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What Are the Conditions for the Grant of Copyright Registration in India?

Copyright ensures the protection of your original work from being copied. Registered copyright however offers more than an unregistered one. To register your copyright you will have to meet certain conditions This article will brief you about all such prerequisites. 

Copyrights Are Creativity Boosters

Creativity is crucial to the economic and social development of any society. Copyrights encourage creativity by rewarding the original author or creative with special perks and exclusive rights to keep the creativity growing by encouraging others to get more creative.

What Is Copyright Protection?

Copyright protection confers on work soon after its creation and remains in existence until after sixty years after the author’s or creator’s death. With high competition engulfing the world, there are possibilities of your original work being copied or stolen. Therefore it is important to register your copyright for full protection under the Copyright Act. A copyright symbol © (Mechanical License India) is included in the copyright notice printed on a copyrighted work. This notice serves as a deterrent to infringers.

Why Should You Register Your Copyright in the First Place?

Copyright registration is not a necessity as per Indian law. But registering your copyright could bring you benefits and exclusive rights over your work. With registered copyright, you can

  • Sell, rent, or distribute your original work
  • Reproduce your original work, or create derivatives
  • Communicate your copyright to the public
  • Publish the origins work online or offline
  • Authorise someone to use your work
  • Make variations of your work
  • File a suit for copyright infringement
  • Use your copyright registration certificate as prima facie evidence in court to prove ownership over your work
  • Acquire back the damages caused, along with the attorney’s fee in case of an infringement.

Therefore, registering your copyright is important so you can benefit from its various rights and perks. You will also grab economic benefits, given the exclusive rights of registered copyrights.

Copyright Registration

What Kinds of Work Can the Copyright Office Grant Copyright Registration For?

As per the Copyright Act, you can apply for copyright registration, if your work belongs to any of the following fields:

  1. Musical works (Copyright for Synchronization License)
  2. Cinematographic films
  3. Sound Recordings (Copyright for music in india)
  4. Architectural works (Cinematograph films copyright)
  5. Computer software or program
  6. Dramatic works
  7. Artistic works (Copyright for artistic work)
  8. Copyright for Reproduction Right

You can apply for copyright registration to the Copyright Office if your works cater to the need of any of the above fields. However, your copyrights must meet some conditions for copyright registration in India.

Conditions for the Grant of Copyright Registration

1. The Work Should Be Tangible

Copyright registration is granted to an original creator only for their tangible work. In other words, you cannot obtain copyright registration for ideas, thoughts, or concepts. Copyrights come into existence after the concept or idea is materialised or fixed into something that can be read, or heard.

However,  it can be a draft or a completed work, published or unpublished work. So you need to arrange your ideas and fix them into tangible form to obtain copyright registration.

2. The Work Should Be Original

Only original work can be copyrighted. However, for this, neither uniqueness nor quality is required. Even if the work is bad, it is still subject to copyright protection. Similar works independently created are also individually subject to copyright protection. However, the work should be created by inspiration rather than borrowing from other sources.

3. The Work Should Be Creative

The mere hard work of the creator is not enough to gain copyright protection. The work should be at least minimally creative. For example, A simple list of cooking ingredients is probably not subject to copyright. However, a detailed recipe of food that can be made with the ingredients may be subject to copyright protection.

4. Other Miscellaneous Criteria for Copyright

    • The original work should not have been published before
    • For the work of an author who has passed by, the author should have been a citizen of India, at the time of death
    • If the work is published in India, the author has to be a citizen of India during the publication.

What Kinds of Work Are Not Protected by Copyright Registration?

  1. Works that are not in tangible form
  2. Works that are already in the public domain, and whose original creator remains untraceable
  3. Copyright works that have already lapsed their expiration
  4. Names, slogans, methods, facts, designs, and symbols come under the purview of Trademark law and are hence not covered under copyright protection
  5. Ideas, procedures, concepts, discoveries, and guidelines come under the purview of patent or trade secret and are hence not covered under copyright protection.

The Bottom Line

Copyrights are crucial to encourage creativity, and creativity builds a healthy society. Therefore copyright laws cannot be rigid in the country. There are many courts in India that have ruled out the mandatory registration of copyright. Therefore, it is not necessary that you register your copyright. However, registering your copyright could benefit you in many ways. You can register your copyright online with the help of the experts at Vakilsearch, who will ensure smooth registration of your copyright online, easily, and quickly.

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