Introduction

Copyright is a bundle of rights given by the law to the creators of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, software, and the producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. The rights granted under the provisions of the Copyrights Act, 1957 are to reproduce, to communicate the Works to the public, to translate, and to make any adaptation of the Work.

Defining 'Work':

Work, as per the Indian Copyrights Act, 1957, includes Literary Work, Artistic Work, Dramatic Work, Musical Work, Computer Programme, Sound Recording, and Cinematograph Films.

Registration of copyright in India and its importance:

Copyright protection begins the moment a Work is fixed in tangible form. Mere ideas cannot be said to constitute Copyright unless expressed in tangible form.

 In India, it is not mandatory to obtain registration for copyright in any work. However, a registration certificate is considered as 'proof of ownership' in the Courts and by the police officials to establish the rights over a Work. It has been held by the Supreme Court of India that the registration of copyrights is mandatory to initiate an action against infringement. 

The registration of copyright also benefits in the valuation of the Work in the market, i.e. adds on the value of the asset for commercial exploitation. The registration of Copyrights creates an atmosphere contributing to creativity and motivates the writers, artists, designers, dramatists, musicians, architects, and producers of sound recordings, cinematograph films, and computer software to create unique Work.

Steps for Copyright registration in India:

An application for registration of Copyright can be filed by the Owner of the Work before the Registrar of Copyrights having office at New Delhi, India. Separate applications are to be filed for separate works.

Once an application is filed, the Registrar of Copyrights examines the same after 30 days from the date of filing. In case of any discrepancy, a letter is issued to the Applicant prescribing time (usually 30 days) to resolve the discrepancy. In case of failure to respond to such a letter, the application is deemed abandoned. However, if the Registrar of Copyrights finds the reply satisfactory details of the applied Work is entered in the Register of Copyrights and an Extract of such Register of Copyright, commonly referred to as the Registration Certificate, is issued to the Applicant.

Documents and Information required

In a general case, the following documents and details are required for filing of an application:-

  • Name, address, and nationality of the Applicant.
  • Name, address, and Nationality of the Author.
  • In case the Applicant and Author are different, a No Objection Certificate from the Author.
  • A Power of Attorney if the application is filed by an Attorney on behalf of the Applicant.
  • Copy of the Work.