CopyrightsIntellectual Property

Replying to a Copyright Objection

Has someone raised an objection against your copyright application? Have you received a notice in this regard? This article will explain how to respond to such a notice.

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A copyright refers to a creator’s rightful proprietorship of their work. Register your copyright for legal recognition. During the registration process, the applicant is notified if there are any objections to the claim of ownership or if there are any discrepancies in the application. The applicant must reply to that notice by responding to the copyright objection.

Process of Registration

The Copyright Act, 1957 and the Copyright Rules, 2013 governs the Copyright Registration process in India. Any original artistic work, cinematographic film, music composition, literary/dramatic work, sound recording or software can be copyrighted provided that the work is a tangible expression of an idea. 

The requisite fee must accompany the application for registration by the Copyright Office. Moreover, the application must contain the necessary signatures and power(s) of the attorney. 

Any objections must be filed within 30 days of the end of the waiting period, after filing. If there are no objections, the application will be forwarded to an examiner. If the examiner does not find any errors in the application, the registration process will be completed.

The entire process takes about 8-9 months, subject to objections and discrepancies.

REPLY TO A COPYRIGHT OBJECTION

Objections and Discrepancies in a Copyright Application

A copyright objection arises when a third-party files an application claiming that the copyright in question reflects a pre-existing expression of an idea already belonging to them. The party seeking a response to a copyright objection in order to justify the issues raised receives the results in letters. In certain cases, the Registrar might also call for a hearing where the registration can either be accepted or rejected. 

When the copyright office uncovers grounds to place a query on the application, do so in the form of letters to the applicant. In exchange they expect an explanation during the course of the examination, this is referred to as a copyright discrepancy.

 An objection may be raised for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, a lack of distinctiveness or the discovery of any incorrect details in the copyright application. The applicant then needs to reply to the discrepancy letter by justifying the issues raised. The approval or rejection of the application depends on this reply.

Need to Reply to an Objection/Discrepancy

After a thorough examination, the Registrar conveys to the applicant the existence of objection(s), if any, and requests for documents to counter the same. It is the legal obligation of the copyright application to file a response to the copyright objection letter. On not receiving any response, the Registrar may cancel the copyright application and mark it as ‘rejected’.

To avoid such rejection and obtain the legal rights to one’s work, a quick response is required. Get in touch with the experts at Vakilsearch for help drafting a well-worded objection/discrepancy reply.

The Reply

The response to a copyright objection or discrepancy letter is a legal document. The drafting of the same requires complex legal knowledge and excellent drafting skills. 

There are two ways to file a response: either by the creator themselves, if they have the necessary competencies to explain their work, or by hiring a legal team to do so. We recommend seeking professional assistance. As previously stated, the response to an objection/discrepancy notice is a legal document and the very ownership of one’s work is at stake.

Although there is no standard format to draft a response to a copyright objection letter, there are certain pointers to keep in mind while drafting it. Hence we suggest you keep the following in mind: 

Attach the following documents with the reply – 

  • Copy of copyright registration application 
  • Affidavit for the reply, if required
  • Documents in support of reply
  • Power of Attorney by the applicant
  • Copy of discrepancy letter issued by the registrar

Based on whether or not the registrar is satisfied with the contents of the response letter, a hearing might be arranged. 

Hence it naturally follows that such a reply calls for utmost professionalism to ensure a good outcome at the end of the copyright registration process. It may, however, depend on the language of the letter. Responding to a copyright objection is merely a procedure that does not ensure the registration of one’s copyright. Furthermore, after filing the reply, the creator must follow up with the relevant registrar’s office. This is to ensure that the process is completed as quickly as possible. 

Moreover, if an objection is filed, it takes an additional month to determine whether the copyright can be registered or not. Further to that, because obtaining copyright is crucial as legal proof of ownership, one must exercise extreme caution in order to ensure the copyright application’s success. Hence do not hesitate to seek professional legal counsel to help with the entire process.

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