Copyright of Music in India – Meaning and Procedure

Copyright of Music
Sanchita Choudhary
| Updated: Oct 22, 2020 | Category: Copyright, Music License

Music is a form of art that can either be tangible or intangible. Copyright can be done of anything irrespective of their nature or of its kind. Copyright of Music in India is done as per the provisions laid down under Copyright Act, 1957. This helps the originator or the owner to have the exclusive right over their invention.

Meaning of Copyright         

Copyright is another form of Intellectual Property Right other than the Trade Mark and Patent registered in India. Section 14 of the Copyright Act, 1957[1] defines the term Copyright. These comprise of various forms of rights which exist in different kinds of work such as:

Copyright meaning
  • Literary work which includes books, magazines, pamphlets
  • Musical work,
  • Dramatics,
  • Artistic work such as photography,
  • Films,
  • Architectural works.


As mentioned in Copyright Act, 1957 “Copyrights are the exclusive form of rights enjoyed by the creator to do or to authorize the doing of certain acts”. Some of these rights mentioned are:

  • To reproduce the work in any material for and storing the same in any means such as electronic,
  • Publish the work produced,
  • Perform the work in public,
  • To perform, produce or reproduce or publish such work or any translation of work,
  • To communicate the work produced to the public,
  • Adaptation of such work,
  • To translate the work produced,
  • To include the work produced in a cinematographic film.

Registration of Copyright in India

Copyright registration is a form of intellectual property right granted to the owner or the creator of any literary works, dramatics or any musical or artistic work and even to the producers off cinematographic films and sound recordings.

Purpose of Copyright Registration

The main focus of copyright registration is to provide safeguard to the author in form of reward over their creation.

Once a copyright of Music license is registered the owner or the author can enjoy various rights which includes a reproduction of their work or translation of the work produced and many more.

Copyright of music produced in India can be obtained by any song creator or writer for the music composed and the lyrics.

Procedure for Copyright Registration in India

The moment a new work has created the author or the creator enjoys the right to get the work registered under the Copyright Act, 1957. There are many steps which are to be followed for the copyright of music in India.

However, it is not necessary for every creator to get the work done registered as per the law. This happens only when the creator wants to make a lump sum of money out of the music created by them.

Steps Involved

For copyright to be registered following are the procedure to be followed by the owner:

Procedure of Music Copyright
  • Online application to be filled by the applicant along with the appropriate government fees.
  • The applicant must sign the application along with the Advocate.
  • Diary number to be issued, once the application is received by the registrar.
  • 30 days waiting period is mandatory for any objection to be received.
  • Once the complaint is received, the examiner will call both the parties for further hearing.
  • After the expiry of 30 days, in case no objection is received, the application will be examined thoroughly. Further, the application will be forwarded to the registrar in case no discrepancy is found.
  • Further, the application is approved by the registrar and the Certificate of Copyright is issued to the Applicant.
  • Once issued, the Certificate of Registration remains valid for a period of 60 years.

Copyright of all the Elements of Song

Copyright of music or song is complex in nature. In order to get the copyright of music or song, the author cannot just copyright only one element of it which is the recording. However, in order to get complete control over the work done the author or the creator must get a copyright license over all the elements of it. The list of elements are :

  • Lyrics,
  • Music,
  • Recording, and
  • The Instrumental Background.

Also, Read: Why & How is Copyright Registration is an Important Step?

Documents required for the Copyright Registration

Following are the list of documents required for the registration of Copyright in India:

  • Name, address and nationality of the Applicant.
  • Name, address and nationality of the owner of the work.
  • Details of the applicant’s interest in the copyright.
  • Title of the work.
  • A signed declaration from the author.
  • Language of the work must be mentioned for copyright registration.
  • If the work is a published work, the year and the country of the publication must clearly be stated.
  • Two copies of work.
  • In case of a published work, NOC from the publisher must be provided in case the publisher is different from the Applicant.
  • If the application for registration is filled by an attorney, power of attorney must be submitted duly signed by the applicant and accepted by the attorney.

Necessity for Copyright Registration

  • Copyright registration is necessary for any creator or author or owner of any creative work such as music, manuscripts, cinematographic films, sound recordings and so on in order to safeguard it from commercial purpose without the consent of the author.
  • Once a copyright is registered it safeguards the creativity of the creator from being stolen and used.
  • The owner gets legal rights over the work done once a copyright is received.
  • Unless the creation or work done is not registered under Copyright Act, 1957 a creator or an author cannot sue any person for the infringement of copyright.
  • A registered copyright helps to establish a public record of the copyright so that one can claim for protection as per the law.


Copyright registration of music in India is essential for artists in order to assure that they are being rewarded for the original work done by them. It helps them to get a complete control over work done by them. The registration of copyright empowers the authors or owner or creators by providing them the legal rights over their creation so that the work cannot be used for duplication. Thus, in order to copyright any music or a song one has to first record it and then publish the same on an official website.

Also, Read: How to Register your Restaurant with Foodpanda


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