What is a copyright?

A copyright is a bundle of rights, given to the author of a literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings for a fixed number of years, which include rights such as rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work.

What works are protectable under copyright law in India?

The copyright law in India protects original literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, cinematograph films and sound recordings. Copyright subsists in original expression of an idea and not the idea itself. 

What works are not protectable under copyright laws in India?

There is no copyright protection for ideas, procedures, and methods of operation or mathematical concepts. Copyright does not ordinarily protect titles by themselves or names, short word combinations, slogans, short phrases, methods, plots or factual information

Is it mandatory to register your work under copyright laws in India?

No. A copyright comes into existence as soon as a work comes into existence. There is no formality needed for obtaining a copyright over a work. However, copyright registration certificate acts as a prima facie evidence in a court of law in case of a dispute relating to ownership of copyright.

Who can apply for a copyright registration in India?

Any person who is the author of a work or a legal owner can file the application for copyright registration.

Can software applications be protected under copyright laws in India?

Yes, under Section 2(o), “literary work” includes computer programs, tables and compilations including computer “literary data bases. Hence a software application can be copyrighted, however, ‘Source Code’ has also to be supplied along with the application for registration of copyright for software products.

How do I protect mobile applications (also called Mobile App) under copyright laws in India?

By filing a copyright application for source code under section 2(o) of the Copyright Act and protecting images, layout of the application as an artistic work. 

What is the government fee for copyright registration in India?

For an application for registration of Copyright in Literary, Dramatic, Musical or Artistic work, it is Rs. 500/- per work. However, if a Literary or Artistic work is used or is capable of being used in relation to any goods, the fees shall be Rs. 2000/- per work. In case of cinematographic films, it shall be Rs. 5000/- per work and for sound recordings, it is Rs. 2000/- work. 

Where do I file a copyright application in India? Can I file an application online? 

The Copyright Office is located at 4th Floor Jeevan Deep Building, New Delhi- 110001. The applications for registration can be filed at the counter provided at the Copyright Office from 2.30 P.M. to 4.30 P.M. from Monday to Friday. Online application can also be filed. 

How to file a copyright application and what is the procedure?

The procedure for registration is as follows: 

a. Application for registration is to be made on Form IV (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 applicable fee

d. The applications should be signed by the Applicant or the Advocate in whose favor a Vakalatnama or Power of Attorney has been executed. 

e. 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. 

How long does the copyright registration process take?

It may take 3 to 4 months time for registration of any work in the normal course. 

What are the benefits of copyright registration in India?

You can protect your work from being copied and if someone uses it without your permission, you can sue such party for copyright infringement. Having a copyright serves as a prime facie evidence in court to prove the originality of work. Copyright owners can monetize their work by sale or offering for sale a copy to any third party regardless of whether such copy has been sold on previous instances. 

What is the term of copyright protection in India?

Generally, literary or musical or artistic works are granted copyright protection for a period, which extends throughout the lifetime of the author plus 60 years from the year in which the author dies. Cinematographic films, photographs and computer programs are protected for 60 years from the end of the year in which work is made public. Sounds recording have a term of 60 years form the end of the year in which the recording was first published. 

What remedies do I have for copyright infringement in India? 

In case of copyright infringement, the owner of the copyright can seek injunctions, request the court to impounding and destroy of all infringing copies, and seek monetary damages and the infringer’s profits. Additionally, the Copyright Act empowers the owner to take criminal action against the infringer. 

Disclaimer: All information provided above is for educational purpose only and must not be construed as legal advice. The answer may change when applied to a particular case. 

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