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Copyright refers to the ownership rights to literature, theatre, music, artwork, sound recordings, and other works. Copyright registration grants a set of rights to the work, including reproduction, public communication, adaptation, and translation. Copyright registration ensures that the writers’ rights to ownership and enjoyment of their works are protected and rewarded, which protects and rewards creativity. Copyright registration is required since it allows you to communicate with the public, reproduce the rights, adapt, and translate the works.
Copyright registration can be obtained for any works related to literature, drama, music, artwork, film, or sound recording. Copyrights are given to mainly three classes of work, and each class has its distinctive right under the copyright act.
- Original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works comprise the copyright for books, music, painting, sculpture, etc.
- Cinematography films are another class of copyright that consists of any work of visual recording on any medium.
Sound recordings have a distinctive class under the copyright act that consists of a recording of sounds, regardless of the medium on which such recording is made or the method by which the sound is produced.
Advantages of copyright law
- Prevention of monetary loss: There are many advantages of copyright registration for the authors of original works. One of the biggest benefits of copyright protection is preventing losses arising from copies being made of the original work. Violation of copyright registration is commonly known as ‘piracy’. In India, all of us are familiar with the word. ‘Pirated’ books, DVDs, and music videos are commonly available on the streets of most major cities. Not only are these shoddily produced, but they also lead to enormous losses for publishers and authors. Movies and software are also illegally downloaded and shared through peer-sharing networks.
- Legal protection: There are other benefits that copyright registration gives under the law. The act of registration gives shelter to published work. Without such registration, it becomes difficult to prove the case of the owner in court. For example, a film producer may make a movie that is similar to one that was released earlier. But without copyright registration, it won’t be easy to prove that it was plagiarized in court. The onus is on the creator to prove authenticity.
- Pre-emptive measure: Another one of the benefits of a copyright is that the registration is on record so that it dissuades others from making unauthorized use of your work. If you discover that someone is copying your work, you can send a `cease’ notice. So you don’t have to bother about legal proceedings at a later stage. This saves a lot of time and money.
- The incentive to create: Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of copyright law is that it fosters an atmosphere of creativity and innovation. For example, an information technology company can spend millions developing new software. It will do so with the expectation of making money, and copyright law ensure that it can reap the benefits. Similarly, music companies can create new music without worrying about it being copied and distributed without consent.
- Protecting reputations: By protecting original work, copyright registration ensures that the reputation of their creators/authors is protected. For example, a music composer or author is in a position to prevent shoddy copies of his or her work, preventing any loss of reputation.
- Prestige: Another advantage of copyright protection is that it gives the holder the prestige that a certain work belongs to him or her.
In summary, there are multiple benefits of copyright registration. It encourages creativity and innovation and helps a country grow both in economic as well as cultural terms. However, the record of copyright protection is patchy in many parts of the world, including India.
What is the Registration Procedure for Filing the Copyright Registration & How we can Assist?
We can search the Indian Copyright Office records to determine if there are any existing works similar to the one being registered that may impact the registration of the work.
We can assist in preparing and filing the copyright registration application with the Indian Copyright Office. We can help ensure that the application is complete and accurate, that all necessary supporting documents are included, and that the below steps are properly executed.
- Step-1-Creating User ID and Password: Before filing the application form for Copyright registration, the applicant needs to use the User ID and password for login. If the applicant is not registered while applying, then he/she is required to opt for New User Registration.
- Step-2-Filing Application Form: An applicant can apply either manually in the copyright office or through an e-filing facility available on the official website (copyright.gov.in). Here, the applicant can be an author of the work/owner of an exclusive right for the work/an authorized agent. For Copyright Registration, an independent application must be filed with the registrar along with the particulars of the work.
After login, an applicant needs to click on “Click for online Copyright Registration” and shall fill out the online “Copyright Registration Form” along with all the requisite documents. The Registrar will issue a dairy number to the applicant, once the Copyright application is filed.
- Step 3-Examination of Application: Once the application is filed; the very next step is to examine the copyright application. Once the dairy number is issued, a minimum of 30 days waiting period is provided where the copyright examiner can review the application.
After examination, the process of Copyright Registration gets divided into two segments:-
If Objections are Raised: If the objection is raised by someone against the applicant, the letter is sent to both parties, and they are called to be heard by the registrar. If the objection is rejected upon hearing, the applicant can ask for scrutiny and the discrepancy procedure is followed.
We can respond to objections and queries. If the Copyright Office raises any objections or queries related to the application, legal experts can assist in responding to them and providing any additional information or documentation required.
If No Objections are Raised: If no objections are raised, the examiner consents to review and scrutinize the application to find any disparity. In case no discrepancy arises, and all the essential documents are provided along with the application, the applicant is allowed to proceed further with the next step.
However, in case of inconsistencies are found, a letter of the discrepancy is sent to the applicant. The applicant shall reply on the same and based upon the reply, a hearing is conducted by the registrar. Once the difference is resolved, the applicant is allowed to move ahead to the next step. However, in case the difference is not resolved, the application is rejected, and a rejection letter is sent to the applicant.
- Step 4: – Issuance of Registration Certificate
The last step is the issuance of the copyright registration certificate. In the Registration step, the Registrar might ask for more information and documents. If the registrar is completely satisfied with the application made by the applicant, he will enter the details of the copyright application into the register of copyrights and issue a certificate of registration.
Note-The Copyright registration completes when the applicant is issued the Extracts of the Register of Copyrights (ROC).
What are the Penalties Applicable for Copyright Infringement?
- In the case of Copyright Infringement
- The minimum punishment is imprisonment for 6 months with a minimum fine of Rs. 50,000/-.
- In the case of a Second and Subsequent Conviction
- The minimum punishment is imprisonment for 1 year and a fine of Rs. 1 lakh.
- What are the Rights of the Copyright Owner?
- The Indian Copyright Act of 1957 protects the economic, legal, and social interests of the copyright owner. The Act communicates the exclusive rights of the owner in the following regards:-
- Right of Reproduction
- Right of Adaptation
- Right of Communication to the Public.
- Right of Public Performance
- Right of Paternity and Integrity
- Right of Distribution
Copyright Protection Validity
Copyright protection usually lasts for 60 years. The 60-year period begins with the author’s death year in the case of original literary, theatrical, musical, and artistic works.
The 60 years is counted from the publication date in the case of cinematographic films, sound recordings, pictures, posthumous publications, anonymous and pseudonymous publications, works of government, and the activity of international organizations.
We can help enforce copyright by taking legal action against infringers, such as sending cease-and-desist notices or filing infringement lawsuits in court.