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"Study what you love, Success shall follow"

Money will follow if you put your heart and soul into something which you love the most. That's why Rooppreet Dhamija chose to study law, with a focus on Intellectual Property Rights, where art and law get connected. In a chat with Fayz, Rooppreet talks about Media and Entertainment, Intellectual property law and also about her passion for the same.

Loving what you choose is a matter of obligation,
But choosing what you love is a matter of passion!

It was 2013, and I had my sights set on a career in law. I started working hard to score well in my 12th board exams so that I could get through the Government Law College, Mumbai. I always wanted to be there. And that’s not just because I always fantasized about being in Mumbai but I also wanted to try my luck in singing.

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When I started my journey as a law student in 2015, I was not certain about the field of law that I was going to choose for myself and to discover the same, I took up to hit and trial method by interning at places with work profiles in different areas of law. The method did not really work well for me because I was not able to find happiness in what I was doing. It was then when I started introspecting and that is when I asked myself about my choice of career. And leaving law was never an option because it is a passion too. This is when I started looking up for something which could connect Art and Law and that is exactly what my vision of Media and Entertainment and Intellectual Property (IP) is.

After doing research on my end, I started applying for internships at places that would give me exposure in the field of Media and Entertainment and IP. And soon after I stepped into the same I started loving it even more. While interning with various places like Anand and Anand and Khimani, Frames Production Company and Times Music, I got the opportunity to learn in detail about trademarks, copyright societies, copyright law, music acquisition, license, synchronization, production, consultancy, artist and franchise agreements amongst many others.

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Part of my work included interacting with clients, who mostly are artists and that is where I felt the connection. Being a singer myself, I always wanted to do something that would protect my interests as an artist and my fellow artists. Media and Entertainment and IP opened up both the pathways for me, wherein I could interact with people sharing similar interests and at the same time safeguard our collective interests by following law as my passion.

This brings me to say that, it is very important for everyone to follow their interest and do what makes them happy. We, in the so-called life race, get so engrossed in thinking about money-making formulas, for the sake of which, we are ready to let go of things that make us happy, which again is harmful to our own well-being in the long run. Money is important for sure. But it is, at the same time, very important to understand that money will follow if you put your heart and soul into something that you would love the most as your full-time profession.

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Media and Entertainment and IP is my passion and the same along with singing gives me eternal peace and satisfaction and that is what I would want to seek for the rest of my life. I would want to urge all students to take a moment, breathe and think as to what makes them happy and something that would help them grow not only professionally but also personally because you gotta work for your own well-being too!

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Intellectual Property Rights is a huge subject with a lot of money involved. Why did you specialize in this particular subject?

IPR indeed is a huge subject and there’s more money involved, but that is mostly for patents. All the other aspects of IP do not involve a good amount of money initially but with time they do. For me, money has always been secondary, with passion being the primary factor. I believe that if you do something with passion, money will follow. As an artist and a lawyer, Media and Entertainment and Intellectual Property enthuse me the most and I feel happy while doing the same. One of the main reasons for this is that I connect really well with the people approaching me for the protection of their rights.

From your experience so far, tell us how strict is the law in India when it comes to intellectual property rights, compared to the West?

Honestly, according to me IP laws in India are less stringent than those in the West. IP in India needs to be regulated in a better way. For example, despite a mechanism in place for the protection of copyright in India, infringement is rampant due to lax administration. We as a country are growing when it comes to the protection of IP but there’s a long way to go. People, in general, are not aware of their Intellectual property rights. However, awareness is increasing day by day with the help of lawyers and societies working in this particular field of law.

Have you followed the Ilayaraja case? What's your take?

Ilaiyaraja case is one of the landmark judgments in the history of Copyright law in India. It gives a clear picture of the rights of the parties involved in making of a sound recording. Not only this but it also provides harmonization of the rights of owners of sound recording u/s 14 (e) and the right of the author of musical works under 14(a) of the Copyright Act. It also throws light on the moral rights of the author, which, to date, are in a questionable position due to the industrial practices. This judgment includes strict interpretation of a part of the Indian Copyright law (Section 19 (5)). And interpretations like this one, are extremely important to bring out better clarity vis-a-vis the literature of law, which I feel is the need of the hour.

Any other interesting case study in the IP space that you have followed, found interesting and studied in deep?

While working with Anand and Anand and Khimani, I got an opportunity to present on the topic moral rights, for the reason of which I read various judgments, articles and laws vis-a-vis moral rights which gave me a deeper insight into the topic and I found the same to be extremely interesting and it also made me think about moral rights on a different tangent altogether. I am still doing my research on the topic and would love to talk about it on a greater length later.

Tell us more about the course?

I did not wait for my college curriculum to teach me IP because I was too keen on reading about the same all by myself, for the matter of which I completed 2 courses, one general and one advanced, with World Intellectual Property Organization, which helped me a lot in understanding various aspects of IP. Along with these two courses, my major learning was through the internships that I did from the third year of my law school and also reading.

You have written about having done internships at Anand and Anand and Khimani, Frames Production Company and Times Music. Any interesting experiences to share?

One-on-one interaction with the clients, handling certain things all by myself, drafting various kind of agreements and of course meeting celebrities (on a lighter note) amongst various others were part of internships while working with all the three organizations which helped me grow both professionally and personally. And to be very honest, it is very difficult for me to point out particular experiences because the entire process for me has been amazing.

What's your career plan?

After gaining a good amount of experience in this field, I wish to go for Masters in IP. I wish to learn more with each coming day and be of help to all those people who would need me for the enforcement of their rights. And I want to embrace each day as it comes because I know, for a matter of fact, I am surely going to enjoy all of it and it is going to be a delightful journey for me

What are those key habits of yours that have helped you reach where you are currently?

  • I honestly feel that I am nowhere and there’s a long long way to go. I haven’t even achieved 5% of what I wish to achieve. But to answer your question, one needs to be focused, determined, positive, inquisitive and passionate about what they wish to achieve and success shall follow. There are good days and bad days but I follow one golden rule to conquer it all, which is beautifully written in the words of Alice Morse Earle and that is: Every day may not be good... but there's something good in every day.

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