By law, copyright is the legal right entitled to creators of literary, dramatics, music, and artistic work and producers of films and recordings. When a proprietor registers for a Copyright, it gives him an exclusive right to reproduce, replicate, and distribute the work. Further, he can grant authority to some other entity for the same purpose. Register for copyright because it makes you communicate to the public, reproduce rights, and adapt & translate the works.

Copyright Registration in India – A detailed process

The process for registering copyright involves the following steps:

Step 1: The copyright registration application has to be filed in the concerned forms with the Copyright Registrar, mentioning the particulars of the work.

Depending on the type of work, separate copyright applications may have to be filed.

Our representatives will ask for basic details based on your copyright work. You will also need to send us three copies of your work and few signed documents including an authorisation letter that we will send by email. If the work is unpublished, two copies of the manuscript can be sent, where one copy will be returned to the applicant with seal and the other will be retained confidential with the Copyright Office. Applicants can also choose to send only the extracts of the manuscript instead of the whole unpublished copy.

Step 2: The forms must be duly signed by the applicant and the application must be submitted by the Advocate under whose name Power of Attorney has been executed.

Our experts will then prepare the copyright registration application and submit the necessary forms with the Registrar of Copyrights electronically.

Step 3: Once the application is submitted online, you will be issued the Diary number.

Step 4: There is a waiting period of 30 days within which the Copyright Examiner reviews the application for potential discrepancies and/or objections.

Step 5: If discrepancy and/or objections are found, discrepancy notice will be issued and the same needs to have complied within 30 days from the date of issuance of the notice.

Step 6: Once the discrepancy has been removed or if there are no discrepancies or objections with the application, the copyright shall be registered and the Copyright Office shall issue the Extracts of Register of Copyrights (ROC) which is nothing but the Registration Certificate.

On completion of the copyright application, you will receive a diary number. Registration will take 12 months from this day. During this time, we may be asked for some clarifications on the same and/or some defects in the application and it will cost a further Rs. 1500 for responding and complying with the defects. Our representatives at Startupgenie will inform you of the changes in the status of your application throughout.

Documents Required for Copyright Registration

Copyright registration

Personal Details

  • Name, Address & Nationality of the Applicant
  • Name, address and nationality of the author of the work
  • Nature of the applicant’s interest in the copyright – whether the applicant is the author of the work or the representative of the author
  • Copies of the original work
  • ID proof of the owner and Incorporation certificate if it is for business

Nature Of The Work

  • Class & Description of the Work
  • Title of the Work
  • Language of the Work
  • Date of Publication – Publication in internal magazines, like a company magazine or a research paper submitted to a professor does not count as publication.

Scope of copyright protection

The Copyright Act, 1957 prevents unauthorized use of any original literary, musical, dramatic, sound recordings, cinematograph and other artistic works. Both published and unpublished works can be copyrighted, and the copyright of the original work is reserved for the original creator. Copyright can also be registered for works that were published before 21st January 1958, that is before the Copyright Act came into existence.

Copyright protection of original literary, musical, dramatic, and artistic works lasts for the entire lifetime of the author. In addition, it also for another 60 years counted from the year following the death of the author. In the case of sound recordings, cinematograph films, photographs, posthumous publications (published post the death of the author), anonymous and pseudonymous publications, government works and works of international organisations.

Rights of the copyright owner

In India, the Indian Copyright Act 1957 handles matters related to copyright. It protects the economic, legal, and social interests of the copyright owner. The Act confers exclusive rights on the owner on the following aspects-

Right of Reproduction

The Copyright Act mandates that no individual can make copies of or reproduce a protected work, in part or whole, without permission from the copyright owner. Thus, it restricts copying a song, any sound, or any form of video recording in a recording device.

Right of Adaptation

The Copyright Act gives exclusive rights to the creator to use his piece of work the way he wants. He can create any derivatives of his original work. He can also prepare a new work in a different format, based on his existing creation. The Copyright Act defines the following actions as “adaptation”:

  • Converting movies, plays, dramatic works or choreographic shows into literary or non-dramatic works such as novels, poems, and books
  • Converting artistic and literary works such as photography, sculpture, drawings, paintings, etc into forms of dramatic work
  • A pictorial description of the original work
  • Alteration or modification of non-dramatic and dramatic work
  • Transcription of a musical piece/work

Right of Communication To The Public

The Act gives exclusive rights to the copyright owners to broadcast their original work to the public. They can do this by wireless diffusion in any form of visual images or signs.

Right of Public Performance

The Act gives exclusive rights to the owners of artistic and musical work to perform their works in public. An actor can make a public performance in any of his plays. A musician can play his piece of original music for the masses. Similarly, artists can broadcast their performances in public on any platform they want.

Right of Paternity And Integrity

The Copyright Act bestows the twin moral rights of integrity and morality on the creators of original work. The right of attribution or paternity implies that the owner/creator can claim the sole authorship over his piece of work. In other words, he can have it attributed to himself. Anyone wishing to adapt or reproduce the original work needs to give the author his due credit. Else, the author will be at liberty to file a legal suit against the ‘unauthorised’ maker. For example, before making a movie based on a particular book, the maker must acknowledge or give credit to the author.

The right of integrity provides a different kind of protection to the copyright holder. If any individual mutilates, modifies, or distorts the original work of the copyright holder, he can claim damages from the individual. This is done on the pretext that such an act has caused the loss of reputation to the creator and his original creation.

Right of Distribution

The Copyright Act provides exclusive rights on the copyright holder to distribute his work in whatever form he likes (through selling, reproducing, leasing, lending or renting). If he wishes, he can also transfer certain rights to another person to use the copyright in part or whole, subject-specific limitations.

Advantages of Copyright Registration

Legal Protection

Creators of original works always enjoy legal protection when their work is reproduced without authorisation. Copyright Registration, however, makes it much easier to protect this original work against infringement.

Market Presence

By registering a copyright, a public record of your work is created and a proof of ownership is established for your creative work. It can also be used in marketing and for building goodwill in the mind of the customer.

Rights Of The Owner

The owner of a copyright has the rights over reproduction, dissemination, adaptation and translation of the work. Relying on the work, you will have some variations in the composition of the rights.

Copyright Registration Process

3 Working Days

Our representatives will ask for basic details based on the work you want to copyright. You will also need to send us 3 copies of your unique content on a CD and a signed authorisation letter (we will mail this to you).

2 Working Days

Our experts will then prepare the application. We will le the necessary forms with the Registrar of Copyrights electronically at the office in Delhi.

12 Months

On completion of the copyright application, you will receive a diary number. Registration will take 12 months from this day. During this time, we may be asked for some clarifications on the same (if this is on account of an error of yours, it will cost a further Rs. 1500). Our representatives will inform you of the changes in the status of your application throughout. In case of an objection to your application, from interested parties or the examiner, you would need to file a response within 45 days.

Why StartupGenie?

At StartupGenie, our Copyright professionals and lawyers will offer legal advice and end-to-end support right from filing the application, collecting the details, till your work gets registered. The entire process is done online so there is no need for you to step out and follow up with the government authorities. We will take care of all the mandatory requirements as well.

FAQs on Copyright Registration

Does copyright apply to titles or names?

Copyright does not ordinarily protect titles by themselves or names, short word combinations, slogans, short phrases, methods, plots or factual information nor protect ideas or concepts. Copyright is provided only to original literary work.

Do I need a trademark or copyright? What is the difference?

A trademark is a mark given to protect a brand name, logo or slogan. On the other hand, copyright is a protection given to unique content like a book, music, videos, songs and artistic content.

After applying for a copyright, if someone else copies my content, is there any protection?

Yes, absolutely. You must immediately send a legal notice and after sending the notice, if the problem does not get resolved, you can even file a case against the other side in a court of law.

Is there any way to search whether my content has been copyrighted by someone else in the past?

No, there are no such provisions to check if the work has been copied by any third party. However, you can do a thorough search on the Internet to check if there is anything similar to yours.

What if anyone claims that I have infringed their work?

In such a case, you will receive a legal notice from the third party, claiming that you have copied or reproduced their registered work. Startupgenie can help you reply to the legal notice and in the further litigation process.

How long is copyright registration valid for?

Copyright protection is valid for 60 years. If it is literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, the 60-year period is counted from the year following the expiry of the author. For 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.

Is copyright valid in India alone or is it valid across the world?

Since India is a signatory of the Berne Convention, copyright registered in India will get the status of foreign work and protection will be extended to countries which are also signatories to the Berne Convention.

Can I sell or transfer a copyright registration?

A copyright registration can be sold, transferred, gifted and franchised with due consent from the owner of the work.

What rights does a copyright holder have?

A copyright holder has the right to translate, reproduce and adapt the creative work; the right to be credited for it; the right to determine who may adapt the work to other forms and who may get monetary benefits out of it.

What cannot be protected through copyright in India?

Copyright protection is not applicable for ideas and methods – e.g., business operations, technical discoveries, mathematical principles and other such concepts; commonly available info – e.g., telephone directories, general databases taken from free public records, etc.; Choreographic works and speeches unless they are notated or videotaped. Also, business names, product descriptions, taglines and other such expressions cannot be copyrighted.

How to copyright my website?

A website cannot be copyrighted in one application, rather you cannot copyright the entire website as it is made of various elements such as the content would be termed as literary work, the source code and object code of the website would also be considered as literary work, the pictures, artistic works would be considered as a separate work and therefore, individual copyright applications must be filed for such different elements of the website.

How long does it take for copyright registration?

Considering the various factors, including objection, the entire process may take up to 6-8 months approximately.

Is copyright applicable to mobile applications?

A mobile application cannot be copyrighted as such, however, similar to a website, the coding can be copyrighted as literary work and other elements can be filed as different copyright applications.

Should my work be published to get registered for copyright?

Published and unpublished works can be registered. If a work is already published, the Publishing details need to be furnished along with the application.

Can copyright registration be done anywhere in India?

The entire copyright filing is done online, and hence it can be done from anywhere in the country. The Copyright head office is in Delhi.

Is there any chance of my copyright work to get rejected?

Yes, if the discrepancy is not removed within the said timeline, the application will be abandoned.