COPYRIGHT is a form of intellectual property right which is governed by the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 (as amended in 2012) and Copyright Rules, 2013. Copyright is an exclusive legal right granted to the creator of an original work which include, inter alia, rights to reproduce, communicate, issue copies of, perform the work in public, and make translation or adaptation of the work. A copyright subsists in a literary, artistic, musical, dramatic work, cinematograph films and sound recording. It protects the expression of ideas and not the ideas themselves. Generally, a copyright shall subsist in the work from the time it is published within the lifetime of the author until sixty years after the author dies.

A copyright shall subsist in a work from the moment it is created and it is not mandatory to get it registered, however, registration safeguards copyright against any disputes relating to the ownership of copyright. Certificate of registration of copyright and the Register of Copyright containing particulars of registered copyrights are admissible evidence in the court of law. Therefore it is advisable to get the copyright registered with the Copyright Office in the following manner (Section 45 of Copyright Act, 1957 read with Rule 70 of Copyright Rules, 2013) :

  • Any individual who is an author or owner or assignee or legal heir can file an application for registration of copyright. Such application must be made with the Copyright Office in person or by speed/registered post or through e-filing facility available on the website of the Copyright Office ( copyright.gov.in)
  • Every such application will be in respect of one work only. For example, if a work consists of both literary and musical work, then different application must be filed for each of them.
  • The application must be made in Form XIV with the following required information/documents :-
  • Name, address, nationality of the applicant
  • Nature of applicant’s interest in the work
  • Title of the work
  • Name, address, nationality of the author of the work and if the author is deceased, date of his death
  • Language of the work
  • Whether the work is published or unpublished
  • Year and Country of first publication and Name, address, nationality of the publisher
  • Year and Countries of subsequent publications, if any, and name, address, nationality of subsequent publishers
  • Name, address, nationality of person authorized to assign or license the rights comprising the copyright, if any
  • No-objection Certificate signed by the author (if different from applicant)
  • Vakalatnama or Power of attorney signed by the advocate and the party (if the application is made by the advocate of the party)
  • Three copies of published work must be sent along with the application.
  • If the work is unpublished, two copies of the manuscripts must be sent with the application (one copy will be duly stamped and returned and other will be retained).
  • Application for registration of a computer programme must be filed with the source and object code.
  • Application for registration of an artistic work used or capable of being used in relation to goods must be filed with a statement to that effect and a no-objection certificate from the Registrar of Trademarks.
  • Application for registration of an artistic work capable of being registered as a design must be filed with a statement in the form of an affidavit stating that it has not been registered under Designs Act, 2000 and has not been applied to any article through industrial process.
  • Application must be signed by the applicant or the advocate
  • Applicant must provide his mobile number and email address to receive the filing number

Form XIV is available on this link : http://copyright.gov.in/frmformsDownload.aspx

  • Requisite fees must be paid through Demand Draft or Indian Postal order in favour of Registrar of Copyright payable at New Delhi or through Fee payment. The amount of fees may vary from INR 500 to INR 2000 per work depending on the type of work. It can be checked from this link : http://copyright.gov.in/frmFeeDetailsShow.aspx
  • The applicant will be provided with a filing number and filing receipt from the Copyright Office.
  • The applicant shall give notice of his application to every person who claims or has interest in the subject-matter of copyright or disputes the rights of the applicant to it.
  • Time Period for processing application – 30 days. If the Registrar of Copyright receives no objection to such registration within 30 days of the receipt of application, he shall, if satisfied with the particulars of application on examination, enter the particulars of copyright in the Register of Copyrights and issue a Certificate of Registration.
  • If any objection is received against the registration or the Registrar is not satisfied with the application on examination, he may, after holding such enquiry as he deems fit, provide further 30 days to the applicant to submit necessary information/documents.
  • On further submission of documents/information, if the Registrar is satisfied with the correctness of the application, he shall enter the particulars of copyright in the Register of Copyrights and issue a Certificate of Registration for the copyright.
  • The Registrar of Copyright shall give an opportunity of being heard to the applicant before rejecting any application for registration of any work.
  • The process of registration is deemed to be completed when a copy of the entries made in the Register of Copyrights duly signed by the Registrar is issued to the parties concerned.

So the next time when you write poetry or compose a music which is your original work and publish it somewhere, make sure you register the work and get a copyright for it to protect it against its unauthorized use or copies!