Copyright refers to the legal right of the owner of intellectual property. In simpler terms, copyright is the right to copy. This means that the original creators of products and anyone they give authorization to are the only ones with the exclusive right to reproduce the work.Copyright law gives creators of original material the exclusive right to further use and duplicate that material for a given amount of time, at which point the copyrighted item becomes public domain.
What kind of work can be registered using a copyright?
In India, copyright can be taken for original works that fall in the area of:
- Musical works,
- Literary works like books and manuscripts,
- Cinematography films,
- Fashion designs,
- Artistic works like paintings,
- Software and other computer programs and compilations, etc.
However, it must be remembered that copyright does not protect titles, names, ideas, concepts, slogans, methods, and short phrases.
Benefits of getting copyright registered for your work:
1. Copyright registration creates a public record. It tells the world that your work is protected by copyright and also enables a person who wants to licence your work to find you.
2.It enables you to file a lawsuit and take legal action against someone who infringes your copyright, say by selling copies of your work without your permission.
3. It provides you with economic benefits by entitling you to use your work in various ways like making copies, performing in public, broadcasting your work etc, and availing appropriate reward for it. Thus, it provides you with a reward for your creativity.
4. It allows you to sell or pass the rights of your work.
5. It allows you to get legal evidence of your ownership. So if someone prevents you from using your work, you can just use your copyright to prove that it’s your work and you have a right to use it.
6. It allows you to change the form of your work. For example, it allows you to make a sequel or revise or update the work.
Procedure for registering a copyright
1. File an Application:
The author of the work, copyright claimant, owner of an exclusive right for the work or an authorized agent file an application either physically in the copyrights office or through speed/registered post or through e-filing facility available on the official website.
In the next step, the examination of the copyright application takes place.Once the dairy number is issued, there is a minimum 30 days waiting period. In this time period, the copyright examiner reviews the application.
In case where objects will raised then the authority inform the applicant to correct those objections within specif period of time and re-file the application again. On the other hand if no objections will raised then the autgority sends the application for the registration process.
The final step in this process can be termed as registration. In this step, the registrar might ask for more documents. Once completely satisfied with the copyright claim made by the applicant, the Registrar of Copyrights would enter the details of the copyright into the register of copyrights and issue a certificate of registration. The process registration of copyright completes when the applicant is issued the Extracts of the Register of Copyrights (ROC).
The copyright registration process is a lengthy but important process which can take up to 10 to 12 months. It is always advisable to get your copyright registered. This is because it can go a long way in protecting your rights for years, even after your death. Once your copyright is registered, it becomes much easier to move to the court and get the person who illegally copied your work punished. To provide adequate protection to copyright holders, the Copyright Act, 1957 provides imprisonment from six months to three years and a fine of not less than INR 50,000 in case your right is infringed by someone.