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14 Feb 2023

Copyright Registration

Copyright is an exclusive right to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings, in simple words it is a bundle of rights including rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation, and translation of the work. Copyright ensures safeguards of the rights of authors on their creations.

Copyright law aims to balance the interests of those who create content, with the public interest in having the widest possible access to that content.

The Indian Copyright Act, 1957 (“the Act”), provides the legal framework for copyright registration in India. The Act outlines the conditions for registering a work, the rights of authors and creators, as well as other aspects related to copyright protection.

The Copyright Office has adopted electronic means as its primary mode of communication and working, amending the Copyright Rules to ensure smoother functioning.

The Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021, were implemented on March 30, 2021, to align the current rules with other applicable laws and promote accountability and transparency.

The amendment of the copyright rules has mainly been introduced to harmonize the copyright rules with other similar rules. The amendments also introduce new measures of making more information available on the websites, publication in the copyright journal, reducing compliance requirements for application of copyright for computer software, etc. to adopt electronic means as the primary means of communication and to encourage the adoption of advanced technology.

Scope of Protection of 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. Unlike the case with patents, copyright protects the expressions and not the ideas. There is no copyright protection for ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts as such

Process of Registration

1. An application have to be sent to the Registrar along with the requisite fees (mentioned in the Schedule 2 of the Act.). A separate application has to be made for separate works.

Note: Application of copyright is to be filed by the attorney authorized by the applicant in this behalf.

2. The registrar will issue a Dairy No. and then there is a mandatory waiting time for a period of 30 days for any objections to be received.

3. If no objections are received within 30 days, the scrutinizer will check the application for any discrepancy and if no discrepancy is there, the registration will be done and an extract will be sent to the registrar for the entry in the Register of Copyright.

4. If any objection is received, the examiner will send a letter to both the parties about the objections and will give them both a hearing.

5. After the hearing, if the objections are resolved the scrutinizer will scrutinize the application and approve or reject the application as the case may be.

Term of Copyright Registration

The general rule is that copyright lasts 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.


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