So your daughter wants the new justin bieber CD, or perhaps you’re looking to make a nice Christmas music compilation for playing over the holidays. These days it is as simple as downloading music via the internet so they can have them quickly and to avoid paying for them outright. This begs the question – is downloading legal?


Creativity can only be accomplished by human being. They can be composers, authors, designers and artists for generating their original works. Generally, it is they alone who will be entitled to enjoy the exclusive rights to do or authorize others to do certain acts in relation to rights vests with them. Copyright was the first intellectual property which received legal recognition in the world. “The right which a person acquires in a work which is the result of his intellectual labor is called copyright.”[1]

Copyright law protects expressions of ideas rather than the ideas themselves.[2]


An interim order was passed, on a plea moved by Zee entertainment Enterprise Ltd, to bar 83 website from playing or downloading songs of the Amir Khan’s movie ‘Dangal’, besides over 280 other films.

It has sought damages of Rs1 crore from these websites. It also pleads that they be restrained from infringing its copyright in the sound recording incorporated in various films, including audio visuals of such songs. Such infringement would amount to “unfair competition and commercial misappropriation of its rights”.[3]


Along with the interim order passed, the court directed internet service providers like BSNL, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd, Bharti Airtel Ltd, Reliance Communications Infrastructure Ltd and Vodafone Essar Gujarat Ltd to block access to these websites immediately.

Such infringement shall fall squarely within the scope of under section 51(a) of the copyright act 1957 and shall be liable u/s 63, 63 (a), 65 and 65(a) of the copyright act 1957. It can also be liable u/s 66 A of the Information Technology Act 2000.


Most people work to make a living. Some people are fortunate enough to be able to create and perform music, movies, books and other items and selling these items to a willing public. However, when people illegally download those same items from the website, the creators and performers don’t get the money they should have earned.

In addition, the publishers of those items also don’t get the money they need to pay for the distribution of those items and the equipment and staff they need to produce them. Thousand and even millions of dollars are stolen from hard working people, including the artist. How would you like it if people were stealing thousands of dollars from you?

The other issue is your putting your computer at risk because software’s can be bundled with other rogue software’s and your PC can get infected.

Wise old saying, “the world is round, if you steal others hard work, someday others will steal yours”.

However, in some way downloading music should not be illegal. Artists and their labels make plenty of money from concerts and merchandising etc so losing a few extra dollars will not break them. Odds are, the people downloading the music had no intension of ever buying the CD in the first place. They downloaded it because it was available to them, if it wasn’t, they would have never bought it. Resulting, the artist would be missing that few extra dollars and a possible new fan.

Lastly, I hope this case doesn’t turn out to be over blocked, the problems that were faced in Dishoom’s case[4], a link is provided below.[5]


[1] Aditya Mishra, ‘Infringing of Copyright’, 2013.

[2] Mahendra Kumar Sunkar, ‘Copy right law in India’.

[3] The Hindu,

[4] Eros International Media Limited & Anr. V Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited & 49 others (No.251/2016)



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