Creators of literary, dramatic, musical, and aesthetic works, as well as
makers of cinematograph films and sound recordings, have a legal claim to
copyright. In truth, it is a collection of rights that includes, among other
things, the rights to reproduce, communicate to the public, alter, and translate
Depending on the work, there may be minor differences in the composition of the
rights. Copyright protects and rewards innovation by ensuring some minimal
safeguards for writers' rights over their creations. Given that creativity is at
the heart of progress, no civilized society can afford to ignore the imperative
of fostering it.
Creativity is critical for economic and social advancement in a
community. Copyright safeguards the work of writers, artists, designers,
dramatists, musicians, architects, and producers of sound recordings,
cinematograph films, and computer software, while also promoting a creative
atmosphere that inspires them to create more and motivates others to create.
In January 1958, the Copyright Act of 1957 (the 'Act') came into effect. Since
then, the Act has been amended five times: in 1983, 1984, 1992, 1994, 1999, and
2012. The Copyright Act of 1957 safeguards against the unlawful use of original
literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, as well as cinematograph films
and sound recordings. Unlike patents, copyright protects expressions rather than
ideas. As such, ideas, procedures, methods of operation, and mathematical
concepts are not protected by copyright.
The most significant is the Copyright (Amendment) Act of 2012
The primary reason for amending the Copyright Act, 1957 is to bring it into
compliance with two WIPO internet treaties signed in 1996, namely the WIPO
Copyright Treaty ("WCT") and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty ("WPPT");
to protect and address the Music and Film Industries' concerns; to address the
concerns of the physically disabled and to protect the author's interests; to
make incidental changes; to eliminate operational facilities; and to extend the
term of the Copyright Act, 1957
Section 9 of the Copyright Act requires for the establishment of an office to be
called the Copyright Office for the purpose of the Act. The Copyright Office is
to be under the immediate control of a Registrar of Copyrights to be appointed
by the Central Government, who would act under the superintendence and
directions of the Central Government. The Copyright Office is currently located
at the following address:
Boudhik Sampada Bhawan,
Plot No. 32, Sector 14, Dwarka,
Registration Procedure: The registration procedure is as follows:
- The application for registration must be made on Form XIV (Including Statement
of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars) as prescribed in the first
schedule to the Rules;
- Each work must have its own application;
- Each application must be accompanied by the requisite fee as prescribed in the
second schedule to the Rules; and
- The applications must be signed by the applicant. If applicable, a Power of
Attorney signed by the party and accepted by the advocate should be included.
- The fee can be paid by Demand Draft or Indian Postal Order made payable
to "Registrar Of Copyrights Payable At New Delhi" or by E-payment.
Is it possible to register both published and unpublished works?
Copyright in works published prior to the 21st of January 1958, i.e. before the
Copyright Act, 1957, may also be registered, as long as the works retain their
copyright protection. Two copies of previously published or unpublished content
may be included with the application.
If the work to be registered has never been published, a copy of the manuscript
must accompany the application for affixing the Copyright Office's registration
stamp. One identical duplicate, properly stamped, will be returned, while the
other will be kept confidential and stored at the Copyright Office to the extent
Additionally, the applicant may transmit excerpts from the unpublished work
rather than the complete manuscript and request that the extracts be returned
once they have been stamped with the Copyright Office's seal. When work is first
registered as unpublished and thereafter published, the applicant may, for a
fee, submit a Form XV request for modifications to the details included in the
Register of Copyright.
Why claim Copyright?
Originality is seen as "the core premise of copyright law" and "the bedrock
principle of copyright." To be considered copyrightable, a work must have been
created via the author's labor, skill, and judgment. Furthermore, such exertions
on the author's part should not be trivial, and hence should not be limited to
the mechanical function of copying another's work. Due to the quantitative
nature of the degree of originality criterion, the variation must be substantial
rather than minor.
A certificate of registration of copyright and the entries made therein serve as
prima facie evidence in a court of law with reference to disputes relating to
ownership of copyright.