What is Copyright Registration in India?

Copyright registration in India is a right given under the Intellectual Property Law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. In reality, it includes a bundle of rights including, inter alia, rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work. Furthermore, there could be slight variations in these rights depending on the type of work a person does.

In simple senses, “Copyright” is a combination of two words “Copy” and “Right”, which could be understood as “a person has sole authority of his work and possesses exclusive rightagainst copying by any other person”. In some cases, copying other’s work without his authority can subject him to penalties and punishment.

Also in a 2016 copyright lawsuit, the Delhi High Court came forward to define copyright registration as, it is “not an inevitable, divine, or natural right that confers on authors the absolute ownership of their creations. It is designed rather to stimulate activity and progress in the arts for the intellectual enrichment of the public. Copyright is intended to increase and not to impede the harvest of knowledge. It is intended to motivate the creative activity of authors and inventors in order to benefit the public.”

In reference to the same, copyright registration in India is governed by the Indian Copyright Act, 1957. This act provides various provisions for protecting and securing one’s intangible work by means of Copyright Registration, which will mark it as one’s own property and cannot be used by any other person, and this right relates to “Right in Rem”.

Copyright registration in India, includes the following types of works:

  • artistic work including a painting, a sculpture, a drawing (including a diagram, map, chart or plan), an engraving, a photograph, a work of architecture or artistic craftsmanship, dramatic work,
  • literary work (including computer programmes, tables, compilations and computer databases),
  • musical work (including music as well as graphical notation),
  • sound recording, and
  • cinematograph film; are protected under Indian Copyright Act.

In order to keep pace with the global requirement of peace and harmony, the Indian Copyright Act has brought thecopyright registration in Indiain consonance with the latest evolutions and developments in the field of Science as well as technology, whether it is insatellite broadcasting or computer software or digital technology. The amendment in this act has provided a distinct provision to protect performer’s rights as has been provided in the Rome Convention.

The need for copyright registration in India can be traced back when the evolution of the civilised society as well as introduction of Internet took place. It ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of creators over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity. Innovation being the keystone of progress, no civilized society can afford to ignore the basic requirement of protecting and motivating the same. Social and Economic development is the other side of the same coin, with creativity being it’s another part. The protection provided by copyright law in India to the efforts of writers, artists, designers, dramatists, musicians, architects, lawyers 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 as well as innovate.

Talking about copyright registration in India, it is not a mandatory legal compliance because registration in India is merely treated as a recordal of a fact. It does not create or confer any new right as well as is not regarded as a prerequisite for initiating action against infringement. This view has been upheld by various courts of law in plethora of judgments and, it is important to note here that there is no prescribed time limit within which registration of a copyright can be obtained. However, presently the registration of a copyright may take a period of 1 to 1 ½ years but is not a compulsory term to adhere.

Presently, Copyright registration in India or copyright law in India, is not only confined to native products but extends in protecting “foreign works” too. Copyright registrations of “works” of foreign nationals, whose countries are member of various Conventions to which India is a signatory member, are protected against any infringement of their “works” in the territory of India through the International Copyright Order, 1999. The Indian Courts from inception have always been pro-active for protecting of Copyright of foreign authors/owners, which includes software, databases etc.

But there is always a twist and law,is one of them. It is said that, Law without exceptions and exemptions is no law. For the same, the copyright law of India permits the usage of copyrighted work without permission in the following cases:

  • for the purpose of research or private study,
  • for criticism or review,
  • for reporting current events,
  • in connection with judicial proceeding,
  • performance by an amateur club or society if the performance is given to a non-paying audience, and
  • making of sound recordings of literary, dramatic or musical works under certain conditions.

Therefore, copyright registration in India or specifically saying Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Law is in evolution period, to comply and to get aware of the same is of utmost importance, which you may get after communicating and getting in contact with the IPR law experts. So, while making any creative piece be cautious to get copyright registration of the same.To know more about this, please refer and contactCompany Vakil and get yourCopyright Registered in India today.

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