The Copyrights in India are registered by the Registrar of Copyrights. For the process of registration of a copyright, an application is to be made to the Registrar as per the provisions of the Copyright Act, 1957. Copyrighting ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity
The author, publisher, and owner of the work can apply for the registration of the copyright.
However, the registration of a copyright in India is not compulsory but it certainly confers a list of benefits upon the owner who registers it.
Registration of a Copyright provides protection to the work of the creator so that it cannot be copied by anyone and restores the uniqueness of the product. The rights vary from work to work. It is always recommended to register for copyright. The registration establishes that the person registering it is the actual author of the creative work. This upholds the objective of originality and creativity.
The process of registration of a copyright in India involves a systematic procedure to be followed.
The facility of E-filing of application i.e. filing of an application for registration of a copyright in India is provided to the applicants which can be done through the site copyright.gov.in.
WHAT THE COPYRIGHT REGISTRATION ACT SAYS
The Copyright Act
Copyright registration in India lasts for 60 years. All original works subject to copyright in India are governed by the Copyright Act. The Act protects the rights of creators of any intellectual property in the form of literature, art, drama, music, sound recording, cinematography, architecture, pictures, graphical images or sculptures, etc. from unauthorized usage. In the case of original literature, art, drama, and musical works the period is counted from the year immediately following the death of the original author. On the other hand, in the case of original sound recordings, cinematograph films, photographs, posthumous publications, or any anonymous or pseudonymous publications, work done by the government or any of the international organizations, the 60-year period is calculated from the date of the original publication.
The Copyright (Amendment) Act of 2012
The Copyright Act of India has been amended a total of five times in recent years in 1983, 1984, 1992, 1994, 1999, and 2012. However, the last amendment of 2012 is of significant importance.
Changes were introduced in Section 33 of the Act as per the amendment, wherein sub-section (3) A was added, with the following proviso that “every copy right society already registered before the coming into force of the copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012 shall get itself registered under this chapter within a period of one year from the date of commencement of the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012.”
Other significant amendments include the addition of Section 33A elated to the Tariff scheme, substituting the ‘owners of rights’ phrase with ‘authors and other owners of rights’ in Section 35, and the omission of Section 34A, etc.
The main reasons for introducing amendments were however cited as bringing in conformity with the various international standards as formed by the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT).
COPYRIGHT SOCIETIES IN INDIA
The following copyright societies exist in India as per the site of the Copyright Office of India:
- The IPRS Ltd. i.e. the Indian Performing Right Society Limited caters to all musical works.
- The PPL Ltd. i.e. Phonographic Performance Limited which caters to sound recording works
- The SCRIPT i.e. the Society for Copyright Regulation of Indian Producers of Films and Television which caters to cinematography and television films
- The ISRA i.e. the Indian Singers Rights Association caters to singers’ and performers’ rights and was registered on 14th June 2013.
- The IRRO i.e. Indian Reprographic Rights Organization caters to photographic and photocopying works.
Copyright as the name suggests arose as an exclusive right of the author to copy the literature produced by him and stop others from doing so.
Copyright deals with the rights of intellectual creators in their creation.
Nowadays copyright law has extended protection not only to literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works but also sound recordings, films, broadcasts, cable programs and typographical arrangements of publications. Computer programs have also been brought within the purview of copyright law.
Online Copyright registration in India is done as per the provisions of the Copyright Act, of 1957. It provides protection to the work of the creator so that it cannot be copied by anyone and restores the uniqueness of the product. Creativity being the keystone of progress, no civilized society can afford to ignore the basic requirement of encouraging the same. Copyright ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity.
The significant reason behind the registration of a copyright on the work by the artists, publishers, and corporates is that it’s the only way to approach the courts in case of a dispute. This provides legal protection to the owners of the registered copyright. Register musical, sound recordings, films, broadcasts, cable programs, and typographical arrangements copyrights from with Company vakil.
Registration of Copyright protects the rights of a person in a work produced by his intellectual labor irrespective of his status.
Original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works; Cinematograph films; and Sound recordings.
However as per the Copyright laws, there are certain categories of works which cannot be copyrighted.
- Literary/Dramatics – Any work which is written, printed or published in the form of a novel, play or a book. Poetry compilations, anthologies or short stories, and even encyclopedias which form a part of literary works
- Musical – works like a musical composition with graphical notations
- Artistic – works including sketches, drawings, paintings, object renditions in 2D or 3D, brand logo copyright registrations, posters etc.
- Computer Software – source code or object code of a given software
- Sound Recordings – songs and other forms of audio recordings
- Cinematography films – videos, movies and various animation films
- Names and Titles – Copyright office states that names, titles, slogans and short phrases cannot be given copy right protection. However, if they are used to uniquely identify a business, good or a service, they can be extended a trademark protection. While creative authorship is protected, the way in which work is identified in workplace is not.
- Ideas – Ideas such as inventions can be patented, but then it moves into different category of intellectual property. There is no copy-right protection for ideas as long as they are used as a tangible medium of expression. For a copy-right, recording or documental proof should exist. In case of derivative works, there is sufficient grey area that exists between an infringing derivative and a non-copyrightable idea.
- Works by government and international organizations – Although this is not applicable in all countries, but data available in the public domain is barred from any copy-right protection.
- Works without facts or authorship – Any work must fulfill a requisite level of creativity to be classified under copy right protection. Established facts and figures don’t fall in this category. However, the defined line of creativity may be fairly low. For example, a citizen directory may not be copyrighted, but a list of ten persons with special traits can be.
- Fashion – Fashion pieces as a whole enjoy no copy-right protection as they are considered as useful articles. Copy rights however do exist for certain design elements requiring creative intricacy such as pictures, graphics, sculptural elements but only if they are capable of existing independent of any utilitarian aspect of the whole fashion piece.
- Legal Protection –
The significant reason behind the registration of a copyright on the work by the artists, publishers, and corporates is that it is the only way to approach the courts in case of a dispute. This provides legal protection to the owners of the registered work.
- Originality of Work –
Registration of a Copyright provides protection to the work of the creator so that it cannot be copied by anyone and restores the uniqueness of the product.
- Legal Rights –
Registration of a Copyright confers various legal rights and remedies to the owner of the copyright. However, an owner of unregistered work cannot claim such legal rights and remedies. For instance, only the owner of registered work can use the product or can grant permission to use it.
- Asset –
Registration of the copyright makes it an intangible asset for the owner which can help to generate revenues.
- Market Visibility – Online copyright registration in India can earn widespread visibility in the eyes of the desired audience and can be leveraged as a tool for establishing goodwill in the market. It serves as a documented proof or public record of any creative work which you pursue.
- Usage Rights –The owner of a copyright gets exclusive rights over any use, reuse, reproduction, dissemination, derivation as well as translation of the work.
An author or applicant can file the application for registration of copyright, himself or via his authorized legal representative. This application can be made by applying physically in the copyright office or through speed/registered post; or through e-filing facility available on the official website of Copyrights Office.
Once the application is filed, a diary number is received. There is a provision of a mandatory wait period of 30 days, so that “No Objection” is filed against the claim made by the author. If some objection is filed against the copyright claim, then it may take one more month.
If the Copyright Registrar is completely satisfied with the completeness and correctness of the claim made in the application, he shall enter the particulars of the work in the register of copyrights and further issue a Certificate of Registration
- Legal Protection
The significant reason behind registration of a copyright on the work by the artists, publishers and corporates is that it’s the only way to approach the courts in case of a dispute. This provides a legal protection to the owners of the registered copy-right.
- Originality of Work
Registration of a Copyright provides protection to the work of creator so that it cannot be copied by anyone and to restore the uniqueness of the product.
- Legal Rights
Registration of a Copyright confers various legal rights and remedies to the owner of the copy-right. However, an owner of unregistered work cannot claim such legal rights and remedies. For instance, only the owner of registered work can use the product or can grant permission to use. Rights over dissemination, translation, reproduction and adaptation of work are wholly assigned to the creator of the work.
Registration of the copyright makes it an intangible asset for the owner which can help to generate revenues. A registered copy right can be sold, commercially contracted or franchised with the prior permission of the owner.
Registration of copyright helps in publicizing the artistic work in the market which further results in recognition from the masses and creation of an image.
- Unauthorized Production
Registration of copyright restricts unauthorized production of the original work thereby maintaining the uniqueness and originality of the work.
Any website intended for copyright registration or a blog can be considered as a combination of several copyrightable items such as design, graphic arts, logo, content etc.
So any content you write in your site, the software you chose for site development comes under copy right laws. So does the photographs, images, gifs and other pictures you put on the site. Even sound clips and videos are protected by copy-rights.
In India, there is no comprehensive online website copyright registration service directly provided by the Copyright Office. So any upgradations or new copyright registrations for a website would require separate applications.
This basically implies that though you cannot provide a blanket copyright registration over the whole website but you can ensure copyright protection of the multiple individual components of the site.
It should be reiterated that it is advisable but not mandatory to go for online website copyright registration process in India. Your IP rights exist over the whole website regardless of any certificate or proof of ownership.
Obtaining a copyright certificate is considered to be a time consuming and cumbersome procedure in general. Here at company vakil, experts are there to guide you at any phase of website copyright registration and get the process started.
A brand copyright registration in India makes perfect sense for brands, their logos, slogans, and other forms of intellectual property since it successfully distinguishes your offerings from the competition available in the market. A typical brand registration process in India involves the following four steps:
- Domain Registration – A domain name synchronous with a specific image is required to be protected. Their availability can be searched on platforms like GoDaddy or Google Domains.
- Business Registration – The official legal name of the business, as will be reflected in the company’s bank accounts, tax filings, legal documents, and other contracts is required to be registered. The availability of names can be searched on the company search tab of company vakil website or one can check government platforms like the name check facility provided by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
- Trademark Registration – Any company wanting to go for extensive branding and brand promotion must consider trademarking its image, logo, slogans, etc. as it ensures absolute legal protection.
- Copyright Registration – As already explained, if the brand utilizes any literary, musical, dramatic, or artistic works or is somehow involved in the production of cinematograph films and audio/sound recordings, then it should consider copyright registration for the same. For example, if the brand’s logo is embedded with artistic characteristics, it can go for copyright registration of the same, just like what has been done by brands like Starbucks.
Copyright registration in case of music and songs is highly advisable since this is one industry highly susceptible to plagiarism and violation of author’s right of ownership of music property. Copyrighting gives a legal blanket to the owner to successfully use, reuse, disseminate and transform his musical work. It also opens doors to additional revenue streams in the form of royalties.
To copyright a song in India, an application needs to submitted to the copyright office along with the following documents required for copyright registration in India:
- Two copies of your original work (graphical notes)
- An NOC i.e. a no objection certificate from the publisher, if the applicant is other than the publisher
- An NOC from the author, if the applicant is other than the author
- A specific power of attorney, in the case that the application is being filed through an attorney, which is signed by the applicant in original and approved by the given attorney.
The same goes for sound recordings which belong to this category.
WHAT WILL YOU GET?
What is a Copyright?
Copyright is a form of Intellectual Property Protection i.e. a Bundle of Rights given to the Creator which ensures the protection of work.
What types of work can be protected under Copyright??
The following types of work can be protected under the Copyright Act: –
1. Literary Work
2. Artistic Work
3. Dramatic Work
4. Musical Work (includes Lyrics)
5. Sound Recording
6. Cinematographic Films
7. Architectural Work
8. Pictures, Graphical Images, and Sculptures
What are the benefits of having a Copyright Registration?
Following are the benefits of having Copyright Registration:-
1. It serves as Prima Fascia evidence (i.e. it is the First main evidence) under the Court of Law at the time of Infringement.
2. To make the Assignment of a registered work easier.
3. It makes licensing of Copyright work easier.
4. It restricts any unauthorized Reproduction of the material.
5. It acts as an Asset of the Copyright Holder
6. It helps in Branding or goodwill.
Is it Mandatory to have a Copyright Registration in India?
It is advisable to have one but not mandatory to have a Copyright Registration.
What are the various documents required for online copyright registration in India?
Under the documents required for online copyright registration in India, along with the identity and address proof, a copy of the work to be copyrighted and NOC from the author, in case the applicant is different is needed. For a company though, its name, certificate of incorporation as well as address proof would be required.
What’s the difference between a trademark and a copyright?
While copyright is used to preserve the uniqueness of contents such as music, art, drama, cinematograph, sound recordings, etc, a trademark is basically a mark given to a brand name, its logo, or slogan to prevent legal misuse or duplication.
Is copyright in India applicable only in India?
Copyright registered in India is applicable only in the same country. However, it can be produced as legal evidence before the government of any country once you have obtained a copyright over certain material.
Is it possible to transfer an online copyright registration?
Yes. A given online copyright registration can be transferred as well as sold, gifted, and franchised to any other individual or firm provided due consent is obtained beforehand from the original owner or author of the whole work.
What are the rights associated with the ownership of a copyright?
The owner of a copy-right gets exclusive rights over any use, reuse, reproduction, dissemination, derivation, translation as well as adaptation of the work. There are also legal rights conferred to him, applicable in case of any dispute.
What do you mean by performer’s rights?
If a person is listening to a lecture or a story, he can be in a position to first reproduce the work in some material form. Similarly, if it is a musical performance, the same can be recorded using tape. But this does not mean that simply reducing the given performance to material form makes them copyright owners of the same. It is not the case as some special rights known as the performer’s rights have been conferred to the owner of the individual work. In this particular case, the performer can be an actor, singer, musician, conjurer, dancer, juggler, lecturer, or any artist delivering a performance.
What are some of the categories in which copyright does not work?
Copyright does not work if it’s only an idea, a name, or a title, works by government and international organizations, work without facts or authorship, or in the case of fashion. However, there is a catch and it’s possible to find a workaround in each of the above categories, in order to register some copyright.
Is copyright registration applicable to websites?
As explained, there is no legal blanket covering the entire website in general. However, individual components of the site, such as images, sound clips, videos, photos, and posters can be copyrighted. The contents of the site function as a literary component and can be copyrighted.