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Copyright Registration | Copyright Application in India: A Complete Guide


What is a Copyright?

A complete guide to copyright registration must tell you what a copyright is.

Well, a copyright is a set of rights given to the author of a work that holds him the owner of that particular work in the eye of the law. And thus, he can enforce his copyright in a legal dispute relating to the work.

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The copyright logo looks like a little maze. With vakilsearch, however, copyright registration is simple!

What all can get a Copyright Protection?

A copyright can be gained by the author of a literary, artistic and musical works.

Literary work, for example, includes books, short stories, poems, articles.

Dramatic work includes plays, screenplays, scripts, narratives, cinema film sequences.

Musical work includes any musical composition, arrangement or transcription of the work.

Artistic works include photographs, sculptures, paintings, etc.

Author of a Coprightable Work

An author in the sense of these works is the playwright, screenplay writer, author of the book/short story/article, music composer, photographer, sculptor, painter etc.

A copyright basically grants protection to an author from having his work:

  • reproduced or communicated to the public by way or hearing or
  • distributed or benefit any person who is not the author without the author’s prior authorization

This protection is also granted to reproduced, rearranged or altered works of music and art, conversion of literary or artistic works into dramatic works and dramatic works into non-dramatic works, known as ‘adaptation.

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Art is ONE. Every type of an artistic work is copyrightable!

Why is Copyright Registration Important?

A copyright application has to be put into process for protecting your own work or for republishing, reproducing or adapting existing work and seeking protection for the same to avoid any consequential legal battle with the other party/parties as the case may be.

An author has an automatic copyright over his/her work by the very virtue of the work being his creation.

However, the law recognizes registered copyrights as sufficient proof when an author is trying to enforce his copyright against the other party.

In case of ownership disputes over adaptations or republications, there must be no objections or legal hassles pertaining to the ownership and usage of the original work.

So, if you want to ensure that there is no unjustified benefitting from you work, copyright registration is a must.

This settles the importance of getting a copyright registered.

To get your copyright registration done NOW fill in the form on the right and our team will get back to you!

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Legal Ownership: that's how a copyright registration benefits you!

Copyright Registration: How to Do?

Next, we’ll be dealing with the process of getting a copyright registered.

There are certain things one must ensure for a smooth copyright application process.

The Indian Copyright Act, 1957 is the statute governing copyright in India.

A person applying for a copyright in a work, whether published or unpublished, can do so only in accordance with the provisions of this act.

Copyright Application: When and Who can apply for a Copyright?

Before applying for a copyright, the author must ensure that a copyright can subsist in the first place.

A copyright subsists in original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and cinematographic films and sound recordings.

No copyright can be granted where the work being copyrighted is fully or partially an infringement of copyright.

In a case concerning two authors, the conditions laid down for the subsistence of a copyright have to be fulfilled by both the authors.

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Ownership over a copyright can sometimes get messy

Copyright Office in India

A copyright office set up in accordance with the act deals with copyright registrations and granting of licenses amongst other things. The act in its tenth chapter deals with registration of copyrights.

The author or the publisher or the owner or any other person interested (in accordance with the provisions of the act) in the copyright in any work may make the prescribed application along with the prescribed fee.

Details of copyright registration applications can be found on the government of India’s copyright office website here.

The application can be filled online on the copyright office website.

Applications can also be filled in at the counter provided at the copyright office or sent by post.

A checklist provided on the website provides for certain essentials that must be looked at.

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The organisational structure of Copyright office is, well, simple

Copyright Registration Fee

The processing fee must be enclosed with the application by postal order or demand draft in favour of ‘Registrar of Copyrights’ payable at New Delhi.

The fee details can be accessed by clicking on the ‘details of processing fee’ tab on the left side of the website.

Different amounts of processing fee have been prescribed for different sorts of application.

The nature of your application must be referred to and crosschecked before you enclose the fee.

Moreover, separate applications are to be made for each work and the fee is to be enclosed accordingly.

Copyright Registration: Documents Required

Both, published and unpublished works, can be registered for a copyright as long as the work is the author/applicant’s own and does not satisfy copyright infringement conditions.

The application form must carry with it ‘Statement of Purpose’ (SoP) and ‘Statement of Further Particulars’(SoFP).

The name, address and nationality of the author must be indicated in the SoP.

The author has to sign these documents or confer ‘Power of Attorney’ upon the advocate representing him and signing the documents on his behalf.

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Yes, the statement of purpose didn't end with college

Copyright Registration: Waiting Period and Objections

If any other person is making the application on behalf of the author, then the author must sign a declaration conveying his authorizing the other person to represent him.

After your application is filed, you have to wait for a minimum period of thirst days so that all objections that might arise with regard to your claim of ownership of the particular work are dealt with.

Objection on your Copyright Application

If an objection is filed , it may take another thirty days wherein it is decided whether an opportunity of hearing to both parties should be given and whether the work can be registered after listening to both the parties.

Thereafter, if any discrepancies are come across, it may take another thirty days.

So, the entire process which could culminate in an acceptance or a rejection of the application could result in a two-three months waiting period.

Once the application is filed, you could keep yourself updated by checking the status of your application from time to time.

In the course of the thirty days waiting period for any objections challenging your ownership claim on the work, if any objections are filed, a letter is sent to the applicant and the party filing the objection.

A hearing is conducted where upholding the principles of natural justice both parties are permitted to defend their causes.

After the hearing in front of the Registrar of Copyrights the application could be permanently rejected or accepted and sent forward.

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Don't worry about the copyright objections! With vakilsearch, legal is now simple!

When copyright objections are cleared

If no objections arise or if the objections filed are rejected, the application is further sent for scrutiny of discrepancies by the Examiner.

If any discrepancy is chanced upon, a letter is dispatched to the applicant and his/her reply is awaited.

If the Registrar in the hearing for the matter rejects the application, then a rejection letter is sent to the party.

If the application clears all forms of checks and scrutinies and hearings in case of objections and discrepancies, extracts from the Registrar are sent to the applicant.

Copyright Registration Process: Closure

Thus, the copyright registration process comes to an end.

The main aim of the Copyright Office is ensuring that no application violates provisions of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 and the Copyright Rules, 1958 and thereby, the spirit of the law that ensures protection via copyright.

Copyright registration can be a simple process if the necessary conditions are satisfied and the applications don’t consist of any loopholes.

This can be made easier if help is warranted from a legal service that ensures that there are no loopholes and eliminates the possibility of objections and discrepancies.