Copyright registration means formal registration of a work with the Copyright Office of a country. After registration, the name of the work, along with other details is entered into the Register of Copyrights. Thereafter, such records are open to inspection by the general public. Anyone can inspect these records by making an application and paying the appropriate fee.
In this post, we will get to know the entire process of registration. We will also take a look at the answers to the most common questions on Copyright Registration.
What is Copyright?
To understand copyright registration, first, it is important to understand copyright. Copyright is a form of Intellectual Property Rights. It is a form of protection given to the creator of a work.
Owner of a copyright has two rights. First, to make as many copies of his work as he wants. Second, to stop others from making unauthorized copies of their work. So, in essence, it is a negative right. This is because it gives its owners the right to stop others from copying his work.
I just had a brilliant idea. Can I copyright it?
It is important to note that copyright is not possible in case of a mere idea.
It is the expression of an idea or the fixation of it in a material form which is a subject of Copyright. For example, imagine that you have a brilliant idea for writing a novel. But, you don’t write the book. Instead, you discuss this idea with a friend who writes a book on it and gets a Copyright. There is nothing you can do in this case because you never translated this idea into actual work.
So, if you want to get a Copyright for your work, make sure to produce an actual work. An idea can never get a copyright. For instance, if you have the idea for an amazing reality show, you can express it in writing. In this case, your idea will be in the form of literary work and a subject of copyright.
Another thing to keep in mind is that different expressions of the same idea are eligible for equal protection. An example would be the painting of a forest scene or a building. So, if two different artists make two different paintings of the same subject, they both can copyright their respective paintings. But, none of them can claim copyright over the idea of painting that forest scene or the building.
Related: Can You Copyright Fashion Designs?
Categories of Copyright Registration in India
The present law on Copyrights provides six categories of copyright registration.
The following table describes each class along with the payable fee. It also lists the form in which you can send copies of work for registration.
Is it Compulsory to get a Copyright?
India is a member of the Berne Convention. This convention does not prescribe any formalities for copyright registration. This means that you can claim copyright in your work without applying for formal registration.
However, there are two major benefits of registration. First, it allows you to take legal action in the form of an infringement suit in case of copyright violation. Second, it acts as prima-facie evidence of the existence of copyright in your work.
Related: Copyright Societies in India
How to Apply for Registration?
The entire process is fairly simple. All you need to do is fill the form correctly. The next step is to print it, sign it and send it to the Copyright Office along with other essential documents. There are two methods of applying for registration.
1. Online Registration
As the name suggests, you can complete the entire process online. You can fill the forms and pay the appropriate fee through the online portal. The unique diary number that identifies your application will be generated instantly.
However, even after completing the online process, you need to send a physical copy of the following to the Copyright Office.
- Form XIV, Statement of Particulars [SoP] and Statement of Further Particulars [SoFP]
- 2 copies of your work
- Power of Attorney [if filing through an advocate]
- No Objection Certificate [NOC] from various other persons involved in the creation of work. You don’t need this if you are the sole creator of the work.
2. Offline Registration
In case of offline registration also, you need to submit the above documents with the copyright office. The only difference is that you don’t need to fill an online form first. Also, diary number generation can take up to 2 business days in this case. You also need to enclose a Demand Draft or IPO towards payment of registration fee.
Please note that it is important to send a physical copy of the above documents, both in online as well as offline registration. If you fail to do this, your application will not be processed further.
Can a Website get Copyright Registration in India?
When it comes to copyright registration, this is one of the most common questions.
Quite contrary to popular belief, a website as a whole does not enjoy copyright protection. There is no such category which protects an entire website. This is because it contains multiple items belonging to separate categories.
For example, the content of a website comes under the Literary category. Photos, posters, and other images form part of Artistic work. Videos or short clips are covered by Cinematographic work.
Moreover, the source code and object code running the website will form part of a Computer Software work.
Therefore, if you want to get complete protection for your website, you need to apply in separate categories for different types of work.
Is it possible to Register a Recipe Website?
For registering a recipe blog or website, the procedure remains the same as above. You can get Copyright over recipe photos clicked by you, recipe videos and the website software.
But, please note that it is not possible to copyright ingredients or recipes. You can only get a copyright for the way you have written the recipe and not the recipe itself.
So, if someone ‘takes inspiration’ from your recipe and writes it in his/her own words, there will be no copyright violation.
Tips for Successful Registration
Many a time, small mistakes can be the reason behind objections in your application. So, to avoid these mistakes and increase the chances of registration without any objection; follow the below checklist.
- Always remember to sign the application forms yourself. Your attorney’s signature on it will lead to objection.
- Send applications forms in original and not their photocopies.
- In case of TM-C, make sure that the work attached to TM-C and your work is the same.
- Always send original copies of the No Objection Certificate (NOC) of different parties.
- Don’t forget to attach at least two copies of your work with the application.
- Send original/Notarized copy of Power of Attorney.
- Remember to specify the title of your work.
- Make sure to write the same title on your work.
- Specify the appropriate category of work in the form. It should be one of the classes mentioned in the above table.
- Mention name as well as other details of the author in the form.
- Don’t forget to mention the correct language used in the work. You can state the language as ‘NIL’ in case of Artistic work.
- Mention details of all the right holders in the work.
So, here was the A-Z of the entire process of Copyright Registration in India. With increasing cases of copyright violation and work theft, it is a good idea to register your work under the Copyright Act. The above tips will come in handy when you do.
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