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Copyright Registration

A registration confers upon its owner sole rights to copy or reproduce the work or grant permission to another to do so.

  • Data Check

    We do a thorough check of the files you send in

  • Copyright Filing

    We then prepare the application and file the forms

  • Regular Updates

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Copyright Registration in India - An overview


By law, copyright is the legal right entitled to creators of literary, dramatics, music, and artistic work and producers of films and recordings. Copyright registration in India grants its proprietor exclusive, sole rights to distribute, replicate, reproduce the work or give authorization to another entity for the same. It offers a bundle of rights - communication to the public, rights of reproduction, adaptation and translation of the work.

Why register a copyright in India? Benefits


Getting copyrights for books, music pieces, movies, photography, software programs, etc. gives the author the following benefits:

  • When the work gets copyrighted, it is made available free on the public records, thereby creating the ownership.
  • In the case of copyright infringement, the authors can sue the infringers to secure their work and claim statutory damages
  • The owners can record the registration with Indian customs and prevent importing duplicate copies
  • Any by-product or derivative can be made from the original registered work
  • The rights can be passed or sold to third-party with no objection
  • Copyright protection enables the owners to exhibit their work

Copyright registration in India - A detailed process


The process for registering copyright involves the following steps:

Step 1: The copyright registration application has to be filed in the concerned forms with the Copyright Registrar, mentioning the particulars of the work.

Depending on the type of work, separate copyright applications may have to be filed.

Our representatives will ask for basic details based on your copyright work. You will also need to send us three copies of your work and few signed documents including an authorisation letter that we will send by email. If the work is unpublished, two copies of the manuscript can be sent, where one copy will be returned to the applicant with seal and the other will be retained confidential with the Copyright Office. Applicants can also choose to send only the extracts of the manuscript instead of the whole unpublished copy.

Step 2: The forms must be duly signed by the applicant and the application must be submitted by the Advocate under whose name Power of Attorney has been executed.

Our experts will then prepare the copyright registration application and submit the necessary forms with the Registrar of Copyrights electronically.

Step 3: Once the application is submitted online, you will be issued the Diary number.

Step 4: There is a waiting period of 30 days within which the Copyright Examiner reviews the application for potential discrepancies and/or objections.

Step 5: If discrepancy and/or objections are found, discrepancy notice will be issued and the same needs to have complied within 30 days from the date of issuance of the notice.

Step 6: Once the discrepancy has been removed or if there are no discrepancies or objections with the application, the copyright shall be registered and the Copyright Office shall issue the Extracts of Register of Copyrights (ROC) which is nothing but the Registration Certificate.

On completion of the copyright application, you will receive a diary number. Registration will take 12 months from this day. During this time, we may be asked for some clarifications on the same and/or some defects in the application and it will cost a further Rs. 1500 for responding and complying with the defects. Our representatives at Vakilsearch will inform you of the changes in the status of your application throughout.

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Documents Required for Copyright Registration


Personal Details

  • Name, Address & Nationality of the Applicant
  • Name, address and nationality of the author of the work
  • Nature of the applicant’s interest in the copyright - whether the applicant is the author of the work or the representative of the author
  • Copies of the original work
  • ID proof of the owner and Incorporation certificate if it is for business


  • Nature of the Work

  • Class & Description of the Work
  • Title of the Work
  • Language of the Work
  • Date of Publication - Publication in internal magazines, like a company magazine or a research paper submitted to a professor does not count as publication.

Scope of copyright protection


The Copyright Act, 1957 prevents unauthorized use of any original literary, musical, dramatic, sound recordings, cinematograph and other artistic works. Both published and unpublished works can be copyrighted, and the copyright of the original work is reserved for the original creator. Copyright can also be registered for works that were published before 21st January 1958, that is before the Copyright Act came into existence.

Copyright protection of original literary, musical, dramatic, and artistic works lasts for the entire lifetime of the author. In addition, it also for another 60 years counted from the year following the death of the author. In the case of sound recordings, cinematograph films, photographs, posthumous publications (published post the death of the author), anonymous and pseudonymous publications, government works and works of international organisations.

Rights of the copyright owner


Under the Indian Copyright Act 1957, copyright protects the social, economic and legal interests of the author. The copyright owner is entitled to the following exclusive rights.

Right of reproduction

The Copyright Act states that no third party can reproduce or make copies of the original work or part of the work unless the copyright owner has granted permission to do so. It restricts reproduction in the form of printing an edition of a work and recording sound and films.

Right of adaptation

The copyright creator can choose to use his work whichever way he wants. That is, he can create derivatives from the existing work or prepare a new work in the same form or different form based on the original work. The following actions define the term “adaptation” as per the Copyright Act:

  • Converting plays, movies, choreographic shows and other dramatic works into non-dramatic or literary works like poems, novels and books
  • Converting literary works and artistic works like sculpture, photography, paintings, drawings, etc into dramatic work
  • Modification or alteration of dramatic and non-dramatic work
  • Pictorial depiction of the work
  • Transcription of musical work

Right of communication to the public

Copyright owners can make their work available to the public by means of broadcast or wireless diffusion whether in any or more of the forms of signs or visual images.

Right of public performance

The owners of musical work and artistic work can perform their works publicly. For example, a musician can play his piece or an actor can perform in his play for the masses. The artists can also choose to broadcast their performance in the digital platforms.

Right of paternity and integrity

The Copyright Law grants the moral rights of paternity and integrity to the creators. The right of paternity or attribution means that the creator can claim authorship over his work and have it attributed to him. That is, whoever wishes to reproduce or adapt the original work has to give due credit to the author or else the author has the right to file a suit against the maker. For example, if a person wants to make a movie out of a book, he/she must duly acknowledge the author. Right of integrity protects the right of the holder and lets him claim damages when someone distorts, mutilates or modifies his work causing disreputation to his name and work.

Right of distribution

The copyright holder may distribute his work in any form through reproducing, selling, renting, leasing or lending. He can also assign specific rights to a person to either copyright the work partially or wholly or subject to certain limitations.

Why Vakilsearch?


At Vakilsearch, our Copyright professionals and lawyers will offer legal advice and end-to-end support right from filing the application, collecting the details, till your work gets registered. The entire process is done online so there is no need for you to step out and follow up with the government authorities. We will take care of all the mandatory requirements as well.

FAQs on Copyright Registration


Copyright does not ordinarily protect titles by themselves or names, short word combinations, slogans, short phrases, methods, plots or factual information nor protect ideas or concepts. Copyright is provided only to original literary work.
A trademark is a mark given to protect a brand name, logo or slogan. On the other hand, copyright is a protection given to unique content like a book, music, videos, songs and artistic content.
Yes, absolutely. You must immediately send a legal notice and after sending the notice, if the problem does not get resolved, you can even file a case against the other side in a court of law.
No, there are no such provisions to check if the work has been copied by any third party. However, you can do a thorough search on the Internet to check if there is anything similar to yours.
In such a case, you will receive a legal notice from the third party, claiming that you have copied or reproduced their registered work. Vakilsearch can help you reply to the legal notice and in the further litigation process.
Copyright protection is valid for 60 years. If it is literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, the 60-year period is counted from the year following the expiry of the author. For cinematograph films, sound recordings, photographs, posthumous publications, anonymous and pseudonymous publications, works of government and works of international organizations, the 60-year period is counted from the date of publication.
Since India is a signatory of the Berne Convention, copyright registered in India will get the status of foreign work and protection will be extended to countries which are also signatories to the Berne Convention.
A copyright registration can be sold, transferred, gifted and franchised with due consent from the owner of the work.
A copyright holder has the right to translate, reproduce and adapt the creative work; the right to be credited for it; the right to determine who may adapt the work to other forms and who may get monetary benefits out of it.
Copyright protection is not applicable for ideas and methods - e.g., business operations, technical discoveries, mathematical principles and other such concepts; commonly available info - e.g., telephone directories, general databases taken from free public records, etc.; Choreographic works and speeches unless they are notated or videotaped. Also, business names, product descriptions, taglines and other such expressions cannot be copyrighted.
A website cannot be copyrighted in one application, rather you cannot copyright the entire website as it is made of various elements such as the content would be termed as literary work, the source code and object code of the website would also be considered as literary work, the pictures, artistic works would be considered as a separate work and therefore, individual copyright applications must be filed for such different elements of the website.
Considering the various factors, including objection, the entire process may take up to 6-8 months approximately.
A mobile application cannot be copyrighted as such, however, similar to a website, the coding can be copyrighted as literary work and other elements can be filed as different copyright applications.
Published and unpublished works can be registered. If a work is already published, the Publishing details need to be furnished along with the application.
The entire copyright filing is done online, and hence it can be done from anywhere in the country. The Copyright head office is in Delhi.
Yes, if the discrepancy is not removed within the said timeline, the application will be abandoned.

Advantages of Copyright Registration


Legal protection

Legal Protection

Creators of original works always enjoy legal protection when their work is reproduced without authorisation. Copyright Registration, however, makes it much easier to protect this original work against infringement.

Market Presence

Market Presence

By registering a copyright, a public record of your work is created and a proof of ownership is established for your creative work. It can also be used in marketing and for building goodwill in the mind of the customer.

Rights of the Owner

Rights of the Owner

The owner of a copyright has the rights over reproduction, dissemination, adaptation and translation of the work. There could be slight variations in the composition of the rights depending on the work.

Copyright Registration Process


3 Working Days

Our representatives will ask for basic details based on the work you want to copyright. You will also need to send us 3 copies of your unique content on a CD and a signed authorisation letter (we will mail this to you).

2 Working Days

Our experts will then prepare the application. We will le the necessary forms with the Registrar of Copyrights electronically at the office in Delhi.

12 Months

On completion of the copyright application, you will receive a diary number. Registration will take 12 months from this day. During this time, we may be asked for some clarifications on the same (if this is on account of an error of yours, it will cost a further Rs. 1500). Our representatives will inform you of the changes in the status of your application throughout. In case of an objection to your application, from interested parties or the examiner, you would need to file a response within 45 days.

Types of Intellectual Property


Copyright Trademark Patent Provisional Patent
Applies To
Photographs, movies, music, software code Words, logos, slogans Inventions & ideas Inventions & ideas
Applicants
Artists & creative professionals Business owners Inventors & designers Inventors & designers
Ownership Without Registration
Yes, but rights are limited Yes, but rights are limited No No
Validity
Lifetime of the author, plus 60 years Indefinite, but to be renewed every 10 years 20 years 1 year
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