All about Copyright Registration in India

Copyright in simpler terms means the right to copy. Copyright gives an exclusive right to an individual or an entity towards their original work like books, scripts, software, artistic, training manuals cinematography, recordings, paintings, programming, designing, etc. In this article, we will discuss everything about the Copyright Registration Process in India.

It is a right conferred upon the author or creator of the work that no one can copy or reproduce or replicate their original work without their permission as per Intellectual Property Law. This means that without the authorization of the owner, no one can reproduce or replicate their original work.

However, an individual or an entity is allowed to charge for using their work or modifying the same. Copyright registration ensures that the rights of the creator are protected from any infringement. Copyrights are also transferable.

Once the owner or creator comes up with their work in tangible form, it is advisable to get it registered with the Copyright Office to enjoy legal protection and monopoly for the work produced. However, registration is no guarantee against infringement. An individual or entity can file a lawsuit against the same in court to take legal action. Nonetheless, various benefits are bestowed upon the creator like the right to reproduction, modification, distribution, public performance, and public display for their work.

  1. Creation of Public records of ownership and creating goodwill in the market.
  2. Protection against piracy. In India, we all are quite familiar with the word “Pirate” many CDs and DVDs are available on the street and also available to download through various soft wares and applications. Copyright registration protects against such violations.
  3. It is an intangible asset for the owner
  4. Work copyrighted can be sold or franchised and the owner can earn royalty out of that.
  5. No one can reproduce or modify or replicate the work copyrighted without Prior permission of the author and hence the owner can exercise control over the use of their creation say artistic or literary and can ensure economic stability in whatever form.
  6. If it comes to the notice of the owner that someone is copying or replicating their work, he/she can send a ‘cease’ notice which helps them avoid spending time in the court of law or bother about legal proceedings at a later stage. Furthermore, it serves as prima facie evidence during any litigation in progress.
  7. It gives an exclusive right to the creator to exhibit their work in public which in turn builds the reputation/prestige worldwide.
  8. Many other countries also recognize and protect the work copyrighted in India vis-à-vis similar privileges are allowed to works copyrighted in other countries.
  9. Copyright’s protection extends to the creator’s life span + 60 years after his/her death.
  • The first step towards Copyright Registration process in India is to generate a valid User ID and Password (Click on New User Registration) on Official website for Copyright Registration. Kindly note it down as it would be used in all future references for e.g. to check the status of the application
  • Once you log in, click on to link “Click for online copyright registration”
  • You will be guided to fill the “Copyright Registration Form” which shall be filled in 4 steps.
  1. Fill in all the mandatory details in Form XIV
  2. Upload your scanned signature and ensure its size is not more than 512KB
  3. Fill up the statement of particulars and save the details entered and then move to the next step
  4. Make the payment through Internet Payment Gateway
  • On the successful submission of the form, a Diary Number (Acknowledgement) will be generated. Please note it carefully as the same shall be needed to check your application status.
  • Format explained for different work, Artistic work- Upload in pdf/jpg form, Sound Work- Upload in MP3 form, Literary/Dramatic, Music and Software- Upload in PDF Form (size less than 5 MB)
  • Once the application is successfully filed, take a printout of, (Acknowledgement Slip) of the Copyright Registration Form (hard copy) and send it by post 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

Email Address: copyright[at]nic[dot]in

Telephone No.: 011-28032496″

Once the application is successfully filled and the dairy number is generated the copyright examiner takes 30 days to review the application filed.  This stage is further divided into two parts.

  • No Objection Raised– The copyright examiner reviews and scrutinizes the application to check for any discrepancy, if they come across some discrepancy a notice is issued to the applicant. Based upon his reply, a hearing is conducted by the Registrar. Once the discrepancy is resolved, the applicant can move forward to the next stage. However, if there is no fault or discrepancy established and the documents provided by the applicant are in law and order, he/she can proceed towards the next stage.
  • Objection Raised– In case, the objection is raised by anyone against the applicant, a notice is sent to both the parties, and a hearing is conducted.
  1. Upon hearing if the objection is rejected, the application goes ahead for scrutiny and the above-mentioned procedure is followed
  2. If an objection is not clarified or discrepancy is not resolved, the application is rejected and the same is informed to the applicant through a rejection letter. For such applicants, the procedure ends here.

This is the last and final stage, wherein if all the discrepancies are cleared and documents are in order, the copyright gets registered. The Registrar of Copyrights enters the details of the copyright into the Register of Copyrights and a Certificate of Registration is issued to the applicant.

Suggested Read: Trademark v/s Copyright Registration in India

  1. Personal details like the name and address of the applicant (if the applicant is not the owner of the work)
  2. DD (Demand Draft)/IPO (Indian Postal Order) of INR (as applicable) per work.
  3. Name and address and identity proof of the owner, incorporation certificate (if the owner is the entity)
  4. Two copies of work (can be in any form JPEG, JPG or GIF)
  5. If you wish to file a copyright for your computer programs, then you must submit 4 copies of DVDs or CDs of that particular program.
  6. A copyright Search Certificate has to be taken from the trademark office before filing a copyright application for artistic work (only if the work can be used on goods or capable of being used on goods)
  7. NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the author, if the author and the applicant are not the same people.
  8. If a person’s photo is used anywhere in the work NOC (No Objection Certificate) should be taken from him/her.
  9. NOC from the publisher if work published and publisher is different from Applicant.
  10. If the application is being filed through an attorney, a specific Power of Attorney is original, duly signed by the applicant, and accepted by the attorney.

Conclusion

Creativity is a constructive process that results in the production of essentially a new product or artefacts or ideas etc. In almost everything we do, we can change old relationships to new arrangements and in turn, benefit the economy and society as a whole. However, to protect those creative ideas one needs to protect them from getting copied or reproduced or modified and that protection can only be availed if the creator has taken copyright registration for the same.

The creator enjoys legal protection and enjoys a monopoly of his work and can earn reputation and royalties for his work copyrighted. Though easily said, copyright is a lengthy process and takes nearly 10 to 12 months to get the certificate of registration. But, it is always advisable to get your work registered. This is because the registered owner gets the benefit even after his/her death up to 60 years of span. If your right is infringed and someone knowingly infringes or abates your rights, the punishment for the same is imprisonment for six months and with a minimum fine of INR 50000/-. In case of a second or subsequent conviction, the punishment is imprisonment for one year and a fine of INR 1 Lakh.  Also, the offenses under copyright are non-bailable in nature.

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