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Creators of literary, dramatic, musical, and aesthetic works, as well as makers of

cinematograph films and sound recordings, have a legal claim to copyright. In truth, it is a

collection of rights that includes, among other things, the rights to reproduce, communicate to

the public, alter, and translate the work.

Depending on the work, there may be minor differences in the composition of the rights.

Copyright protects and rewards innovation by ensuring some minimal safeguards for writers'

rights over their creations. Given that creativity is at the heart of progress, no civilized society

can afford to ignore the imperative of fostering it.

Creativity is critical for economic and social advancement in a community. Copyright

safeguards the work of writers, artists, designers, dramatists, musicians, architects, and

producers of sound recordings, cinematograph films, and computer software, while also

promoting a creative atmosphere that inspires them to create more and motivates others to


In January 1958, the Copyright Act of 1957 (the 'Act') came into effect. Since then, the Act

has been amended five times: in 1983, 1984, 1992, 1994, 1999, and 2012. The Copyright Act

of 1957 safeguards against the unlawful use of original literary, dramatic, musical, and

artistic works, as well as cinematograph films and sound recordings. Unlike patents,

copyright protects expressions rather than ideas. As such, ideas, procedures, methods of

operation, and mathematical concepts are not protected by copyright. 

The most significant is the Copyright (Amendment) Act of 2012

The primary reason for amending the Copyright Act, 1957 is to bring it into compliance with

two WIPO internet treaties signed in 1996, namely the WIPO Copyright Treaty ("WCT") and

the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty ("WPPT"); to protect and address the Music

and Film Industries' concerns; to address the concerns of the physically disabled and to

protect the author's interests; to make incidental changes; to eliminate operational facilities;

and to extend the term of the Copyright Act, 1957 

Copyright Office:

Section 9 of the Copyright Act requires for the establishment of an office to be called the

Copyright Office for the purpose of the Act. The Copyright Office is to be under the

immediate control of a Registrar of Copyrights to be appointed by the Central Government,

who would act under the superintendence and directions of the Central Government. The

Copyright Office is currently located at the following address: 

Boudhik Sampada Bhawan,

Plot No. 32, Sector 14, Dwarka,

New Delhi-110078

Registration Procedure: The registration procedure is as follows:

a. The application for registration must be made on Form XIV (Including Statement of

Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars) as prescribed in the first schedule to

the Rules;

b. Each work must have its own application;

c. Each application must be accompanied by the requisite fee as prescribed in the second

schedule to the Rules; and

d. The applications must be signed by the applicant. If applicable, a Power of Attorney

signed by the party and accepted by the advocate should be included.

e. The fee can be paid by Demand Draft or Indian Postal Order made payable to

"Registrar Of Copyrights Payable At New Delhi" or by E-payment.

Is it possible to register both published and unpublished works?

Copyright in works published prior to the 21st of January 1958, i.e. before the Copyright Act,

1957, may also be registered, as long as the works retain their copyright protection. Two

copies of previously published or unpublished content may be included with the application.

If the work to be registered has never been published, a copy of the manuscript must

accompany the application for affixing the Copyright Office's registration stamp. One

identical duplicate, properly stamped, will be returned, while the other will be kept

confidential and stored at the Copyright Office to the extent possible.

Additionally, the applicant may transmit excerpts from the unpublished work rather than the

complete manuscript and request that the extracts be returned once they have been stamped

with the Copyright Office's seal. When work is first registered as unpublished and thereafter

published, the applicant may, for a fee, submit a Form XV request for modifications to the

details included in the Register of Copyright. 

Why claim Copyright?

Originality is seen as "the core premise of copyright law" and "the bedrock principle of

copyright." To be considered copyrightable, a work must have been created via the author's

labor, skill, and judgment. Furthermore, such exertions on the author's part should not be

trivial, and hence should not be limited to the mechanical function of copying another's work.

Due to the quantitative nature of the degree of originality criterion, the variation must be

substantial rather than minor.

A certificate of registration of copyright and the entries made therein serve as prima facie

evidence in a court of law with reference to disputes relating to ownership of copyright.


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