Copyright Filing

Copyright is another branch of intellectual property. Copyright gives bundle of right which includes right to sale, commercially exploit, dispose of, printing, photography, translation adaptation, broadcast transmission, reproduction, multiplication of original work, lithography, cinematographic film, concerts, performance, oral delivery or recitation   to author with respect to his artistic work. Copyright works on idea expression dichotomy that is idea alone cannot be granted protection. Idea along with expression is perquisite to copyright. As per international convention copyright is given to author till 50 years from death of author but in India under copyright Act, 1957 it is granted for lifetime of author along with 60 years from death of author, subject to conditions of the act the time period of copyright on a subject may vary.

Moral basis of copyright lies upon: thou shall not steal. Philosophy of the Copyright law is: ‘The law does not permit one to appropriate to himself, what has been produced by the labour, skill and capital of another.

It is not mandatory to register copyright. According to copyright Act, 1957 even if a copyright is not registered author will be given same right as to that of a registered copyright author. The rights with respect to registered copyright and unregistered copyright is same though while exercising the exclusive rights on a copyright, author of a registered copyright will face to face lesser burden of proof as compared to that of an unregistered copyright author. In case of registered copyright author need not to prove anything. Registration certificate is the enough proof that he is the author of that artistic work but in case of unregistered copyright person has to prove prima facie case.

According to copyright, authors of artistic work shall be the first owner of copyright subject to provisions of copyright act. According to dictionary meaning author is the person who is the original creator of the work though there may be cases where it is not definite who is the original creator of artistic work. In such case, person who got earlier registration or who is established to be earlier used can be presumed to be the author or original creator of artistic work. Artistic work of author can also be used by others with prior permission of the author on payment of royalties.

Filing procedure

In case the work is capable of being used in relation to any goods, as a first step, a clearance search at the Trade Marks Registry has to be conducted for issuance of a certificate to the effect that there are no identical or similar trademarks registered or pending registration.

To give you an idea, an illustrative list of documents/information required for filing an application for registration of copyright is given below:

  • Representations of the work in which copyright is to be registered

  • Details such as name, nationality and address of the Applicant

  • Details such as name, nationality and address of the author (the author has to be a natural person)

  • Deed of Assignment, in case an outside agency was hired for creating the work

  • Details as regards publication of the work in India and/or elsewhere  such as Year and Country of first and subsequent publications; names, addresses, nationalities of the publishers etc.

  • Details of any person(s) concerned with the work in question i.e. details of any person who may have an ‘interest’ in the work

International Protection of Copyright

According to Berne convention registered copyright in one member states is enforceable in other member states without any specific registration in the other member state. In other words, you need to get copyright certificate from Indian Copyright Office only and the same certificate is enforceable in all member states of Berne convention