The legend Steve Jobs once publicly declared that it was okay to steal ideas. The man’s shameless remarks fueled the notion that there is no such thing as an original idea. Perhaps he stole his revolutionary idea from India, but then again that is farfetched. Ideas are valuable and there is a registered copyright society in India tasked with protecting them. There are so many fields where copyright applies but none is as lucrative and yet as controversial as reprographics.
This basically refers to when images and texts are reproduced. The Indian Reprographic Rights Organization (IRRO) is the only copyright society in India that issues out licenses on reprographics. It is an Indian government registered copyright society that collects and pays out royalties of published works. One has to be a member in order to enjoy some of the services offered, among them being financial benefits. The copyright registration fees are relatively reasonable compared to the long term benefits that the licensing offers an original content creator.
As an IRRO member, you get to enjoy the following:
1. Your registered work will bring in revenue that the copyright society will in turn extend to you. Recently, a former house girl published a book and this led to her living a better lifestyle, because of the royalties. Later the book won an international literature award, thus elevating her social status. What if she had not licensed the book? She would still be a house girl always telling other people of how someone else is becoming a millionaire from the work she created.
2. Your work will be safe from piracy and any instance of infringement will lead to you being compensated. In case you have an unlicensed piece of work, whenever there is a case of copyright infringement, chances are you will never get compensated. The other party might even beat you to it and register it, and so your work legally becomes some else’s. The story then changes and you as the original creator becomes the criminal. Copyright infringement cases end up to be messy and expensive and you will go at a greater loss if you had initially spent resources in creating the work.
3. There are cases where the original creator of something is inaccessible and so a license gives you the mandate to use the work without having to seek the original creator’s permission. This is the freedom to use an original piece of work without running into the risk of copyright infringement.
There is no way one can compare the cost of copyright infringement and IRRO’s copyright registration fees. If you happen to find yourself on the other side of a copyright society in India, then be prepared to waste up to three years of your life in prison. Then you will have to pay a hefty fine that runs into the millions. All this is easily avoided by joining a registered copyright society. Be sure to protect yourself because knowledge is power.
IRRO is a networking platform that seeks to empower publishers and authors. Anyone is welcome to interact with the copyright society members. This is done purposefully to inspire others in taking the advantage of having their work copyrighted. How many times have you heard someone exclaim, how the show on television is the same idea they had come up with. Well, if that individual was a member of the Indian Reprographic Rights Organization, they would be in a position to raise a copyright infringement complaint that may eventually lead to earning some form of compensation.
The compensations are not always monetary. In some cases, you can get acknowledged as the creator of the work, an act that opens doors for better opportunities later on. Lastly, some people make a living out of copyrighting works. They research something, then rush to copyright it (join a registered copyright society in India, pay the registration fees), and then wait patiently. Someone will someday infringe that copyright, that’s when they emerge and make a killing from a court settlement. As much as this is lucrative, it is still gambling.
There is no room for guesswork when you join IRRO.