Quick Guide to register Copyright in India

Copyright is a legal right which is entitled to the creator of any artistic or creative work. It comes into existence as soon as an original work is created, however; registering it serves as evidence of ownership. The Registrar of Copyrights is responsible for the registration and other related formalities in India.

What is eligible for Copyright?

There are different types of work which are eligible for copyright registration. Below is a list of them –

  • Literary Work like books, poems, articles, etc.
  • Sound Recordings.
  • Musical work like lyrics, music notes, musical composition, etc.
  • Dramatic Work like scripts, screenplays, shows, etc.
  • Artistic Work like paintings sculptures, drawings, architecture, etc.

For the ‘work’ to be copyrighted, it has to be in a tangible form with original and distinct content. The owner must be creative without copying someone’s work.

Copyright Register

Documents required for registration

While initiating the registration process, there are few documents that you need to submit along with the application either at the registered office or via online mode.  Below are some pre-requisites for initiating the registration process.

  • Power of Attorney signed by the applicant.
  • Details of the work to be copyrighted in the form of an info sheet.
  • 3 Soft Copies of the work which the applicant wishes to copyright.
  • Identity proof like Aadhar Card, PAN Card, Driving License, etc.

In case the applicant and author are two different people then, a declaration will be required signed by the author along with the nature of registration [owner or licensee].

How do you get a Copyright in India?

Once you register a copyright, it is valid for 60 years. To get a copyright in India, these are few tips which you need to follow –

Filing an application

The author or creator of the work requires to submit an application along with the prescribed fee and relevant details to the Registrar of Copyrights, Delhi.

The fee can be paid in the form of a Demand Draft, Postal Order or through online mode. Separate applications should be filed in case of multiple works.

Examining the application

As soon as the application is filed, a diary number is received so that the applicant can check the status of registration. The person has to wait for 30 days to see if there is any objection raised on the work applied for a copyright.

In case of objection

If a third party files an objection, then an examiner’s report is sent by the registrar to the applicant to which he/she has to reply within 30 days. A No Objection Certificate is issued to the applicant in case the registrar is convinced with the reply.

In case of no objection

If the copyright application fulfills all the eligibility criteria and no discrepancy is found, then the registration gets approved, and extracts are sent to the applicant.

At times, the registration may also get disapproved by the registrar. In such a case a rejection letter is sent to the concerned person.

Registration

The entire procedure depends on the sole consideration of the Registrar. He/she reviews the application carefully and decides whether the person should get copyright or not.  When any work owns the copyright, it is represented by “© “on top of the work.

Importance of Copyright

Copyright promotes creativity and protects every distinct work of the creator. Registering copyright provides several advantages to the owner of the work. According to the Copyright Law –

  • The copyright owner has the right to oppose any third party who claims an already registered work.
  • The owner can also sell or transfer the copyright to another person by making a deal or agreement between both the parties.
  • The owner can claim for the authorship of the registered work.
  • In case a copyrighted work is modified or distorted without the knowledge of the owner then the person can ask for the damaged caused.
  • The owner can make copies, distribute or sell his/her registered work.
  • The creator or owner can license his/her work to different corporate companies in return for some payment.

What cannot be copyrighted?

There are a few exceptions which cannot be copyrighted according to the Copyright Act 1957 –

  • Short titles or phrases like names, symbols or designs, list of ingredients or content, etc.
  • Facts which are universal and at times might include figures.
  • Law and Court Proceedings like decisions, regulations or constitution.
  • Ideas including principles, procedure, discoveries, plans, etc.
  • Information for the general public which does not include any ownership.

Winding-Up  

The sole idea of copyright is to bring out innovative and distinct ideas which are creative and encouraging for others. To use copyrighted content, you need to ask for permission from the respective owner and in some cases might need to pay the royalty fee.

However, for academic and research purposes one can use the copyrighted content by just mentioning the concerned person in credits.