Copyright in India: Law and Procedure


Indian copyright law is enshrined in the Copyright Act of 1957. The act seeks to provide for copyright registration in India. The purpose of copyright law is to encourage authors, artists, and composers to create original works by giving them the exclusive right for a fixed period to reproduce the works for commercial exploitation.

What is copyright?

COPYRIGHT is a right granted by law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of motion pictures and sound recordings. In fact, it is a set of rights that includes, among others, the 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 is the legal protection given to the creator of an original literary or artistic work. It is the exclusive right that the law grants to the creator of said original work, to carry out, authorize or prohibit certain acts in relation to said work, thus protecting and rewarding creativity.

Copyright subsists in the following class of works:

a) Original literary, musical, dramatic and artistic works.

b) Cinematographic films

c) Sound recordings

The rights vary according to the kind of work. Copyright also subsists in translations, summaries, or compilations of such works, provided permission is obtained from the copyright holder. Computer programs are considered literary works and are protected by the Copyright Law. There is no copyright on an idea.

Rights conferred by registration

In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. Under Indian law, registration is not required to acquire a copyright or to assert it in an infringement action. However, the registration has probative value in a court of law with reference to disputes related to the ownership of copyright.

copyright author

Under copyright law, the creator of the original expression in a work is its author. The author is also the copyright owner, unless there is a written agreement by which the author assigns the copyright to another person or entity, such as a publisher. In the case of commissioned works, the supplier of the work is considered the author.

Submission and processing of copyright applications

A Form IV copyright application accompanied by four copies of the Form IV work (Including the Statement of Details and Statement of Additional Details) together with the prescribed fee must be made to the Department’s Copyright Office. of Education, New Delhi. The Copyright Office initially provides a filing number and filing date and issues a filing receipt. Subsequently, the application is formally examined by the Office. Defects will be communicated to the applicant. Once the application is determined to be in order, it is accepted and the registration certificate is issued by the Copyright Office.

Record Duration

The duration granted to works subject to copyright varies according to the type of work. Literary or musical works or artistic works, other than photographs, have a useful life, which extends for the life of the author and 60 years from the end of the year in which the author dies. However, if the work has not been published, performed, or offered for sale or broadcast during the author’s lifetime, copyright protection will continue for a period of 60 years from the end of the year in which any of these acts. relative to the work.

Motion pictures, photographs and computer programs are protected for 60 years from the end of the year in which the work is made available to the public with the consent of the copyright owner or is published, or failing that , for 60 years. from the end of the year in which the work is carried out. Sound recordings are protected for 60 years from the end of the year it is first published.

In the case of anonymous or pseudonymous works, the copyright is 60 years from the end of the year in which the work is made available to the public with the consent of the copyright owner or from the end of the year in that it is reasonable to presume that the author died, whatever the shorter term.

Use of the “©” symbol

Anyone who claims copyright in a work can use the copyright notice to alert the public to the claim. Registration is not required to use the designations, although it is highly recommended to incorporate a copyright notice such as the symbol, the letter “c” in a circle, or the word “Copyright” followed by the name of the copyright owner and the year of first publication. . For example, © ipfirmsdirectory 1999.

Remedies for infringement

It is the sole responsibility of the owner to ensure that no one else infringes their copyright. It is the owner’s duty to file an infringement lawsuit against the violator. The reliefs that can generally be granted in such a lawsuit are:

Yo. We are going to interdict either provisional or final.

ii. Damages.

Criminal action can also be taken on the basis of copyright registration. The minimum penalty for copyright infringement is six months’ imprisonment with a minimum fine of Rs 50,000/-. In the case of a second and subsequent convictions, the minimum sentence is imprisonment for one year and a fine of one lakh rupees.

international copyright protection

India is a member of the Berne and Universal Conventions, and Indian law extends protection to all copyrighted works originating in any of the convention countries. Foreign works first published in a member country of either of the Conventions would receive the same copyright protection in India as Indian works without going through any formalities, provided that the country of origin grants reciprocity to copyrights. indian works.