What is Copyright Law ?

How to file a Copyright in India?

Definition: According to The Copyrights Act, 1957, copyright means the exclusive right subject to the provisions of this act, to do or authorize the doing of any of the acts which is in respect of a work or any substantial part thereof. It is a legal term which describes the rights given to the creators of artistic and literary works. The subjects to which it deals with are mentioned below:

  • Literary, dramatic or musical work
  • Computer program
  • Artistic work
  • Cinematographic film
  • Sound recording
  • A Work of architecture, etc.

Objectives of Copyright:

  • It is essential to human creativity, by giving creators recognition and fair economic rewards.
  • These rights ensure creators that their work can be widely known without fear of unauthorized copying or piracy.
  • This increases access to and enhances the enjoyment of culture, knowledge or entertainment all over the world.

Scope of the Act:

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  • Copyright, subject to the provisions of this act, is valid pan India in the following classes of works, namely, original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works; cinematograph films; and sound recording, provided the work should first get published in India in the case of a published work, or if the work is first published outside India, the author at the date of such publication or a case occurs where the author was dead at that date, was at the time of his death, a citizen of India.
  • If the work is unpublished other than work architecture, the author on the date of the making of the work is a citizen of India or domiciled in India and in case of work architecture, the work should be located in India.
  • The Act further states that Copyright does not extend to any cinematographic film if a substantial part of this film is an infringement of the copyright in any other film; in any sound recording made in respect of a literary, dramatic or musical work if while making the sound recording, copyright in such work has been infringed. To further clarify, the copyright in any cinematographic film or a record does not affect the copyright in any other work in respect of which or the substantial part of which as the case may be, the film or a record is made.
  • In work architecture, the Copyright shall extend to only artistic character and design and shall not extend to the processes and methods of construction.

Creator’s Right: Certain basic rights are provided to the owners of works, protected by copyright, and their heirs. They hold the exclusive right to use and authorize others to use the work on agreed terms. The owner of a work can prohibit or authorize its reproduction, its public performance, as in a play or musical work; its recording, broadcasting and translation.

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Duration of Copyright: In India, the duration of copyright usually extends to sixty years.

Remedies in case of infringement

Where copyright in any work is infringed, the owner of the copyright is entitled to all such remedies by way of injunction, damages and accounts, provided that the defendant at the time of infringement was not aware and had no reasonable ground for believing that copyright existed in that work. If this becomes the case, then the plaintiff will not be entitled to any other remedy except an injunction in respect of the infringement and a decree for the whole or part of the profits made by the defendant by the sale of infringing copies as the Court may in the circumstances deem reasonable.

Documents required for Copyright Application:

  • Name, address and nationality
  • Nature of applicant’s interest in the copyright of the work
  • Class and Work description
  • Dispatch date
  • Work Title
  • Work Language
  • Name, address and nationality of the author(s) and in case the author is deceased, his deceased date
  • The details whether the work is published or unpublished
  • Year and country of first publication if the work has already been published. Also, the name, address and nationality of the publisher
  • Year and countries of subsequent publisher. Also, names, addresses and nationality of the subsequent publishers