Copyright registration is one of the key types of intellectual property safeguard which allows for the protection of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. Copyright is a right to ownership and enjoyment given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings.
It is a bundle of rights comprising of rights to reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work. Copyright ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of ownership and enjoyment of the authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity.
Any work namely literary, dramatic, musical, artistic work, cinematograph film, or sound recording, can be copyrighted. Copyrights are given in India in mainly three classes of work, and each class has its own distinctive rights under the Copyright Act. Following are the classes:
In order to obtain the copyright registration an application is to be filed in Form IV in a prescribed manner along with the applicable fee. Copyright can be obtained irrespective of the fact that work is published and unpublished. In the case of published work, three copies of the published work have to be presented along with the application. In case of unpublished work, a copy of the manuscript has to be sent along with the application for affixing the stamp of the Copyright Office in proof of the work having been registered.
Copyright registration can be obtained for both published and unpublished works. Copyright registration can be obtained by applying to the Copyright Office for registration of work under copyright laws in the prescribed form along with the necessary fee. Application for copyright registration must be made on “Form IV” along with the “Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars”. Along with the application, three copies of published work should be sent. If the work to be registered is unpublished, a copy of the manuscript has to be sent along with the application for affixing the stamp of the Copyright Office in proof of the work having been registered.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, while the other will be retained, as far as possible, in the Copyright Office for record and will be kept confidential.
Copyright application can be signed and submitted by the applicant or an Advocate in whose favor a vakalatnama or Power of Attorney has been executed by the Applicant. In case of application by an Advocate, the Power of Attorney signed by the applicant and accepted by the advocate should be enclosed with the application.
In case of registration of multiple works, separate applications should be made for registration of each work along with the requisite fee.
The following are some of the important benefits of registering your work and availing copyright protection:
Generally, copyright protection is valid for 60 years. However, counting of period of duration for the validity differs in different copyrights.
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.
Any work related to literary, dramas, music, art, cinema etc. can be copied or misused. This is just to get legal protection against the misuse of such work, there if copy right act which provides for remedy for copyright misuse or infringement.
Punishment or Fine: The act of Copyright infringement of any work is a criminal offence and punishable under Section 63 of the Copyright Act, 1957. The minimum punishment for an infringement or misuse of Copyright is imprisonment for a period of six months along with a minimum fine of Rs.50, 000/-.
Seizure of copied work: In case a copyright infringement has happened or happening or likely to happen, any police officer, not below the rank of a sub-inspector, may, if he is satisfied, seize without a warrant, all copies of the work and all plates used for the purpose of making infringing copies of the work.
The copyrighted work cannot be used by any person other than the owner of the copyright. However, the law under certain conditions allows the use of a registered work without the permission of the owner for research, study, criticism, review and news reporting, as well as the use of works in library and schools and in the legislatures. In order to protect the interests of users, some exemptions have been prescribed in respect of specific uses of works enjoying copyright. Some of the exceptions are as follows: