Basically, a copyright is the right to own an original piece of work. A copyright holder is granted exclusive rights to reproduce, perform, distribute, and display the work. A copyright can be registered by both the original creator and the person who obtained rights to the work.
The first-ever Copyright Act in India was passed in 1914 based on the English Copyright Act of 1911. Upon independence, the Copyright Act of 1957 was enacted and has been amended six times, the latest being in 2012.
Copyrights: What Are They?
As the ownership right over an original work owned by an individual, it is fixed in a physical medium of expression, allowing the holder to reproduce, distribute, perform, and display the work exclusively.
Literature, music, art, photography, cinema/film, or even a computer program are all examples of said work. In contrast to trademarks, copyright only has one symbol, a ©. Original works of art can be adorned with the symbol.
What is the eligibility for copyright registration?
A copyright can be registered by the creator and the owner of the original work.
During the course of the employment, the said piece would be considered ‘work made for hire’. Employees are not considered authors or creators in such cases. Employers hold that title.
When two people create a work, they share ownership of the copyright unless they agree otherwise.
In order to obtain a copyright, there is no age restriction. It is also possible for a minor to register one.
In general, there are three basic types of people who can apply for copyrights:
- A work’s creator
- An individual who claims ownership rights from the original creator
- Acting on behalf of the aforementioned people with the authorization of the agents
Copyrights: What Do They Protect?
In intellectual property law, it protects original works in literature, music, art, photography, cinema/film, and even computer programs. A copyright protection is very important. It protects most tangible works, including lyrics to songs, tunes, pictures, graphics, sculptures, pieces of architecture, sound recordings, dramas, choreographed works, parodies, and signatures. To get intricate details, these must be viewed in more detail.
Copyright Doesn’t Protect What?
Various types of work do not qualify for copyright protection:
Work that cannot be fixed in a tangible form, such as unrecorded works, improvisational performances, or any other form of speech or performance that has not been recorded. These works include titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; symbols and designs that are familiar to others; basic typographic finery, lettering, color techniques, and ingredient lists. An idea, system, method, or process, as opposed to a description, explanation, or illustration. Facts and figures that are generic property cannot be protected by copyright. For example, standard calendars, height/weight charts, information from public documents, etc.
Copyright Owner’s Rights: What Are They?
The owner of the work has complete and exclusive rights to:
- It is up to the owner to decide whether to reproduce or authorize others to reproduce the work
- Owners of copyrights or their authorized representatives carry out derivative works derived from the original work
- In addition, the owner can distribute copies of his/her work in any form, including sale, transfer of ownership, rental, lease, etc.
- Copyrighted works can be performed and displayed publicly without restriction
- The rights apply across all platforms, including literature, music, drama, choreography, cinema, films, and audiovisual works.
Steps for Copyright Registration in India
Below are steps for the copyright registration process.
Step 1: Submitting an application
The application must be submitted in either DD or IPO along with the requisite fee. The applicant receives a diary number after filing this application.
Step 2: Review
Any objections to a copyright application must be recorded and analyzed within 30 days
1. If there are no objections,
As soon as the application is submitted, an examiner will scrutinize it. As a result of this scrutiny, two options are available:
If a discrepancy is found during scrutiny:
The applicant is notified of the discrepancy in a letter. The Registrar conducts a hearing based on the applicant’s reply.
The extracts of the hearing are sent to the applicant for him/her to register the copyright once all discrepancies have been resolved.
2. A zero discrepancy means:
It would mean that the application meets all copyright criteria. Upon receiving the approval, the applicant can proceed with the registration process.
The applicant receives a letter of rejection if the registration is not approved.
Should an objection be filed,
Despite the fact that we listed above the scenarios of ‘no objections’, if there is an objection, the following procedures are followed:
Attempts are made to convince the two parties to resolve the dispute privately through letters sent to them.
Registrars conduct hearings after receiving responses from third parties.
The procedure proceeds according to the previous description depending on whether the Registrar accepts the reply.
3. Acceptance of the application
Acceptance of the application means the objection has been rejected. An examiner scrutinizes the application. Based on this scrutiny, there are three possible outcomes:
Discrepancies found during scrutiny may be resolved as follows:
It is sent to the applicant in the form of a letter of discrepancy. As a result of the applicant’s reply, the Registrar holds a hearing regarding the alleged discrepancy.
After discrepancies have been resolved during the hearing, extracts of the same are sent to the applicant for registration.
If there are no discrepancies:
In this case, the application meets all copyright requirements. Registration is then approved for the applicant. The applicant receives a rejection letter if the registration is not approved.
In the event that the application is rejected
An applicant receives a rejection letter if this occurs, marking the end of the copyright process
Step 3: Registering
From the above steps, it is clear that the registrar is solely responsible for the registration process. The applicant receives the copyright once everything is cleared from the registrar’s end, and can legally exercise all rights that come with it.
In intellectual property law, copyright is a type of intellectual property. Registration protects original works such as music, art, literature, cinema/film, photography, or computer programs. Copyright can be registered for in-depth categories by creators. As a result, the creator will have exclusive and complete rights to the work.