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Sec 23, Copyright Act 1957: Term of copyright in Anonymous & Pseudonymous works

Section 23 (Term of copyright in anonymous and pseudonymous works) under Chapter V (Term of Copyright) of the Copyright Act 1957

❝(1) In the case of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work (other than a photograph), which is published anonymously or pseudonymously, copyright shall subsist until sixty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the work is first published:

 Provided that where the identity of the author is disclosed before the expiry of the said period, copyright shall subsist until sixty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the author dies.

(2) In sub-section (1), references to the author shall, in the case of an anonymous work of joint authorship, be construed,—
 (a) where the identity of one of the authors is disclosed, as references to that author;
 (b) where the identity of more authors than one is disclosed, as references to the author who dies last from amongst such authors.

(3) In sub-section (1), references to the author shall, in the case of a pseudonyms work of joint authorship, be construed,—
 (a) where the names of one or more (but not all) of the authors are pseudonyms and his or their identity is not disclosed, as references to the author whose name is not a pseudonym, or, if the names of two or more of the authors are not pseudonyms, as references to such of those authors who dies last;
 (b) where the names of one or more (but not all) of the authors are pseudonyms and the identity of one or more of them is disclosed, as references to the author who dies last from amongst the authors whose names are not pseudonyms and the authors whose names are pseudonyms and are disclosed; and
 (c) where the names of all the authors are pseudonyms and the identity of one of them is disclosed, as references to the author whose identity is disclosed or if the identity of two or more of such authors is disclosed, as references to such of those authors who dies last.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, the identity of an author shall be deemed to have been disclosed, if either the identity of the author is disclosed publicly by both the author and the publisher or is otherwise established to the satisfaction of the Appellate Board by that author.❞




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Notes:

Section 23 of the Copyright Act 1957 was amended by:
- the Copyright (Amendment) Act 1992 (No. 13 of 1992), sec. 2, w.e.f. 28-Dec-1991;
- the Finance Act, 2017 (No. 7 of 2017), sec. 160, w.e.f. 26-May-2017.

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