Procedure for Copyright Registration under Indian Copyright Act, 1957
Why do you need a copyright?
When we create original work then copyright is acquired automatically. The question which then arises is why do we need to get it registered. To answer this, let’s look at an illustration.
Suppose A made a painting after working day and night and putting in a lot of sweat and effort into it. He then put it up on his website for others to see. After a few months, A noticed that someone else had copied it and was making money off it. What did he do? Of course, he sued the person in the court of law. Now, because he had copyright, he could use it as evidence in the court and prove that it is his painting and the infringer must be punished.
Through this illustration, we can observe that registered copyrights protect our work and prevent others from using it to their own advantage.
Let’s discuss some benefits of getting copyright registered for your work:
• Copyright registration creates a public record. It tells the world that our work is protected by copyright and also enables a person who wants to licence our work to find us.
• It enables us to file a lawsuit and take legal action against someone who infringes our copyright, say by selling copies of our work without our permission.
• It provides us with economic benefits by entitling us to use our work in various ways like making copies, performing in public, broadcasting your work etc, and availing appropriate reward for it. Thus, it provides us with a reward for your creativity.
• It allows us to sell or pass the rights of our work.
• It allows us to get legal evidence of our ownership. So if someone prevents us from using our work, we can just use our copyright to prove that it’s our work and we have a right to use it.
• It allows us to change the form of our work. For example, it allows us to make a sequel or revise or update the work.
Who can register a piece of work with the Registrar of Copyrights?
If we made a new painting using our mind and talent. Can anyone get a copyright for it? Of course not. Let’s see who is legally entitled to get a copyright for his/her work.
The following people are entitled to submit an application to get a copyright:
The author of the work is:
Either the person who actually created the work, or
If made during the scope of employment, then the employer. This is considered as ‘work made for hire’.
Such an author is legally allowed to get a copyright for his/her work.
The owner of exclusive rights
The copyright law can grant a person exclusive rights to control and use and distribution of an original work. These rights include the right to reproduce or make copies of the original work, the right to distribute copies of the work, the right to publicly display the work, the right to perform the work and the right to alter the work and make derivatives of the original work. The owner of such exclusive rights is permitted to apply for registering his or her claim in the work.
The copyright claimant
This is either:
The author, or
A person or an organization that has obtained ownership rights from the author through a written contract, will etc.
The authorized agent
This refers to any person authorized to act on behalf of either:
The author, or
The copyright claimant, or
The owner of an exclusive right.