Copyright Registration Process and Procedure
BY: TUSHAR RAI 05/05/2021
Copyright is a right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. In fact, it is a bundle of rights including, inter alia, rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation, and translation of the work. There could be slight variations in the composition of the rights depending on the work. Copyright ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity. Creativity being the keystone of progress, no civilized society can afford to ignore the basic requirement of encouraging the same. The economic and social development of a society is dependent on creativity. The protection provided by copyright to the efforts of writers, artists, designers, dramatists, musicians, architects and producers of sound recordings, cinematograph films and computer software, creates an atmosphere conducive to creativity, which induces them to create more and motivates others to create.
Copyright Registration Procedure
The procedure for registration is as follows:
- Application for registration is to be made on as prescribed in the first schedule to the Rules;
- Separate applications should be made for registration of each work;
- Each application should be accompanied by the requisite fee prescribed in the second schedule to the Rules; and
- The applications should be signed by the applicant or the advocate in whose favor a Vakalatnama or Power of Attorney has been executed. The Power of Attorney signed by the party and accepted by the advocate should also be enclosed.
Time for Processing Application
After you file your application and receive a diary number you have to wait for a mandatory period of 30 days so that no objection is filed in the Copyright office against your claim that particular work is created by you.
Scope and Extent of Copyright Registration
Both published and unpublished works can be registered. Copyright in works published before 21st January 1958, i.e., before the Copyright Act, 1957 came in force, can also be registered, provided the works still enjoy copyright. Three copies of published work may be sent along with the application.
If the work to be registered is unpublished, a copy of the manuscript has to be sent along with the application for affixing the stamp of the Copyright Office in proof of the work having been registered. In case two copies of the manuscript are sent, one copy of the same duly stamped will be returned, while the other will be retained, as far as possible, in the Copyright Office for record and will be kept confidential. It would also be open to the applicant to send only extracts from the unpublished work instead of the whole manuscript and ask for the return of the extracts after being stamped with the seal of the Copyright Office. When a work has been registered as unpublished and subsequently it is published, the applicant may apply for changes in particulars entered in the Register of Copyright in Form V with the prescribed fee.
All kinds of literary and artistic works can be copyrighted, you can also file a copyright application for your website or other computer programs. Computer Software or program can be registered as a ‘literary work’. As per Section 2 (o) of the Copyright Act, 1957 “literary work” includes computer programs, tables, and compilations, including computer databases. ‘Source Code’ has also to be supplied along with the application for registration of copyright for software products. Copyright protection prevents the undue proliferation of private products or works and ensures the individual owner retains significant rights over his creation.
Advantages of Copyright Registration in India
The term ‘COPYRIGHT REGISTRATION’ refers to the monopoly approved to authors by copyright law for exclusive use or reproduction. Similar to TRADEMARK REGISTRATION with the Trademark Registrar, copyright can also be registered with the Copyright Office to enjoy legal protection in a copyrightable work. Copyright is made available in a routine fashion to the author immediately when some creative form of expression is produced in a tangible medium. Nevertheless, there are some important benefits of registering your work and availing of protection services as follows:
- Copyright protection creates a public record of the ownership by the copyright holder.
- Copyright protection enables the holder of the copyright to take legal action against infringers in a court.
- If the legal action is taken before or within a certain period from the date of publication, it enables adequate evidence in court relating to the validity of the copyright and the facts that are stated in the certificate of copyright.
- If registration is made within a short span of time the person’s work or at any time prior to the infringement of the copyrighted work, the copyright owner is permitted to claim statutory damages in a high court. Without the process registration, only an award related to actual damages and profits will be made available, and these can be quite complicated to prove in a court of law.
- Permits the copyright owner to record the registration with Indian Customs to help in protection against the importation of infringing copies into India.
- Copyright protection provides a very important motivation for the creation of several intellectual works. Devoid of copyright protection, it would be simple for others to take advantage of these works without paying any royalties or remuneration to the title-holder of the work. Copyright, therefore, encourages enterprise and enables an encouraging climate to motivate economic activity.
- Copyright protection renders benefits in the form of economic rights which entitles the creators to exercise control over use of their literary and artistic material in various ways such as producing copies, performing in public, broadcasting, use on-line/on the internet, etc. and to avail an appropriate economic reward.
- Copyright protection enables creators to consequently be rewarded for their originality and venture.
- Copyright also enables moral rights to be identified as the creator or the author of definite kinds of material (known as the paternity right), and raise an objection to the distortion and mutilation of the right. An author’s right to object to the adaptation or derogatory action in relation to his or her work is referred to as an integrity right.
- Registration and entitlement to copyright will display the validity of your copyright if it is registered within a period of five years of publication. This can help avert future challenges to your works related rights.
- One can use, reuse and reproduce the copies and can sell the copies of the work that is copyrighted.
- One can deal in the imports or exports of whole or part of the work with copyright protection.
- One is liberated to create any derivative work from the copyrighted work.
- One can openly exhibit his work with copyright protection.
- One can sell or pass on the rights of the work to the other person with copyright protection.
- One can deal in transmitting or the display of work by radio or video with copyright protection.