Copyright is a form of intellectual property protection like trademark and patents. A copyright is a legal right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. Copyright give the owner of the work certain safeguard to ensure the intellectual work is protected and creativity is rewarded. Copyright includes a bundle of right like the rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work.
In India, Copyrights are registered under The Copyright Act, 1957. The Copyright Act, 1957 protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and cinematograph films and sound recordings from unauthorized uses. However, ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts cannot be copyrighted. 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.
Reasons to Register a Copyright
Copyright registration serves as prima facie evidence in the court of law over ownership of the work. Therefore, copyright registration gives the owner legal protection for his/her work.
Branding or Goodwill
Registered copyright can be used for marketing and creating a sense of goodwill and quality in the minds of your customer. Registered copyright show others that you care about your work.
Works that are copyrighted in many other countries are accorded similar privileges here in India. Likewise, works copyright registered in India are accorded protection in many foreign countries.
Restricts Unauthorized Reproduction
Copyright registration will establish that you are serious about copyright infringement. This will help impede unauthorized reproduction of the work as it provides the owner with a host of legal remedies.
Creation of Asset
Copyright registration creates an intellectual property, an intangible asset. Registered copyrights are an intellectual property and the rights can be sold, franchised or commercially contracted.
Process for Copyright Registration
Copyright registration can be obtained for both published and unpublished works. Copyright registration can be obtained by applying to the Copyright Office for registration of work under copyright laws in the prescribed form along with the necessary fee. Application for copyright registration must be made on “Form IV” along with the “Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars”. Along with the application, three copies of published work should be sent. 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.
Copyright application can be signed and submitted by the applicant or an Advocate in whose favour a vakalatnama or Power of Attorney has been executed by the Applicant. In case of application by an Advocate, the Power of Attorney signed by the applicant and accepted by the advocate should be enclosed with the application.
In case of registration of multiple works, separate applications should be made for registration of each work along with the requisite fee.
Copyright Protection Validity
Generally, copyright protection is valid for 60 years. In the case of original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works the 60-year period is counted from the year following the death of the author. In the case of cinematography films, sound recordings, photographs, posthumous publications, anonymous and pseudonymous publications, works of government and works of international organizations, the 60-year period is counted from the date of publication.