Copyright Registration in India ensures legal protection to the creators of original works. Copyright is a kind of intellectual property right which grants exclusive rights to the creator of the original work. In India, the protection of copyright is governed by the Copyright Act, 1957. The copyright comes into existence automatically as soon as the original work is created. But, by registering copyright, additional benefits and stronger legal protection can be achieved in case of any copyright infringement.
Copyright registration in India ensures protection for various types of works, such as literary works (e.g., books, articles, poems), artistic works (e.g., paintings, photographs, sculptures), musical works, cinematographic films, sound recordings, computer programs, and many more.
The Copyright Office in India deals with the copyright registration application and grants the registration. The Copyright Office in India is situated at New Delhi, but the copyright registration can also be filed online from any place in India.
Benefits for Registration of Copyright in India
- Legal Protection: The registered copyright owners have the right to take legal action against anyone who infringes the copyrighted work.
- Prima facie Evidence: In legal proceedings for copyright infringement, the registration certificate serves as evidence in a court of law for prove the ownership of original work.
- Statutory Damages: In case of infringement proceeding, the registered copyright owner can claim statutory damages as well as legal costs,
- Licensing and transfer: The registration of copyright can create the scope of commercialization of copyrighted works by the way of licensing and transfer which generates the royalties.
- International protection: The Registration of copyright in India can be widened for the protection of same registered work in foreign countries for the international treaties. The protection of copyright can be claimed by the holders of Indian Copyright in more than 180 countries in the world.
It is important to note that copyright protection is not indefinite and has a limited duration. In India, the general term of copyright protection is the lifetime of the author plus 60 years after their death. After the expiration of the copyright term, the work enters the public domain, and anyone can use it without seeking permission.
Procedure for registering copyright in India
- Preparation of Application: to secure the Copyright Registration in Indian the application for Copyright Registration should be filed through Form XIV along with Statement of Particulars, Statement of Further Particulars, requisite Govt. Fees and the Power of Attorney.
- Online Application: The Copyright Office offers online registration facilities, making it convenient for applicants to apply for copyright protection from anywhere in India. If the application is filed online, it is essential to send the hard copy of Application, Statement of Particulars, Statement of Further Particulars, Power of Attorney and two sets of Specimen of Work to the Copyright Office, New Delhi. The specimen copies of the work should be sent in physical form. For example, if it is a literary work, two copies of the manuscript and in case of sound recording two sets DVD containing sound work must be submitted.
Copyright Fees: The Government fees for copyright registration varies depending on the type of work which follows the copyright registration in India. The fee schedule is available in the Copyright Rules. The fees can be paid online with application and through bank Demand Draft for offline application.
- Examination Process: When the application along with the documents are submitted, the Ld. Examiner of the Copyright Office in India, examines the respective application and raise various objections related to statutory requirements and legal issues, if there is any. When there is no objection, the subject application proceeds for Copyright Registration in India. There is a mandatory waiting period to allow for any objections to be raised by the public. During this time, the application may be reviewed by the Copyright Office. The Copyright Office will process the application and may request additional information or clarification.
- Grant of Certificate: If there are no objections or the objections are resolved in favour of the applicant, the Copyright Office will issue a copyright registration certificate. This certificate confirms the registration of the work and the copyright protection it enjoys. Once the application is processed and approved, a copyright registration certificate is issued which may treated be as evidence of the copyright ownership.
Duration of Copyright: In India, the duration of copyright protection varies depending on the type of work. Generally, for literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, the copyright exists for the lifetime of the creator plus 60 years after the death of creator. For cinematographic films, sound recordings, photographs, and anonymous/pseudonymous works, the duration is 60 years from the year of publication or creation.