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Copyright Registration in India - An Overview

To enable progress in the society, creativity is the most essential requirement. Encouraging creativity enables the social and economic of the society at large. Copyright Registration protects the new creativity of the people and also becomes a source of motivation for the authors, artists, etc.

By registering the work with the ROC or Registrar of Copyrights in India provides the owner with the right to paternity, right to reproduce it, the right to adapt the work, and the right to distribute the work. In the article, we will discuss the step by step procedure of Copyright Registration in India.

What is a Copyright in India?

A copyright is essentially a legal right not to copy the work of someone. A Copyright Registration in India gives the owner of the work an exclusive right over his/her work. If any work is protected by Copyright Registration in India, no one can duplicate, reproduce or copy the original work of the copyright owner in any other way. A term of copyright in India is of 60 years.

Benefits of Copyright Registration in India

Benefits of copyright registration

The benefits of Copyright Registration in India are as follows:

  • Copyright Registration in India creates a public record. It tells the world that the work of the applicant is protected by copyright and also enables any person who wants to licence the work of applicant to find him/her.
  • It allows the owner to get legal evidence of his/her ownership. So, in a case if someone prevents the owner from using his/her work, the owner can just use his/her copyright to prove that it’s owner’s work and he/she have a right to use it.
  • It enables the owner to file a lawsuit and take the required legal action against someone who infringes his/her copyright, for instance by selling copies of the work of owner without his/her permission. 
  • It provides the owner with certain economic benefits by entitling him/her to use the work in various ways like performing in public, making copies, broadcasting the work etc, and availing the appropriate reward for the same. Thus, it provides the owner with a reward for his/her creativity.
  • It allows the owner to change the form of his/her work. For example, it allows the owner to make a sequel or revise or update the work.
  • It allows the owner to sell or pass the rights of his/her work.

What types of work can be registered using a Copyright?

Eligibile for copyright registration

In India, a copyright can be taken for the original works that fall in the area of:

  • Musical works;
  • Cinematography films;
  • Literary works like manuscripts and books;
  • Fashion designs;
  • Performances;
  • Artistic works like paintings;
  • Computer Softwares and other computer programs and compilations, etc.

However, it should be remembered that copyright does not protect names, titles, ideas, concepts, methods, slogans, and short phrases.

Essential Documents Required for Copyright Registration

The essential documents required for Copyright Registration in India are as follows:

  • 3 copies of the work of owner if the work is published somewhere;
  • If the owner’s work is not published anywhere, then 2 copies of the manuscripts;
  • If the application for Registration is being filed by any Attorney, then the special Power of Attorney or the vakalatnama signed by the Attorney and the party himself or herself;
  • Information regarding the language and title and of the work;
  • Information regarding the address, name, and nationality of the applicant;
  • Applicant is also required to provide his email address and mobile number;
  • Authorization in respect of the work, if the work to be copyrighted is not the work of the applicant himself or herself;
  • If the applicant is not the original author of the work, a document containing the address, name, and nationality of the original author, and if the original author is deceased, the date of death of such deceased original author;
  • If the work is to be used on any product, then a No Objection Certificate or NOC from the office of a trademark is required;
  • If the photo of any person is appearing in the work, then a No Objection Certificate or NOC from such person is also required;
  • In case the publisher of the work is not the applicant, a No Objection Certificate or NOC from the publisher is also required;
  • If the applicant is other than the original author, a No Objection Certificate or NOC from the original author is also required. In such a case, an authorization of the original author can also be required;
  • If the work of owner is published somewhere, the address and year of first publication is also required;
  • Complete information regarding the country and year of all subsequent publications;
  • In case of Copyright registration is for any software, then the source code and object code are also mandatorily required.

Copyright Registration Procedure in India

Process of Copyright Registration

The step by step procedure of Copyright Registration in India is as follows:

Filing of Application

In the first step of the process for Copyright Registration in India, the author of the work, owner of an exclusive right for the work, copyright claimant, or an authorized agent can file an application for Registration.The application canbe filed physically in the copyright’s office or through speed/registered post.

On the other hand, the application can be filed online through the e-filing facility available on the official website i.e. copyright.gov.in.

For registration of each work of the owner, a separate application is required to be filed with the Registrar of Copyright. The application should be filed along with the particulars of the work, along with the requisite fee. Different types of work have different fees of Copyright Registration in India.

At the end of this step, the registrar will issue a dairy number to the applicant.

Examination of Application

In the next step, the examination of the application for Copyright Registration in India takes place.Once the dairy number is issued to the applicant by the Registrar, there is a minimum waiting time period of 30 days. In this waiting timeperiod, the copyright examiner reviews the registration application of the applicant. This waiting period exists so that some objections can be raised and be reviewed. Here this process gets divided into the following two segments:

  • In a case where no objections are raised, the examiner goes ahead to scrutinize and review the application of registration to find any kind of discrepancy.
  • If in a case there is no fault and all the important documents and information is provided along with the registration application, it will be a case of zero discrepancies. In this case, the applicant is then allowed to go forward with the next step in the process.
  • In case some discrepancies are found, a letter of the discrepancy is to be sent to the respective applicant. Based upon the reply of the examiner, a hearing will be conducted by the Registrar. Once the found discrepancy is resolved, the applicant will be allowed to move forward to the next step in the process.
  • In case some objections are raised by a person against the applicant, letters are to be sent out to both the parties and they are called by the Registrar to be heard.
  • Upon hearing if the raised objection is rejected, the application for Registration goes ahead for scrutiny and the procedure for the above-mentioned discrepancy will be followed.
  • In case the raised objection is not clarified or discrepancy is not properly resolved, the application will be rejected and a letter of rejection will be sent to the respective applicant. For such an applicant, the Copyright Registration procedure in India ends here.

Online Registration

The final step in the process can be termed as Registration. In this step, the Copyright Registrar can also ask for some more documents. Once completely satisfied with the copyright claim made by the applicant, the Registrar of Copyrights will enter the complete details of the copyright into the Register of copyrights and later on will issue a certificate of registration.

The process Copyright Registration completes when the applicant is issued with the Extracts of the Register of Copyrights or ROC.

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