Copyright Office Frequently Asked Questions
Ans:    Copyright is a right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. In fact, it is a bundle of rights including, inter alia, rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work. There could be slight variations in the composition of the rights depending on the work. Copyright ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity. Creativity being the keystone of progress, no civilized society can afford to ignore the basic requirement of encouraging the same. Economic and social development of a society is dependent on creativity. The protection provided by copyright to the efforts of writers, artists, designers, dramatists, musicians, architects and producers of sound recordings, cinematograph films and computer software, creates an atmosphere conducive to creativity, which induces them to create more and motivates others to create.
Ans:     The Copyright Act, 1957 protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and cinematograph films and sound recordings from unauthorized uses. Unlike the case with patents, copyright protects the expressions and not the ideas. There is no copyright protection for ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts as such (Please see Article 9.2. of TRIPS).
Ans:    Copyright does not ordinarily protect titles by themselves or names, short word combinations, slogans, short phrases, methods, plots or factual information. Copyright does not protect ideas or concepts. To get the protection of copyright a work must be original.
Ans:    No. Acquisition of copyright is automatic and it does not require any formality. Copyright comes into existence as soon as a work is created and no formality is required to be completed for acquiring copyright. However, certificate of registration of copyright and the entries made therein serve as prima facie evidence in a court of law with reference to dispute relating to ownership of copyright.
Ans:    The Copyright Office has been set up to provide registration facilities to all types of works and is headed by a Registrar of Copyrights and is located at B.2/W.3, C.R. Barracks, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi- 110 003. The applications for registration of works can be filled at the counter provided at the Copyright Office from 2.30 P.M. to 4.30. P.M. from Monday to Friday. The applications are also accepted by post. On-line registration through “E-filing facility “ has been provided from 8th September 2009, which facilitates the applicants to file applications at the time and place chosen by them.
Ans:    The procedure for registration is as follows: a) Application for registration is to be made on Form IV ( Including Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars) as prescribed in the first schedule to the Rules ; b) Separate applications should be made for registration of each work; c) Each application should be accompanied by the requisite fee prescribed in the second schedule to the Rules ; and d) The applications should be signed by the applicant or the advocate in whose favor a Vakalatnama or Power of Attorney has been executed. The Power of Attorney signed by the party and accepted by the advocate should also be enclosed. Each and every column of the Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars should be replied specifically.
Ans:    Please go to the link fee details on the Home Page for details. One can pay fee in favor of ‘Registrar of Copyrights’ payable at ‘new Delhi’. The fee is not reimbursable in case of rejection of the application.
Ans:     Yes. Any individual who is an author or rights owner or assignee or legal heir can file application for copyright of a work either at the copyright office or by post or by e-filing facility from the copyright Office web-site "www.copyright.gov.in".
Ans:    Chapter VI of the Copyright Rules, 1958, as amended, sets out the procedure for the registration of a work. Copies of the Act and Rules can be obtained from the Manager of Publications, Publication Branch, Civil Lines, Delhi or his authorized dealers on payment or download from the Copyright Office web-site "www.copyright.gov.in"
Ans:     Yes. Both published and unpublished works can be registered. Copyright in works published before 21st January, 1958, i.e., before the Copyright Act, 1957 came in force, can also be registered, provided the works still enjoy copyright. Three copies of published work may be sent along with the application. If the work to be registered is unpublished, a copy of the manuscript has to be sent along with the application for affixing the stamp of the Copyright Office in proof of the work having been registered. In case two copies of the manuscript are sent, one copy of the same duly stamped will be returned, while the other will be retained, as far as possible, in the Copyright Office for record and will be kept confidential. It would also be open to the applicant to send only extracts from the unpublished work instead of the whole manuscript and ask for the return of the extracts after being stamped with the seal of the Copyright Office. When a work has been registered as unpublished and subsequently it is published, the applicant may apply for changes in particulars entered in the Register of Copyright in Form V with prescribed fee. The process of registration and fee for registration of copyright is same.
Ans:    Yes. Computer Software or programme can be registered as a ‘literary work’. As per Section 2 (o) of the Copyright Act, 1957 “literary work” includes computer programmes, tables and compilations, including computer databases. ‘Source Code’ has also to be supplied along with the application for registration of copyright for software products.
Ans:    A web-site contains several works such as literary works, artistic works (photographs etc.), sound recordings, video clips, cinematograph films and broadcastings and computer software too. Therefore, a separate application has to be filed for registration of all these works.
Ans:    After you file your application and receive diary number you have to wait for a mandatory period of 30 days so that no objection is filed in the Copyright office against your claim that particular work is created by you. If such objection is filed it may take another one month time to decide as to whether the work could be registered by the Registrar of Copyrights after giving an opportunity of hearing the matter from both the parties. If no objection is filed the application goes for scrutiny from the examiners. If any discrepancy is found the applicant is given 30 days time to remove the same. Therefore, it may take 2 to 3 months time for registration of any work in the normal course. The cooperation of the applicant in providing necessary information is the key for speedy disposal the matter.
Ans:    Yes. As per the Principles of Natural Justice' (i.e audi altram paltram) no one can be punished without being heard. As per the rule 27 of the Copyright Rules, 1958 no application is rejected without giving an opportunity to be heard. The applicant himself or his/her pleader may appear in the hearing. As per section 72 of the Copyright Act, 1957 any person aggrieved by the final decision or order of the Registrar of Copyrights may, within three months from the date of the order or decision, appeal to the Copyright Board.
Ans:    Yes. Computer Software or programme can be registered as a ‘literary work’. As per Section 2 (o) of the Copyright Act, 1957 “literary work” includes computer programmes, tables and compilations, including computer databases. ‘Source Code’ has also to be supplied along with the application for registration of copyright for software products.





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