Copyright is a form of intellectual property protection granted under the Indian Copyright Act to the creators of original works such as literary works (including computer programs, compilations and tables), dramatic, cinematographic films and sound recordings musical and artistic works (such as logo/monograms).

The Copyright Act, 1957 protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and cinematograph films and sound recordings from any unauthorized use by anyone. Copyright protects the expressions and not the ideas. An idea cannot be registered as a copyright.

Certain copyrights are protected internationally through international conventions such as Berne Convention. For further details on this, pl see the relevant section below.

Copyright in favor of the creator of the work comes into existence as soon as a work is created. No action or procedure is to be followed for acquiring copyright. However, the registration of copyright is to be carried out so that an evidence of ownership is created in favor of the owner.

We provide the following services:

  • Filing of Copyright Applications and prosecution thereof in respect of all types of copyrights such as text /literary material, software, artistic work, musical work or a cinematographic work (all jurisdictions/countries)
  • Advice and litigation services in respect of Infringement of copyright such as filing criminal complaints before the relevant legal authorities
  • Assignment /Licensing of copyrights
  • Advice in relation to Anti-piracy
  • Watching services (all jurisdictions/countries)
  • Retainership services
  • Portfolio management services
  • Valuation of IPR including trademarks

The procedure for registration of a work as a copyright is as follows:

  • An application for registration is to be made in a prescribed form as per the Copyright Act/ Rules.
  • In case the application is for registration of art work/logo/monogram/writing style which is used or to be used for goods or services, a no objection certificate from the Registrar of Trademark is to be attached with the application. Separate applications should be made for registration of each of the works;.
  • After the Application for copyright is filed, a diary number will be issued by the Copyright office.
  • No action is taken by the copyright office for 30 days thereafter and it waits for the objections if any to be received. In case the objections are received, both the parties that is the person who has raised objections and the applicant are sent a letter and a reply is received. A hearing takes place before the Registrar and the application is accepted or rejected. In case the application is rejected, the copyright application is not processed. In case the application is accepted, then the copyright application is processed ahead.
  • The Registrar of Copyright thereafter examines the application and sends letter for any discrepancy that he finds. The applicant’s advocate has to attend to the discrepancies and he files reply thereof. Thereafter, the application may be accepted or rejected. If accepted, the Copyright office approves the registration and shall send extract from the Register to the Applicant.
  • In case the discrepancies are not replied to, the application is rejected and the rejection letter is sent to the Applicant.

Published and unpublished works both can be registered.

Three copies of published work must be sent along with the application for copyright. We therefore collect 5 copies and keep 1 for record and 1 for the applicant.

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 as a 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 by the Copyright Office, while the other will be retained, as far as possible, in the Copyright Office for record and will be kept confidential.

The applicant may 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.

Informational Requirements:

For written material or other copyrightable works

  • A simply signed Power of Attorney in the format to be supplied by us
  • Name, address and nationality of the applicant.
  • Residential address of the applicant.
  • Name, address and nationality of the author; if the author is deceased, the date of his decease.
  • Title, language and brief description of the work.
  • Whether the work is published or not; if published, year and country of first publication; name, address and nationality of the publisher; years and countries of subsequent publications if any, as well as names, addresses and nationalities of the publishers.
  • Names, addresses and nationalities of the owners of the various rights comprising the copyright in the work and the extent of rights held by each, together with the particulars of assignments and licenses, if any.

Documentary Requirements:

  • In case of a partnership concern: Copy of partnership deed
  • In case of a company: copy of memorandum and articles and certificate of incorporation duly attested as true copy
  • In case of a trust or an NGO: copy of trust deed with names and addresses of trustees
  • In case registration of Computer Software/ Literally Material / Musical Work then required the five copies of the work./ in case Artistic work then 10 color printouts of the logo.

The Copyright Act of 1957 click here

The Copyright Acts click here

The Copyright Rules, 2013 click here

The Copyright Rules click here

Here is the details of statutory fees payable for various procedures at Copyright Office:

Sr.No. Particulars Fee
1 For a license to republish a Literary, Dramatic, Musical or Artistic work (Sections 31, 31A,31B* and 32A) Rs. 5,000/- per work
2 For a license to communicate an any work to the public by Broadcast(Section 31(1)(b)) Rs. 40,000/- per applicant/per sataton
3 For license to republish a Cinematograph Film (Section 31) Rs. 15,000/- per work
4 For a license to republish a sound recording (Section 31) Rs. 10,000/- per work
5 For a license to perform any work in public (Section 31) Rs. 5,000/- per work
6 For a license to publish or communicate to the public the work or translation (Section 31A) Rs. 5,000/- per work
7 For a license to publish any work in any format useful for person with disability (Section 31 B) Rs. 2,000/- per work
8 For an application for a license to produce and publish a translation of a Literary or Dramatic work in any Language (Section 32 & 32-A) Rs. 5,000/- per work
9 For an application for registration or copyright in a:(a)Literary, Dramatic, Musical or Artistic work Rs. 500/- per work

(b)Provided that in respect of a Literary or Artistic work which is used or is capable of being used in relation to any goods (Section 45)

Rs. 2,000/- per work
10 For an application for change in particulars of copyright entered in the Register of Copyrights in respect of a:(a)
Literary, Dramatic, Musical or Artistic work Rs. 200/- per work(b)
Provided that in respect of a literary or Artistic work which is used or is capable of being used in relation to any goods (Section 45)
Rs. 1,000/- per work
11 For an application for registration of Copyright in a Cinematograph Film (Section 45) Rs. 5,000/- per work
12 For an application for registration of change in particulars of copyright entered in the Register of Copyrights in respect of Cinematograph film (Section 45) Rs. 2,000/- per work
13 For an application for registration of copyright in a Sound Recording (Section 45) Rs. 2,000/- per work
14 For an application for registration of changes in particulars of copyright entered in the Register of Copyrights in respect of Sound Recording (Section45) Rs. 1,000/- per work
15 For taking extracts from the indexes (Section 47) Rs. 500/- per work
16 For taking extracts from the Register of Copyrights (Section 47). Rs. 500/- per work
17 For a certified copy of an extract from the Register of Copyrights of the indexes (Section 47) Rs. 500/- per copy
18 For a certified copy of any other public document in the custody of the Register of Copyright or Secretary of the Copyright Board Rs. 500/- per Copy
19 For an application for prevention of importation of infringing copies (Section 53) per place of entry Rs. 1,200/- per work

International conventions on copyright and related rights:

Copyright as provided by the Indian Copyright Act is valid only within the borders of the Indian Territory. To secure protection to Indian works in foreign countries, India has become a member of the following conventions:

International conventions on copyright and related rights:

  1. Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic works.

    Berne Convention: India is a member of Berne Convention of 1886 as well as Universal Copyright Convention of 1951. By virtue of this, the work created in other member states is accorded protection in India as well. In the same way, the work created in India and registered under Copyright Act in India, is accorded the protection in other member states. However, it must be noted that the protection is available only for Literary and Artistic works. For further information on Berne Convention and list of member states, please click here.

  2. Universal Copyright Convention.

    India is also a member of The Universal Copyright Convention (UCC), adopted in Geneva Switzerland, in 1952 which is an international convention protecting copyright. The UCC was developed by UNESCO as an alternative to the Berne Convention for those states which disagreed with certain aspects of the Berne Convention, but still wished to participate in some form of multilateral copyright protection. These countries thought the strong copyright protection granted by the Berne Convention overly benefited Western and developed nations. As of now, 65 countries are members of UCC.

    The following are the member list of countries:

    Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia &Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Guinea, Holy see , Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Niger, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Yugoslavia

  3. Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorized Duplication of their Phonograms

    The Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms, also known as the Geneva Phonograms Convention, is a 1971 international agreement related to protection for sound recordings. The 1971 convention grants record producers the international right to block imports of counterfeit music recordings, and to take action against distributors and retailers who sold them.

    Following are the countries which are members of the convention:

    Argentina, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Ecuado, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Holy See , Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Multilateral Convention for the

  4. Multilateral Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation of Copyright Royalties.

    This treaty is administered by UNESCO. The purpose of this treaty is to avoid double taxation of royalty on the authors.

  5. Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement.

    The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is an international agreement administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO) that sets down minimum standards for many forms of Intellectual Property regulation as applied to nationals of other WTO Members.

What is copyright?

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. 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.

What is a work?

A work means any of the following, namely, a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, a cinematograph film, or a sound recording.

What types of work attract Copyright?

The main branches of copyright are literary works (including computer programmes), dramatic works, musical works, artistic works, Cinematographic works and sound recording.

What is an artistic work?

An artistic work means-

  • A painting, a sculpture, a drawing (including a diagram, map, chart or plan), an engraving or a photograph, whether or not any such work possesses artistic quality;
  • A work of architecture; and
  • Any other work of artistic craftsmanship.

What is a musical work?

“Musical work” means a work consisting of music and includes any graphical notation of such work but does not include any words or any action intended to be sung, spoken or performed with the music. A musical work need not be written down to enjoy copyright protection

What is a sound recording?

“Sound recording” means a recording of sounds from which sounds may be produced regardless of the medium on which such recording is made or the method by which the sounds are produced. A phonogram and a CD-ROM are sound recordings.

What is a cinematograph film?

“Cinematograph film” means any work of visual recording on any medium produced through a process from which a moving image may be produced by any means and includes a sound recording accompanying such visual recording and “cinematograph” shall be construed as including any work produced by any process analogous to cinematography including video films.

Who all have rights in a musical sound recording?

There are many right holders in a musical sound recording. For example, the lyricist who wrote the lyrics, the composer who set the music, the singer who sang the song, the musician (s) who performed the background music, and the person or company who produced the sound recording.

Is it necessary to obtain any license or permission to use a musical sound recording for public performance?

A sound recording generally comprises various rights. It is necessary to obtain the licenses from each and every right owner in the sound recording. This would, inter alia, include the producer of the sound recording, the lyricist who wrote the lyrics, and the musician who composed the music..

Does copyright apply to titles and names?

Copyright does not ordinarily protect titles by themselves or names, short word combinations, slogans, short phrases, methods, plots or factual information. Copyright does not protect ideas or concepts. To get the protection of copyright a work must be original.

How is Copyright obtained?

Copyright in a work comes into existence automatically when the work is created. However, the copyright application should be filed as an evidence of ownership of the work.

Can a claim to Copyright be registered?

Yes, in India a claim to copyright can be registered with filing an application to the Registrar of Copyright along with prescribed fees.

Who owns Copyright in a work?

The first owner of copyright in a work is the author. If the work is done in course of employment then employer is the first owner unless there is an agreement to the contrary. Where the work includes material from different owners, or for example is a translation of an original work, several owners may each have copyright in the final work.

What is the term of copyright protection?

Generally speaking, as per the law, 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. In the case of cinematograph 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.

Can a license under Copyright be given?

Yes. Copyright licenses can be given which authorize another to copy the work in question, usually in return for a royalty fee.

What constitutes infringement of copyright?

Copyright in work is considered to be infringed in the following circumstances- A. When any person without a license granted by the owner of the copyright or the Registrar of Copyrights or in contravention of the conditions of a license so granted or of any conditions imposed by a competent authority under Copyright Act – – does anything, the exclusive right to do which is, by Copyright Act, conferred upon the owner of copyright, or – permits for profit any place to be used for the communication of the work to public where such communication constitutes an infringement of the copyright in the work. B. When any person – – makes for sale or hire, or sells or lets for hire, or by way of trade displays or – offers for sale or hire, or distributes either for the purpose of trade or to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright, or – by way of trade exhibits in public, any infringing copies of the work. It is not necessary that the alleged infringement should be an exact or verbatim copy of the original but its resemblance with the original in a large measure is sufficient to indicate that it is a copy.

How do I stop infringement of my Copyright?

Unlike some other intellectual property rights, copyright is merely a right to prevent unauthorized copying of an original work. The burden of proof in litigation is on the copyright owner to show that copyright exists in the work in question and that the alleged infringer (directly or indirectly) copied the work. If this chain of copying cannot be shown or does not exist, then there is no infringement. If there has been copyright infringement, then court action may be necessary to stop it continuing, and you may be able to claim financial compensation for any acts of infringement.

Should I publicize my claim to Copyright?

All copyright work should be marked with the International Copyright symbol © or with the word Copyright, the name of the owner and the date or year the work was created, thus: © Makhija & Associates (year).

What is a copyright notice and how is the same displayed?

Copyright notice consists of the following: – The symbol c (letter c in a circle) or the word copyrights The year of first publication, and – The copyright owners name. An example of notice: © 2016 indlaw. The copyright notice should be placed on copies in such a way as to give reasonable notice of the claimant of copyright.

Is transfer of copyright possible?

The owner of the copyright in an existing work or prospective owner of the copyright in a future work may assign to any person the copyright, either wholly or partially in the following manner:- for the entire world or for a specific country or territory; or for the full term of copyright or part thereof; or relating to all the rights comprising the copyright or only a part of such rights.

What is the mode of assignment of copyright?

Assignment of copyright is not valid till it is in writing, signed by the assignee or by his authorized agent. The assignment should identify the work and specify the rights assigned, the duration and territorial extent of the assignment. The assignment deed must also specify the royalty payable, if any. There is no mandatory provision to register a deed of assignment of copyright. However, these details need to be recorded while registering copyright at serial 11 of Statement of Particulars.

What remedies exist for copyright infringement?

Courts are empowered to grant the following relief in case of infringement of copyright: – Temporary and permanent injunctions – Impounding and destruction of all infringing copies – Actual monetary damages plus the infringer’s profits – Statutory damages – Court costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees. The Court trying any offence, under Section 66 of the Copyright Act may, whether the alleged offender is convicted or not, order that all copies of the work in the possession of the alleged offender, which appear to be infringing copies be delivered up to the owner of copyright. In addition to civil remedy, the Copyright Act enables the owner of a copyright to take criminal proceedings against the infringer. Knowledge/mensrea of the infringer to commit the infringement should necessarily be proved for this purpose. The offence of infringement of copyright is punishable with imprisonment which may extend from a minimum period of six months to a maximum period of three years and a fine of Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakhs.

What are the powers of copyright law enforcement authorities?

For effective implementation of Copyright Act, the response of enforcement authorities to cases of infringement needs to be swift. Under Section 64 of the Copyright Act, 1957, any police officer, not below the rank of a sub – inspector, may if he is satisfied that an offence in respect of copyright in any work has been, is being, or is likely to be committed, seize without warrant, all copies of the work, and all plates used for the purpose of making infringing copies of the work, wherever found and produce them before a magistrate as soon as practicable.

Is it compulsory for a work to be published to receive copyright protection? Would I have to register my work with Copyright Office to get copyright protection?

Copyright applies to both published and unpublished works. Further, it is not necessary under the Indian Copyright Act to register with the Copyright Office to get copyright protection. Registration of the work is however a highly recommended because such registration is helpful in an infringement suit. As per the Copyright Act, the Register of copyrights (where the details of the work are entered on registration) is prima facie evidence of the particulars entered therein. The documents purporting to be copies of any entries therein, or extracts from the Register which are certified by the Registrar of copyrights and sealed with the seal of the Copyright Office, are admissible as evidence in all courts without proof or production of the original.

Post Requirement