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How to Register a Copyright in India

Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to make copies of creative work, usually for a limited time. The owner of the copyright gets to decide who can legally make copies of that work. 

By: Prachi Kulkarni, Government Law College, Mumbai.

Introduction

Copyright refers to the legal right of the owner of intellectual property. In layman’s language, copyright is the right to copy. This means that the original creators of products and anyone they give authorization to are the only ones with the exclusive right to reproduce the work.

Copyright law gives creators of original material the exclusive right to further use and duplicate that material for a given amount of time, at which point the copyrighted item becomes public domain.

What is copyright?

Copyright is a right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. It is a bundle of rights including, inter alia, rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation, and translation of the work. There could be slight variations in the composition of the rights depending on the work. Copyright ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity. Creativity being the keystone of progress, no civilized society can afford to ignore the basic requirement of encouraging the same. The economic and social development of a society is dependent on creativity. The protection provided by copyright to the efforts of writers, artists, designers, dramatists, musicians, architects, and producers of sound recordings, cinematograph films, and computer software, creates an atmosphere conducive to creativity, which induces them to create more and motivates others to create.

Works That Can be Protected Under Copyright Law

Copyright subsists throughout India in the following classes of works:

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

Copyright Law in India

Indian copyright law is at parity with the international standards as contained in TRIPS. The (Indian) Copyright Act, 1957, under the amendments in 1999, 2002, and 2012, fully reflects the Berne Convention for Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, 1886 and the Universal Copyrights Convention, to which India is a party. India is also a party to the Geneva Convention for the Protection of Rights of Producers of Phonograms and is an active member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Who can apply for a copyright?

  1. The author

The author of the work is:- Either the person who actually created the work or if made during the scope of employment, then the employer. This is considered as ‘work made for hire’ or Such an author is legally allowed to get a copyright for his/her work.

2. The owner of exclusive rights

The owner of exclusive rights is permitted to apply for registering his or her claim in the work.

3. The copyright claimant

This is either- The author or a person, or an organization that has obtained ownership rights from the author through a written contract, will, etc.

4. The authorized agent

This refers to any person authorized to act on behalf of either- the author, or the copyright claimant, or the owner of an exclusive right.

Is it necessary to register a work to claim copyright? 

It is not necessary to register a work to claim copyright.

However, certificate of registration of copyright and the entries made therein serve as prima facie evidence in a court of law concerning a dispute relating to ownership of copyright.

What is the term of protection of copyright?

The general rule is that copyright lasts for 60 years. In the case of original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, the 60 years are counted from the year following the death of the author. In the case of cinematograph films, sound recordings, photographs, posthumous publications, anonymous and pseudonymous publications, works of government, and works of international organizations, 60-years are counted from the date of publication.

Documents required for filing a Copyright Application in India

Artistic Work

  1. Two copies of the work.
  2. DD or IPO of Rs. (applicable) according to work.
  3. Author’s NOC if the applicant is different from the author.
  4. Publisher’s NOC if the work published and publisher is different from the applicant.
  5. Search certificate from the trademark office (TM -60) if the work is being used on the goods or capable of being used on the goods.
  6. NOC from the individual whose photograph appears on the work.
  7. If the application is being filed with the help of an attorney, a specific power of attorney in the original duly signed by the applicant and accepted by the attorney.

Cinematograph Film

  1. Two copies of work.
  2. DD or IPO of Rs. (applicable) according to work.
  3. NOC from different copyright holders or copies of the agreement (deed of assignment).
  4. NOC from the publisher if the work published and publisher is different from the applicant.
  5. If the application is being filed with the help of an attorney, a specific power of attorney in the original duly signed by the applicant and accepted by the attorney.

Music

  1. Two copies of work (graphical notes).
  2. DD or IPO of Rs. (applicable) according to work.
  3. NOC from the publisher if the work published and publisher is different from the applicant.
  4. Author’s NOC if the applicant is other than the author.
  5. If the application is being filed with the help of an attorney, a specific power of attorney in the original duly signed by the applicant and accepted by the attorney.

Literary/Dramatic

  1. Two copies of work.
  2. DD or IPO of Rs. (applicable) according to work.
  3. NOC from the publisher if the applicant is other than the publisher and the work is published.
  4. Author’s NOC if the applicant is other than the author.
  5. If the application is being filed with the help of an attorney, a specific power of attorney in the original duly signed by the applicant and accepted by the attorney.

Sound Recording

  1. Two copies of work.
  2. DD or IPO of Rs. (applicable) according to work.
  3. NOC from different copyright holders or copies of the agreement (deed of assignment).
  4. NOC from the publisher if the work published and publisher is different from the applicant.
  5. However, if the application is being filed with the help of an attorney, a specific power of attorney in the original duly signed by the applicant and accepted by the attorney.

Software

  1. Two copies of work.
  2. DD or IPO of Rs. (applicable) according to work.
  3. Author’s NOC if the author is different from the applicant.
  4. NOC from the publisher if the work is published and the publisher is different from the applicant.
  5. However, if the application is being filed with the help of an attorney, a specific power of attorney in the original duly signed by the applicant and accepted by the attorney.
  6. Also, the source code and the object code of the work for verification.

So, these are the list of documents to be submitted for a different type of works.

The procedure for registering a copyright in India

Step 1: Registration

The copyright registration application has to be filed in the concerned forms with the Copyright Registrar, mentioning the particulars of the work. Depending on the type of work, separate copyright applications may have to be filed.

Step 2: Paper Work 

The forms must be duly signed by the applicant and the application must be submitted by the Advocate under whose name Power of Attorney has been executed.

Step 3: Submission

Once the application is submitted online, you will be issued the Diary number.

Step 4: Review Period

There is a waiting period of 30 days within which the Copyright Examiner reviews the application for potential discrepancies and/or objections.

Step 5: Correcting Discrepancies

If discrepancy and/or objections are found, discrepancy notice will be issued and the same needs to have complied within 30 days from the date of issuance of the notice.

Step 6: Completion of Registration

Once the discrepancy has been removed or if there are no discrepancies or objections with the application, the copyright shall be registered and the Copyright Office shall issue the Extracts of Register of Copyrights (ROC) which is nothing but the Registration Certificate.

On completion of the copyright application, you will receive a diary number. Registration will take 12 months from this day.

References:

1.https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/copyright.asp

2.https://blog.ipleaders.in/copyright-registration/

3.https://copyright.gov.in

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