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Copyright

Copyright is an Intellectual Property Right granted to the creators of literary, dramatic, musical & artistic works & producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. Copyright protects the expressions and not the ideas, herein it differs with Patents. There is no copyright in an idea. Copyright lies with the author of a work once the work is created in a material form.

Indian copyright law is at par with the international standards as contained in TRIPS. The (Indian) Copyright Act, 1957, pursuant to the amendments in 1999, 2002 and 2012, fully reflects the Berne Convention for Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, 1886 and the Universal Copyrights Convention (UCC), to which India is a signatory. India is a signatory to the Geneva Convention for the Protection of Rights of Producers of Phonograms and is an active member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) & United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Features / Essentials –

  • Author must have the material in writing / recorded the creation in a material form
  • Generally, any original (with one’s own creativity and labor) work is eligible for the copyright protection
  • Acquisition of copyright is automatic and it does not require any formality.
  • Registration of Copyright, the certificate obtained thereafter and the entries made therein serve as prima facie evidence in court of law with reference to dispute relating to ownership of copyright.‘

‘Work’ protected in India
Under the Copyright Act, 1957 the term ‘work’ includes an artistic work comprising of a painting, a sculpture, a drawing, an engraving, a photograph, a work of architecture or artistic craftsmanship, dramatic work, literary work (including computer programme’s, tables, compilations and computer databases), musical work (including music as well as graphical notations), sound recording and cinematographic films.

Registration of Copyright
In India, the registration of copyright is not mandatory as the registration is treated as mere record of a fact. The registration of Copyright does not create or confer any new right and is not a prerequisite for initiating action against infringement. The view has been upheld by the Indian courts in a many of its judgments.Need for Registration of CopyrightThe awareness of Intellectual Property (IP) Laws is considerably low among the enforcement authorities in India, and most of the IP litigation is confined to metropolitan cities. Despite the fact that the registration of copyright is not mandatory in India and is protectable through the International Copyright Order, 1999, it would be better to register the copyright as the copyright registration certificate is accepted as a “proof of ownership” in courts and by police authorities.Enforcement of Copyright in IndiaThe law of copyright in India not only provides for civil remedies in the form of permanent injunction, damages or accounts of profits, the delivery of infringing material for destruction and cost of the legal proceedings. etc. but also makes instances of infringement of copyright, a cognizable offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six (6) months but which may extend to three (3) years with a fine which shall not be less than Rs 50,000 (approx. US$ 800) but may extend to Rs 2,00,000 (approx. US$ 3,000). For the second and subsequent offences, there are provisions for enhanced fine and punishment under the Copyright Act. The (Indian) Copyright Act, 1957 gives power to the police authorities to register the Complaint (First Information Report, i.e., FIR) and act on its own to arrest the accused, search the premises of the accused / seize the infringing material without any intervention of the court.Enforcement of Copyright in IndiaThe law of copyright in India not only provides for civil remedies in the form of permanent injunction, damages or accounts of profits, the delivery of infringing material for destruction and cost of the legal proceedings. etc. but also makes instances of infringement of copyright, a cognizable offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six (6) months but which may extend to three (3) years with a fine which shall not be less than Rs 50,000 (approx. US$ 800) but may extend to Rs 2,00,000 (approx. US$ 3,000). For the second and subsequent offences, there are provisions for enhanced fine and punishment under the Copyright Act. The (Indian) Copyright Act, 1957 gives power to the police authorities to register the Complaint (First Information Report, i.e., FIR) and act on its own to arrest the accused, search the premises of the accused / seize the infringing material without any intervention of the court.

Licensing & Assignment of Copyright
Copyright in any work, maybe present or future, can only be assigned or licensed in writing by the copyright owner or his duly authorized agent.

Duration / Term of Copyright
In case of original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, the duration of copyright is the lifetime of the author or artist, and 60 years (calculated from the year following the death of the author).

In case of cinematograph films, sound recordings, or posthumous publications, anonymous and pseudonymous publications, works of government and works of international organizations are protected for a period of 60 years (which is calculated from the year following the date of publication).

We provide following services in copyright registration, infringement and litigation:

  • Filing and prosecuting applications for registration of Copyright in India / Internationally
  • Handling Examinations
  • Licensing / Transfers
  • Infringement and validity advice
  • Litigation: Cancellation proceedings, appeals, civil suits and criminal actions for infringement
  • Anti-piracy measures
  • Post Registration Services
  • Assignment, licensing and transfer
  • Specific agreements