Copyright for Artistic Work

Your artistic work is your exclusive right. ‘Copyright’ them legally to protect your reputation, revenue and prestige.

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What is Copyright?

Copyright is nothing but an exclusive right given to the creator for his/her work which symbolizes that the work is considered to be a unique one and strictly not to copy someone’s work. The creative work for which you want to get copyright may be in a literary, digital performance, cine field, artistic, educational, music or in any creative form. The copyright is usually meant to score for a limited time i.e. the term of copyright in India is 60 years. If you protect your work by copyright, then no one can copy, imitate or reproduce the original artistic work of yours in any other possible way. So, copyright your paintings & other art work and protect your original work.

As we said, Copyright is used by one to protect the original expression of an idea in the form of some creative work, but not the idea itself. Copyright does not protect ideas, facts, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way how these things or emotions are expressed.

Copyrights can also be given by the public law and are in that case, they are called "territorial rights". This means that you cannot extend your copyright license which is granted by the copyright laws for the art of a certain state, cannot go beyond the territory of that specific jurisdiction. Copyrights of this type vary by country. It should be noted that many countries around the globe and sometimes a large group of countries have made agreements with other countries on the copyright license being applicable when works "cross" national borders. Indeed, the public law states that the duration of a copyright expires 50 to 100 years after the creator dies, depending on the jurisdiction of the state. Copyright can be considered for the following works:

  • Music
  • Drama
  • Manuscripts
  • Digital forms
  • Books
  • Films
  • Paintings
  • Performances
  • Fashion Designs
  • Sound recording
  • Software
  • Literary Work
  • Mechanical
  • Training Manuals, etc.
  • Get Legal Assistance

    What is Artistic Work?

    We might think that artistic works can belong to one of two forms of creativity like paintings or architecture. But no, it just doesn’t stop with just a few. The list is big. The following activities are considered to fall under the artistic work. One can copyright famous paintings and other artistic works such as

  • Blueprints
  • Sculptures (toy soldiers, wall plaques, medals, coins, plaster casts of toasted sandwiches, etc.)
  • Diagrams
  • Drawings (architects drawings, engineering drawings, circuit diagrams, drawings of garments and cutting patterns, drawings of patterns for bedspreads and cushion covers)
  • Charts
  • Logos
  • Sketches
  • Engravings
  • Woodcuts
  • Photographs
  • Cartoons
  • Maps
  • Graphics
  • Lithographs
  • Architecture (buildings, models or parts of a building, architect plans, etc.)
  • Plots
  • Plans
  • However, among the above-mentioned works, there are a few exceptions where the court might refuse to accept. For instance, makeup or painting done on a pop star isn’t considered to be taken as a protected one. In every artwork, there are exceptions for which you should abide by.

    Copyright for Artistic Work

    Copyright laws for art works help to legally protect your artistic creations. The works of artistic craftsmanship provide crafts, ceramics, woodworks, jewelry making, embroidery working, and so on. When copyrighted your artwork, you (if you are the owner), can publish, reproduce or change the art however possible and also can plan for communication with the public regarding your copyright in artworks. You can copyright paintings, copyright artwork, copyright drawings and so on.

    Benefits of artistic copyright

  • Prevention of monetary loss
  • Legal protection and legal evidence
  • Protecting reputations
  • Prestige
  • Revenue generation
  • It makes you stand out in the crowd
  • Public notice of your work
  • Pre-emptive measure
  • The 6 Sections of the Registrar of Copyright

    The register of the Registrar of Copyrights is divided into 6 categories. The Registrar of Copyrights is the head of the Copyright Office under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It is in charge of the implementation of the Copyright Act. You should contact the central government to get the appointment of the Registrar. Let us now have a look at the 6 categories.

    Copyrights are protected by “THE COPYRIGHT ACT, 1957”, however, there have been several amendments to the act by now.

  • Section 1: Literary works other than computer Programs
  • Section 2: Musical Works
  • Section 3: Artistic Works
  • Section 4: Cinematography Films
  • Section 5: Sound Recording
  • Section 6: Computer Programs, tables & Compilations
  • Copyrights are protected by “THE COPYRIGHT ACT, 1957”, however, there have been several amendments to the act by now.

    Why should one get their artistic work registered under copyright law?

    It is not mandatory to get artistic work copyright India protection but it is always safe to get one. If you deny getting one, then your work might be easily copied or forged by someone else. And remember that the one to get the copyright protection first will be valued and accepted. By getting a copyright license, you will be able to celebrate your ownership of your work for a minimum time. This tends to be a motivation factor for the owner to present more works of his/her ideas and themes. Hence, a person should protect his hard work by registering for a copyright license.

    Copyright for Artistic Work - Duration

    The duration of the copyright artistic works are valid up to the life of the artist + 70 years. The copyright had expired for the Artist who died before January 1st, 1955. For unpublished works, copyright lasts until the work is first published to a span of the life of the artist + 70 years.

    *From 1 January 2019, the duration of copyrighted art is the same for both published and unpublished works.

    Documents Required for Copyright Artistic Work

  • Provide 2 copies of work
  • DD/IPO of Rs. (as applicable) per work
  • NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the author required. (if the applicant is different from the author) NOC from the publisher is required. (if the publisher is different from the applicant)
  • Search Certificate from Trade Mark Office (TM -60) if the work is being used on goods or capable of being used on the goods.
  • Get the NOC from a person whose photograph appears on the work.
  • If the application is being filed through an attorney, the sign of the specific Power of Attorney is required.
  • Procedure to Register Copyright Artistic Work Online-

  • Here is the online login portal (Govt)
  • All you have to do is enter your valid User ID and Password to log in.
  • If you haven’t registered yet, then click onto New User Registration. Make a note of your User ID and Password for future use.
  • After logging into it, click on to link “Click for online Copyright Registration”. You should fill the online “Copyright Registration Form” in four steps as follows.
      Complete the Form XIV, then press the SAVE button to Save your entered details, and press Step 2 to move to the Next Step.
  • Upload a scanned document of your signature which has to be 512 KB.
  • Fillup the Statement of Particulars, and then press the SAVE button to Save entered details.
  • Fill the further particulars which are required. This form is applicable for “LITERARY/ DRAMATIC, MUSICAL AND ARTISTIC” works, and then press the SAVE button to Save entered details. Move on to the next step.
  • Make the payment through the Internet Payment gateway of your wish.
  • After the successful submission of the form, a Diary Number will be generated.
  • Please take 1 hard copy of the “Acknowledgement Slip” and 1 hard copy of the “Copyright Registration Form”.
  • Send it to the below-mentioned address.
  • Copyright Division
    Department For Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade
    Ministry of Commerce and Industry
    Boudhik Sampada Bhawan,
    Plot No. 32, Sector 14, Dwarka, New Delhi-110078
    E-mail Address:
    Contact: 011-28032496

    FAQs on Copyright for Artistic Work

    What if the owner of the work sells his/her copyright artistic work?

    Unless and otherwise there is a written copy which states the transferring of the copyright from the owner to the purchase, the purchaser or to the one whom the work is sold can’t enjoy the benefits of owning the copyright.

    Can the copyright artwork be reproduced?

    Only the owner has the right to reproduce it. If the copyright is licensed, then the decisions have to be taken upon the license agreement.

    Is it possible for the owner to create a similar copyright artistic work?

    The main design shouldn’t be copied. However, a continuation of the work or a similar one (which doesn’t appeal to be a copy of anything licensed), can be copyrighted or produced.

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