Copyright for Cinematograph Film

Give your creative brilliance the protection of copyright. Own a copyright for your cinematograph film & protect it from infringement.

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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 work of yours in any other possible way. 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 law 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.
  • What is a cinematograph film?

    A Cinematograph film can be defined as any work of visual or video recording on any sort of medium produced through a process from which a moving image may be unfolded. As said, it can be made by any means and carries a sound recording accompanying such visual recording as well. To be very precise and understandable, a cinematograph film is considered to be one, when any realistic order work has moving images or visuals.

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    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.

  • 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 work registered under copyright law?

    It is not mandatory to get copyright 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 period. For example on Youtube, you can watch many copyright videos and films. Copyright for films is done by their directors and producers. Non-copyrighted movies can appear anywhere and the owner can’t have control over the same. Motion picture copyright is secured automatically when the work is fixed and created in a copy. Movie copyright can also be done along with the copyright registration documentary film which is highly recommended in this word of people wanting a variety of movies.

    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.

    Benefits of owning the copyright for your cinematograph film

  • When you copyright your cinematograph film, then there would be the prevention of monetary loss.
  • Copyright helps for legal protection and legal evidence of your work which you can submit anywhere anytime, if necessary.
  • It helps in protecting the reputations.
  • Having and owning your idea provides you with prestige.
  • A unique approach helps in generating high revenue.
  • It makes you and your work stand out in the crowd.
  • The public will notice your work if it is something unique and attracts the people.
  • Pre-emptive measures can be taken according to the circumstances.
  • Term of protection for Copyright of Films

    The term period of the protection of the cinematograph films is determined by Section 26 which deals with it. The term of protection for cinematograph films is 60 years. The period of the protection starts from the year when it first got published data officially.

    Documents required for the application process for Copyright of Films

  • 2 Copies of your work.
  • DD/IPO of Rs. (as applicable) per work.
  • NOC from various copyright holders or copies of the agreement (deed of assignment).
  • NOC from the publisher if work published and publisher is different from the applicant.
  • If the application is being filed through an attorney, a specific Power of Attorney in original, duly signedby the applicant and accepted by the Attorney.
  • In the case of cinematograph films, Statement of Further Particulars is not necessary.
  • The applicant, who may be the author or owner of the right must sign both the Form XIV and SoP.
  • Fee structure

    The fee for cinematograph films is INR 5,000 per work. Accordingly, the applications for registration of the cinematograph films must be accompanied by the corresponding fee along with the records.

    List of Documents required to be submitted by Hand/ By Post along with the application form.

    Publication of a Cinematograph Film - Examples

  • A TV show or a DTH channel showcasing a cinematograph film.
  • Releasing the cinematograph film via a CD or DVD, or in any other possible ways in the market.
  • Release of the film/movie in the theatres, cinema halls, or multiplexes even if the hall remains empty and no one turns up to watch the movie, it is anyway a published content.
  • All these examples are included but not limited to. There are a lot more examples that represent the publication of a cinematograph film.

    Process of registration and examination of Copyright in the Film Industry

    Formalities check

    The copyright office conducts a formality check to verify your documents and records. This will be the first official step for getting copyrighted your cinematograph film. The film copyright laws are to be followed.

    Advertisement for objections

    After the formality check is successful, it is advertised for some time, so that people can have a look at the work and also can claim to have an interest in your work or subject matter. This advertisement is meant for people who think the work is plagiarized or copied others’ work. In those cases, before the time ends, a case can be filed against the person if the person has the legal right to do so. The application will be rejected if the objection keeps sustaining.


    The registrar will examine if the work had any objections or discrepancies. If there are objections, then the application process will be rejected. But if it passes the duration and no one objects, then further steps will be made. But if the registrar has found any discrepancies, then the applicant will be given a chance to correct his work, based upon the prerequisites and passes it for registration. If the discrepancies are corrected, then the application will be processed by the registrar and thus, takes your work to the final step of getting copyrighted.


    After all the process and examination, a Registration Certificate along with the extracts from the entry made in the Registry will be sent to the Applicant.

    FAQs on Copyright for Cinematograph Film

    What is the difference between a publisher, an author, and an owner?

    An author is a person who writes, scripts and owns the story (in books, especially) as he/she is the one who has written the story or the script irrespective of whoever may be a director or a producer of the film.
    Owner is the person who owns or by an agreement, is entitled to own the copyright in a work.
    The publisher is the one who makes the work available to the public by any preferred medium.

    Can the film names be copyrighted?

    No. Names and titles are not subject to be copyrighted.

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