10 Key Factors to Understanding Copyright Registration: Minimise Drawbacks and Achieve Success


Like other forms of intellectual property, copyright is concerned with the protection of works resulting from human creativity and intellect. Copyright usually protects artistic and literary pieces, i.e., writings, music, audio-visual works, paintings, sculptures, and many other forms of intellectual property. Aside from the right to copy, copyright is a bundle of several other rights like the right to translate, the right to adapt, the right to communicate the work to the public, and multiple other rights that can only be held by a copyright owner.

Copyright Registration

Unlike other forms of intellectual property like industrial designs, patents, geographical indications, and others, copyright protection secures an original work from the very moment of its creation then what is the necessity to obtain a copyright registration? Let us discuss the same.

Suppose a writer penned a magnificent novel and went to a publisher to get it published. The publisher asked him to leave the piece with him for a few days so that he can make a quality check of the content. After a few days, the publisher contacted the author and regrettably informed him that the novel is not of publishable quality. The author became disappointed and heartbroken.

However, to the author’s surprise, the publisher published it under his name and took ownership, so he received no royalties or fame and the novel became his only bestseller. Yes, it’s true that authors can sue publishers for copyright infringement, but if it’s not registered, it’s very difficult for publishers to prove this.


Copyright Registration
Factors to Understanding Copyright Registration
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that copyright registration brings.
a)    Creating Public Records and Authentication

The creation of public records increases the chances of recognition and authenticity. Therefore, if a work is registered by the copyright board the records of the same becomes available in the public domain and anyone can check the same to distinguish between or among original works and infringed versions.

b)    Legal Evidence of Ownership

This is one of the most valuable benefits of copyright registration. A registration certificate is a Government certified document that legally establishes the ownership claim of the creator or the owner and makes him eligible to prove various rights like the right to translate, the right to adapt, the right to communicate the work to the public, and multiple other rights in the protected work.

c)    Economic Benefits

As already stated, copyright serves as an authentic legal document establishing the ownership claim of an owner, such authentication helps the owner in reaping economic benefits by way of transferring various rights in a work via licensing or assignment in exchange for royalty or other forms of monetary consideration. For example, the songs that we hear on Spotify or any streaming platform are licensed by the owner of these kinds of music through agreements like music licensing agreements in lieu of certain shares in royalties.

d)    Evidence During Infringement Proceedings

Do you remember the author and publisher scenario? Just in case the author or any creator holds a copyright registration certificate issued by the copyright board, it becomes very easy for such creator/owner to establish his rights against an infringer in the concerned work.

e)    Incentivizes Creativity

Copyright registration securing originality incentivizes the owners of original works in creating further original pieces. The copyright office issues a public record of the ownership concerning various original works, thereby acknowledging the owner’s rights. Thus, the creators or authors are motivated to start with their next project.

Copyright Protection

In India, there are nine types of works that can be protected under the ambit of copyright: books, software, scripts, lyrics, websites, videos, sound recordings, and songs.

Copyright protection is not eternal in nature.
The term of protection is usually 60 years from the death of the author or the date of publication in the public domain.
Copyright Protection
Understanding Copyright Registration

Copyright Law

In India, copyright and its laws are governed by the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 and the Copyright Rules, 2013. In addition to these national laws, various other laws apply, such as the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of 1886, the Universal Copyright Convention of 1952, his WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) of 1996 and the WIPO Copyright International treaties also apply. The 1996 Convention (WCT) governs copyright law and regulation.


Copyright law
Understanding Copyright Registration: Minimise Drawbacks and Achieve Success


Copyright Filing and Application

Copyright applications can be submitted through Form IV for both published and unpublished works.
Fees vary depending on the nature of the work. Below are the steps in the copyright application process:

  • Submit Form IV: This is the first step to fill out Form IV online or offline after downloading.
  • Submit the necessary documents: Here the copyrighted work is submitted in three copies of his together with the completed application form and the required fee.
  • Diary Number Assignment: Once the application is successfully submitted, the applicant will be assigned a diary number. This can be used by applicants to track their applications.

  • Examiner Verification: After a diary number is assigned, the applicant will have a mandatory waiting period of 30 days before she can raise any objections to the registration.

  • If there are no objections, the examiner will check the application for inconsistencies and, if obvious, proceed to the next step.

  • Registration: This is the final stage where the registrar can request additional documentation if necessary.

  • If the Registrar is fully satisfied with the copyright claim of the applicant, the Registrar shall enter the details in the Copyright Register and issue a certificate of registration.


Copyright Office

Section 9 of the Copyright Act of 1957 requires the organization of the Copyright Office to achieve the aims and objectives set out in the statutory provisions of the Copyright Act. The article also provides for the appointment of a Copyright Registrar by the Union Government, who will act as the direct administrator of the Copyright Office under his supervision and direction. The present Copyright Office is presently located at Boudhik Sampada Bhawan, Plot No. 32, Sector 14, Dwarka, New Delhi-110078.


Understanding Copyright Registration


Copyright Ownership

  • Generally, with some exceptions, the creator of a work is considered its owner. For works created by an employee during the employment of the employer, ownership remains with the employer.
  • If the work is created by an independent contractor supported by a written agreement that the work is done for hire, the copyright is deemed to belong to the person or entity that commissioned the work.
  • When a copyright is assigned, the assignee is deemed the owner of the copyright.
  • When a copyright is assigned, the assignee is deemed to be the owner of the copyright.

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