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
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,
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
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.