FAQs on Copyright Laws of India
Qs. What is the purpose of registration of copyright?
The purpose of copyright registration is to place on record a verifiable account of the date and content of the work in question so that in the event of a legal claim, or a case of infringement or plagiarism, the copyright owner can produce a copy of the work from an official government source. In general, copyright registration is a legal formality intended to make a public record of the basic facts of a particular copyright. However, registration is not a condition precedent of a copyright protection. Indian Copyright Act, 1957 is the governing law and it extends to the whole of India.
Qs. What are the types of work that get copyright protection?
It includes books, newspaper articles, and blog posts. Even the email would be considered a literary work. Computer software or program can be registered as a ‘literary work’. As per Section 2 (o) of the Copyright Act, 1957, “literary work” includes computer programs, tables, and compilations, including computer databases.
It includes musical notations of all kinds. The copyright of musical work vest with the music composer.
It includes plays, screenplays, and TV scripts, recitation, choreographic work.
It includes dances, ballets, and mime performances.
Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
It includes paintings, drawings, photographs, and digital illustrations. Indian Copyright Act, 1957 says, if you have shot the photograph and you either have the film negative / raw file of the photograph, you own the copyright of it unless you are under contract by any company. You do not require to register your photograph before making it public.
Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
It includes movies, live webcasts that are being saved, slideshows, and video podcasts.
While the musical notes that make up a song are protected as a musical work, the actual recording of that performed notation is protected as a sound recording. Sound recordings are a distinct and independent category from musical recordings because they also include everything that can be recorded and reproduced that isn’t music, including speeches, sound effects, and audio books.
Buildings that have elements that meet the general requirements for protection particularly if they have sufficiently original design elements and designs that are independent of the utilitarian purposes of the building can be protected by copyright law. India is a signatory to Berne Convention as well as Universal Copyright Convention and therefore, work protected in Berne Signatory countries will be automatically protected under Berne Signatories countries without registration in India. Berne Convention, 1908 is the starting point of protection of architectural work.
Qs. What is the process of registration of Copyright?
Section 44 of the Copyright Act, 1957 provides for the registration of all works in which copyright subsists.
- 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. Each and every column of the Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars should be replied specifically. Statement of Further Particulars includes-Literary, including Software, Dramatic, Musical and Artistic Works only).
- Separate applications should be made for registration of each work.
- Each application should be accompanied by the requisite fee prescribed in the second schedule to the Rules.
- The applications should be signed by the applicant including the statement of particulars.
- 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.
As per the Rule 70 (5) for registration of Computer Programme or Software, the applicant should provide source code and object code.
In the case of Sound Recording & Cinematograph category enclose the copy of the agreement. If no agreement is made please obtain NOC from various copyright holders and enclosed the same with the application.
- When a work has been registered as unpublished and subsequently is it published, the applicant may apply for changes in particulars entered in the Register of Copyright in Form V as prescribed in the first schedule to the Copyright Rules, 1958, along with the prescribed fee and in accordance with Rule 16 of the Copyright Rules, 1958.
Qs. What are ways of registering copyright?
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. Any individual who is an author or rights owner or assignee or legal heir of the work can file an application for copyright of a work either at the copyright office or by post or by e-filing (online) facility through the official copyright web-site- www.copyright.gov.in. The applications for registration of works can be filled at the counter provided at the Copyright Office within a specified period of time. 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 in New Delhi.
Qs. What is the checklist of documents for making an application for registration?
[As provided on the government website]
Qs. What is the term of copyright protection in India?
The general rule is that copyright lasts for 60 years. 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 a case of cinematography films, sound recordings, photographs, posthumous publications, anonymous and pseudonymous publications, works of government and works of international organisations, the 60 year period is counted from the date of publication.
Qs. Whether is the anonymous or pseudo-anonymous work is copyrighted in India?
In the case of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work (other than a photograph), which is published anonymously or pseudonymously, copyright shall subsist until 63[sixty] years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the work is first published. Provided that where the identity of the author is disclosed before the expiry of the said period, copyright shall subsist until 64[sixty] years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the author dies. If references to the author shall, in the case of an anonymous work of joint authorship, be construed,-
(a) where the identity of one of the authors is disclosed, as references to that author;
(b) where the identity of more authors than one is disclosed, as references to the author who dies last from amongst such authors.
References to the author shall, in the case of a pseudonymous work of joint authorship, be construed,-
(a) where the names of one or more (but not all) of the authors are pseudonymous and his or their identity is not disclosed, as references to the author whose name is not a pseudonym, or, if the names of two or more of the authors are not pseudonyms, as references to such of those authors who dies last;
(b) where the names of one or more (but not all) of the authors are pseudonyms and the identity of one or more of them is disclosed, as references to the author who dies last from amongst the authors whose names are not pseudonyms and the authors whose names are pseudonyms and are disclosed; and
(c) where the names of all the authors are pseudonyms and the identity of one of them is disclosed, as references to the author whose identity is disclosed or if the identity of two or more of such authors is disclosed, as references to such of those authors who dies last.
Explanation.- For the purposes of this section, the identity of an author shall be deemed to have been disclosed, if either identity of the author is disclosed publicly by both the author and the publisher or is otherwise established to the satisfaction of the Copyright Board by that author.
Qs. What is the term of copyright in the posthumous work?
In the case of a literary, dramatic or musical work or an engraving, in which copyright subsists at the date of the death of the author or, in the case of any such work of joint authorship, at or immediately before the date of the death of the author who dies last, but which, or any adaptation of which, has not been published before that date, copyright shall subsist until 65[sixty] years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the work is first published or, where an adaptation of the work is published in any earlier year,
Qs. How is the jurisdiction in copyright work decided?
There is no such thing as an “international copyright” that will protect an author’s works throughout the world with a single registration (unlike the multi-jurisdictional protection provided by a patent filing under the Patent Cooperation Treaty). Copyright law is “territorial” and national in scope. Regardless of where the author lives or where the work was first published, the copyright protection afforded to a work depends on the national laws of the country in which the author seeks protection. Copyright in a work of nationals of countries who are members of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, Universal Copyright Convention and the TRIPS Agreement are protected in India. These rights are protected in India through the International Copyright Order. If the territorial extent of assignment of the rights is not specified, it shall be presumed to extend to the whole of India. The jurisdiction for infringement of copyright is filed within the district court having jurisdiction.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
The article is co-authored by the Team Indian Law Watch and Intern Aparna Agarwal, a second year Law Student from Symbiosis Law College, Noida.