the work.

· The right of preparing derivate work.

· The right of distribution of copies of work.

· The right to publish the work.

· The right of displaying the work to the public.[1]


However, there are certain exceptions to this protection of copyright. E.g. under the fair use doctrine works such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research is permitted. The libraries and archives are allowed to have one copy work for authentic keeping and security purposes, and the holder of a copy of a work is qualified for sell or discards the copy. Under the doctrine of "the first sale," it is allowed to the legal creator of a work to exchange the work or, under specific conditions, supply it to others.


The work is copyrighted at the time of publication, regardless of any notice of rights under the copyright act is cited. So, the usual notion assuming that if no copyright symbol is there on a work found on the Internet, copyright concerns can be neglected is a mistaken fact. The subject of whether the creator has authentic copyright includes several issues, however, one that is especially applicable to the internet is whether the work is of sufficient originality to be qualified for protection, while publications expositions and other comparative articles can be included in "original work of authorship", genuine data or information bases may not.


A hyperlink in its most basic structure is a guide to the person using the computer to move to another website. The hyperlink can be shown to the user in plain text however it is discovered to the user of the computer by a uniform resource locator (URL) or through the address of a remote website.


The most important concern in litigation with regard the intellectual property is whether the activities on the internet, alone or with various other elements, will be sufficient in subjecting a person to suit in a foreign state’s jurisdiction. The test laid down in International Shoe Co. v. Washington,[2] for particular jurisdiction of is common: the court has to determine based on facts of the actual case, whether a non-resident respondent Contacts the forum state in such a way that the "traditional notions of fair play and substantive justice" are not breached by the preservation of the action. However, when the question is whether the maintenance of a webpage on the internet is adequate, alone or with other different factors, to subject that person to another State’s personal jurisdiction, the courts have attempted to interpret the nature of the Internet and how it adjusts within the conventional or traditional principles. The amount of cases in this area is increasing and trends are developing.[3]


[1] Sec. 106, 17 U.S. Code (1994). [2] 326 US. 310, 316 (1945). [3] Marilyn C. Maloney, Intellectual Property in Cyberspace, The Business Lawyer, vol. 53, no. 1, 1997, pp. 225-249.



Disclaimer: This article is an original submission of the Author.

NLR does not hold any liability arising out of this article.

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