Copyright Registration

The Copyright Act, 1957 came into effect from January 1958. This Act has been amended six times till date since then, i.e., in 1983, 1984, 1991, 1994, 1999 and 2012. The Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012 is the most substantial. The main reasons for amendments to the Copyright Act, 1957 include to bring the Act in conformity with WCT and WPPT; to protect the Music and Film Industry and address its concerns; to address the concerns of the physically disabled and to protect the interests of the author of any work; Incidental changes; to remove operational facilities; and enforcement of rights. Some of the important amendments to the Copyright Act in 2012 are extension of copyright protection in the digital environment such as penalties for circumvention of technological protection measures and rights management information, and liability of internet service provider and introduction of statutory licences for cover versions and broadcasting organizations; ensuring right to receive royalties for authors, and music composers, exclusive economic and moral rights to performers, equal membership rights in copyright societies for authors and other right owners and exception of copyrights for physically disabled to access any works.

What Copyright Protection Do I Get Under The Copyright Laws?

Registering your work with the Registrar of Copyright Office is basically a copyright protection insurance policy. Copyright protection arises automatically the moment the author fixes the work in a tangible form (i.e. when a writer writes her story), without the author having to do anything.

So why register for copyright protection if you’re work is automatically protected?

Here are four important reasons why filing for copyright protection with the Registrar of Copyright Office is important:
Copyright registration establishes a public record of your copyright and puts everyone in the world on notice that you have sought and claim copyright protection under the Copyright laws.
You cannot sue anyone for copyright infringement until you have filed for copyright protection with the Registrar of Copyright Office.

No award for statutory damages or attorneys fees will be made for any infringement of a copyright in an unpublished work which occurs prior to the submission of the copyright registration documents. The same holds true for published works, unless the copyright registration is made within three months after the first publication.

If the registration of your work is done within five years from its creation, it is considered prima facie evidence in court. Prima facie evidence means that if you ever went to court, proof of the copyright registration with the Registrar of Copyright Office would be sufficient evidence of your ownership of the copyrighted material.

The only way for another party to win would be for them to present evidence showing:

Copyright that they had a pre-existing copyright claim to the work.
Copyright that you permitted them to use your work.
Copyright that you didn’t actually create the work.
Copyright that you stole it from them.

If you’re serious about protecting your work, obtaining copyright protection under the copyright laws is a smart and necessary step to take.

Is a copyright in India recognized worldwide?

Copyright in India is recognized virtually worldwide under the Berne Convention and the applicable law of its member nations.

Procedure of Copyright Registration:

Chapter X of the Indian Copyright Act,1957 and Rule 70 of Copyright Rules, 2013, mention the following procedure about the registration of copyrights in India:

1. Application: 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 (copyright.gov.in). There should be one application for one work. Each application in Form IV should be accompanied by the requisite fee prescribed in the second schedule to the Rules. Fee ranges from 500 INR to 40,000 INR, depending on the form of work. The fee can either be in the form of Demand Draft or Indian Postal Order favoring “Registrar of Copyright Payable at New Delhi” or through E-payment.

Other information which need to be provided are:

a) Name, address, nationality of the applicant;

b) Nature of applicant’s interest in the work;

c) Title of the work;

d) Name, address, nationality of the author of the work and if the author is deceased, date of his death;

e) Language of the work;

f) Whether the work is published or unpublished;

i) Year and Country of first publication and Name, address, nationality of the publisher;

ii) Year and Countries of subsequent publications, if any, and name, address, nationality of subsequent publishers;

g) Name, address, nationality of person authorized to assign or license the rights comprising the copyright, if any;

h) No-objection Certificate signed by the author (if different from applicant);

i) Vakalatnama or Power of attorney signed by the advocate and the party (if the application is made by the advocate of the party);

j) Three copies of published work must be sent along with the application.

k) If the work is unpublished, two copies of the manuscripts must be sent with the application (one copy will be duly stamped and returned and other will be retained).

l) Application for registration of a computer programme must be filed with the source and object code.

m) Application for registration of an artistic work used or capable of being used in relation to goods must be filed with a statement to that effect and a no-objection certificate from the Registrar of Trademarks.

n) Application for registration of an artistic work capable of being registered as a design must be filed with a statement in the form of an affidavit stating that it has not been registered under Designs Act, 2000 and has not been applied to any article through industrial process.

o) Application must be signed by the applicant or the advocate;

p) Applicant must provide his mobile number and email address to receive the filing number.

2. Examination: 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. The Registrar of Copyrights gives both the parties an opportunity of hearing the matter. After the decision on the ownership or if the objection is rejected, the application goes for scrutiny. The applicant is asked to remove any discrepancy, if found; within 30 days.

3. Registration: On further submission of documents, 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 copyright in the register of copyrights and further issue a Certificate of Registration. Registration completes when the applicant is issued with the copy of entries made in the Register of Copyrights.

Copyright in India is recognized virtually worldwide under the “Berne Convention” and the applicable law of its member nations. If total compliance is followed the “certificate of copyright” is a future safeguard for the creative minds to preserve their creativity and reap exclusive monetary benefits from it as well.

“Copyright registration” which otherwise seems to be a simple term, is a very important process. We, at LawWagon ease the process of registering your copyright work. LawWagon stands for its values of responsiveness, attention to detail and client centric honest policies. The best protection of your intellectual property is of best interest to you. Reach us to help you!