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Copyright Act

The Copyright Law in India at present is governed by the Copyright Act, 1957 (As amended in 2012) along with the Copyright Rules, 2013. The Copyright Act today is compliant with most international conventions and treaties in the field of copyrights.

Copyright Registration helps in protecting the creative work such as music, books, manuscripts, software's, films, fashion designs, website etc from being copied and used for commercial purposes without the creators prior permission.

Copyrights operates against unauthorized copying, the taking of another’s creation, without paying for it.

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.

Both published and unpublished works can be registered. Copyright comes into existence as soon as a work is created and registration is not mandatory for acquiring copyright protection. However, certificate of registration of copyright serve as prima facie evidence in a court of law in case of disput.

Requirements and Procedure for Copyright

Requisites for filing a copyright application
1. Name, address and nationality of the applicant
2. Name, address and nationality of the author of the work
3. Nature of applicant's interest in the copyright i.e. OWNER / LICENSEE etc.
4. Title of the work
5. A declaration signed by the author (if different from the applicant)
6. Language of the work
7. Whether the work is published or unpublished
8. If the work is published, year and country of first publication and name, address and nationality of the publisher
9. Year and countries of subsequent publications, if any
10. Name, address and nationality of any other person authorized to assign or license the rights in the copyright
11. Power of attorney for the firm
12. Six hard copies of the work and three soft copies
13. (For computer programs - 3 copies of the program on CD ROMs.)

Procedure for grant of copyright in India
1. a. The application with complete details and copies of the work is filed
2. b. Thereafter, the application is examined and objections, if any, are raised, or any extra documents required are requested
3. c. A response has to be filed within 30 days
4. d. The certificate is issued by the copyright office after the objections, if any, are removed. FAQ (Frequent Ask Questions)

1. 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.

2. What is the scope of protection of copyright 1957
The Copyright Act, 1957 protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and cinematograph films and sound recordings from unauthorized uses. Unlike the case with patents, copyright protects the expressions and not the ideas. There is no copyright protection for ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts as such (Please see Article 9.2. of TRIPS).

3. Does copyright apply to title 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.

4. Is it necessary to register a work to claim copyright
No. Acquisition of copyright is automatic and it does not require any formality. Copyright comes into existence as soon as a work is created and no formality is required to be completed for acquiring copyright. However, certificate of registration of copyright and the entries made therein serve as prima facie evidence in a court of law with reference to dispute relating to ownership of copyright.

5. Where I can file registration of copyright work
The Copyright Office has been set up to provide registration facilities to all types of works and is headed by a Registrar of Copyrights and is located at Plot no. 32, Boudhik Sampada Bhawan, Sector 14, Dwarka, New Delhi- 110075. The applications are also accepted by post. On-line registration through "E-filing facility" has been provided from 14th February 2014, which facilitates the applicants to file applications at the time and place chosen by them.

6. What is the procedure to register copyright under copyright act 1957
The procedure for registration is as follows:
a) Application for registration is to be made on Form XIV (Including Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars) as prescribed in the first schedule to the Rules;
b) Separate applications should be made for registration of each work; c) Each application should be accompanied by the requisite fee prescribed in the second schedule to the Rules;
d) The applications should be signed by the applicant. The Power of Attorney signed by the party and accepted by the advocate should also be enclosed, if applicable.
e) The fee is to be paid either in the form of Demand Draft or Indian Postal Order favouring "Registrar Of CopyrightsPayable At New Delhi" or through E payment Each and every column of the Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars should be replied specifically.
f) The fee is either in the form of Demand Draft,Indian Postal Order favoring "Registrar Of Copyright Payable At New Delhi" or through E payment Each and every column of the Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars should be replied specifically.

7. Whether unpublished works are registered
Yes. Both published and unpublished works can be registered. Copyright in works published before 21st January, 1958, i.e., before the Copyright Act, 1957 came in force, can also be registered, provided the works still enjoy copyright. Two copies of published or unpublished work may be sent along with the application. 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. 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. It would also be open to the applicant to 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.

When a work has been registered as unpublished and subsequently it is published, the applicant may apply for changes in particulars entered in the Register of Copyright in Form XV with prescribed fee. The process of registration and fee for registration of copyright is same.

8. Whether computer software and computer programme can be registered
Yes. Computer Software or programme can be registered as a 'literary work'. As per Section 2 (o) of the Copyright Act, 1957 "literary work" includes computer programmes, tables and compilations, including computer databases. 'Source Code' and "Object Code" have also to be supplied along with the application for registration of copyright for software products.

9. How I get copyright registration for my website
A website may be understood as a webpage or set of interconnected webpages, hosted or stored on a server, and is made available online to members of public. Users can access the information and other underlying work on a website through various means such as scrolling webpages, using internal hypertext links or a search feature. Website usually consists of different rudiments which may be copyrightable subject matter that falls within any one of the classes of works set forth in Section 13 of Copyright Act, 1957. The component parts of website can be in different form of digital files such as text, tables, computer programmes, compilations including computer databases ("literary works"); photographs, paintings, diagram, map, chart or plan ("artistic works"); works consisting of music and including graphical notation of such work ("musical works"); "sound recordings" and "cinematograph films". Website as a whole is not subject to copyright protection. Generally, non-copyrightable content particular to websites may include but are not limited to ideas or future plans of websites, functional elements of websites, unclaimable material, layout and format or 'look and feel' of a website or its webpage; or other common, unoriginal material such as names, icons or familiar symbols. Applicant is required to submit a separate application for each component work/content appearing on a website.

10. How long do I need to wait for copyright registration
After you file your application and receive diary number you have to wait for a mandatory period of 30 days so that no objection is filed in the Copyright office against your claim. In case any objection is filed, the Registrar of Copyrights after giving an opportunity of hearing to both the parties, may decide to register the work or otherwise. If no objection is filed the application is examined by the examiners. If any discrepancy is found the applicant is given ordinarily 45 days time to remove the same. Therefore, it may take around 2 to 3 months time for registration of any work in the normal course. The cooperation of the applicant in providing necessary information is the key for speedy disposal the matter.

11. Is an opportunity for hearing given in all cases pertaining to rejection of copyright
As per the rule 70(12) of the Copyright Rules, 2013, an opportunity of hearing must be given. However, only after hearing, it may be decided to register the work or to reject it. The applicant himself or his/her pleader may appear in the hearing. As per section 72 of the Copyright Act, 1957 any person aggrieved by the final decision or order of the Registrar of Copyrights may, within three months from the date of the order or decision, appeal to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB).

12. Whether certificates qualify to be copyrightable subject matter
Originality is considered as 'the bedrock principle of copyright' and 'the very premise of copyright law'. A work to be a copyrightable subject matter is to be created by the exercise of labour, skill and judgment of the author. Also, such exercise of efforts on the part of the author should not be trivial in nature and thus should not be a mere exercise of the mechanical function of copying the work of another. Variation must be substantial in nature than merely trivial thus requirement of degree of originality is quantitative in nature. Certificates may be considered as a formal document or written assurance which states an official fact and are generally used as evidence for certain purposes. Certificates are usually monotonous as it contains mere common words or formats which are generic in nature. Certificates are not considered as copyrightable subject matter as it falls under the narrow category of works in which the creative spark is utterly lacking or so trivial as to be virtually non-existent.

13. How can I get copyright registration for an app.
AnApp is a complete, self-contained computer program that is designed to perform specific tasks. Usually called 'Apps' for short, application programs are the most familiar forms of software and come in a very wide variety of types. An App usually has primarily dynamic content and is designed for user interaction. It may be used directly or indirectly in a computer or hand held electronic device. An App may be registered as a computer program under literary works as provided under Section 2(o) of the Copyright Act, 1957. For this purpose applicant is required to submit an application for registration under software category, accompanied by the source and object code as provided under Rule 70 (5) of the Copyright Rules 2013. It is important to note that the registration will cover any screen displays generated by that program, provided that the computer program (code) generating the screen display is submitted by the applicant. Mere snapshots of screen displays of an app are not eligible for copyright protection.