Copyright Registration in India

Advantages

  • Establishes a public record
  • Right to sue infringes in court
  • Creation of Goodwill
  • Legal Protection to Work
  • Protection after owners’ death

Eligible Category

  • Cinematography film
  • Computer programs
  • Website
  • Published
  • Artistic work

Introduction

With the increasing awareness among people regarding the intellectual property rights and also with the continuous advancement in technology, there is a rush amongst the number of intellectual property rights’ registration in India. Several tailor-made solutions in the zones of Intellectual Property Rights are available today to safeguard the business through Copyright, Trademark, Patents and Registration.

An Overview

Copyright is the legal right to ownership and enjoyment entitled to creators of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic work, producers of cinematograph films, and recordings. In India, copyright registration provides its owner exclusive, sole right to distribute, reproduce, adapt, translate the work, or give authorization to another entity for performing the same.

Copyright Registration is often used by many businesses for producing their literature or user manuals. It provides certain safeguards to the owner such as the right of ownership and enjoyment of the authors over their creations and consequently allows them to protect and reward their creativity.

Copyrights Act, 1957 also provides the right to transfer from the person owning the said Copyright to another or the person's employer who had commissioned it.

Who can apply for Copyrights?

Any person who has produced any literary, dramatic, musical, artistic work, cinematograph film, or sound recording which is original in nature and not have been previously registered or applied for registration are eligible to get it registered under the Copyright Act, 1957. The Invention produced or prepared must be original and useful in nature.

In India, Copyrights are mainly classified under three classes of work and each of the classes provides its distinctive right.

Individuals who are legally accountable for the submission of a copyright application are as follows:

Benefits of Copyright Registration

Who can apply for Copyrights?

* Proof to be provided for point 1&2

How to Register a Copyright

The whole process of copyright registration can be divided into four steps:

  • 1

    COLLECTION OF REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

    Basic documents as stated above are required along with an authorization letter signed by you for filing of application. So, the steps ask for the collection of all these imperative documents.

  • 2

    APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION

    The next step is to file an application for the registration. Applications must be prepared and submitted to the Registrar of Copyright in the prescribed format. This can either be done via the offline method or online within 2 working days.
    After that, the Registrar issues a Diary No., and a waiting period of 30 days is mandatory for receiving objections (if any).

  • 3

    CONDUCT HEARING

    In case when any objection is received by the Registrar, a hearing on the application of copyright is conducted. The scrutinizer checks the application for any disparity, if no objections are received within the prescribed time of 30days.

  • 4

    REGISTRATION OF WORK

    In the absence of any disparity, the registration process is completed and the extract of the same is sent to the Registrar for entry.

    If a case of disparity, on successful completion of hearing conducted by the Registrar the scrutinizer will again scrutinize the application and will give its decision.

    Copyright registration consultants handle the whole process of copyright registration that starts with the collection of documents, continues with application filling, and ends at approval.

Validity of Registered Copyright

The Copyright registered is valid for 60 years. In case literary, dramatic, artistic or musical work the 60 years are counted from the year following death of author and in case of sound recordings, cinematographic films, photographs, anonymous, posthumous publications, pseudonymous publication, work of international organization and work of government, the period for 60 years starts from the date of publication.

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FAQs on Copyright Registration

The Copyright subsists throughout the India in the following classes of works which are as follows:

  • Original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works;
  • Cinematograph films; and
  • Sound recordings

Any work which is falling under any of the categories as mentioned above and the said work is seeking to be copyrighted needs to be original; Though, it is not necessary that the said work should posses some original thought or idea. The law is only concerned with the originality of the expression of thought.

Individuals who are legally accountable for the submission of a copyright application are as follows:

The Author – This can either be an individual who has invented the work or the boss or for whomever the work was invented, in case of “made for hire” work.

The Copyright Claimant – This can either be the author or an organization or an individual who has received ownership rights from the author either via written contract/assignment/will or any other transfer of rights.

The Authorized Agent – Any individual or institution duly authorized to perform on author’s behalf, other copyright claimant or a holder of exclusive rights.

The Owner of Exclusive Rights – An owner of any of the exclusive rights that form a copyright to be transferred and separately owned.

A copyright registered grants protection to the right holder/creator and his/her representatives for the works and prevents such works from being copied or reproduced without the prior consent.

The creator/originator of a work can prohibit or he/she/it can authorize anyone to:

  • reproduce the said work in any form, such as prints, sound, video, etc;
  • use the said work for a public performance, such as a play or a musical work;
  • make copies or recordings of the work, like via compact discs, cassettes, etc.;
  • broadcasting it in various forms; or
  • translating the same to various other languages

Yes, the Copyright Act, 1957 grants the author “special rights,” which exist independently and solely with the author’s copyright, and subsists with him/her even after the assignment (wholly or partially) of the said copyright. There are following right granted to the author which are as follows:-

  • Right to claim authorship of the work; and
  • Right to restrain or claim damages with respect to any distortion, mutilation, modification, or other act in
  1. Relation to the said work if such distortion, mutilation, modification, or other act would be prejudicial to.
  2. his honor or repute

These are the special rights which can also be exercised by the legal representatives/heirs of the author.

The right against the distortion is available even after the expiry of the term of a copyright after the recent amendment as earlier, it was available only against the distortion, mutilation etc. done during the term of copyright of the work.

The duration of protection for the copyright works varies with the type of work and the date of creation:

Category of work

Duration

Literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works

The Copyright expires in 60 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies. Where a work has a joint author/ co-author, the time period starts from 60 years from the end of the calendar year in which the last known author dies. Where the author’s identity is not known then the copyright expires in 60 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first published.

Sounds recordings

The Copyright shall subsist until the next 60 years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which such sound recording is published

Cinematograph Films

The Copyright shall subsist until the 60 years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which such film is published

The author’s moral right as a right against the distortion is available even after the expiry of the term of the copyright.

As per the Copyright Act, the “work of joint authorship” means a work produced by with the collaboration of two or more authors in which the contribution of one author is not different from the contribution of the other authors. Hence, the Act recognizes the joint authorship. The Joint authors fully enjoy all of the rights granted under the Act. The tenure of copyright of a work in case joint authorship is calculated with respect to the author that dies last.

An assignment of the copyright shall be valid only if it is reduced to writing duly signed by the assignor or by his/her authorized agent.

 

Following are the special circumstances under which a copyright can be used without a license:

  • For the purpose of private study, research or entertainment etc.
  • Quoting for an appropriate portion from the Copyright work
  • Reporting of the current events in newspapers, magazines or radios/television etc.
  • Translation or reproducing it in small quantity for use by the teachers or scientific researches
  • Performance free of charge
  • Copying, drawing, photographing or recording an artistic work which is placed or displayed in an outdoor public space
  • Usage by government officials in performance of their duties