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he author of an original work, as you would expect, has complete rights to his/her work. This right is known as a copyright and its owner has exclusive rights to copy or reproduce the work or grant permission to another to do so. A copyright applies to books, manuscripts, music, photographs, movies and even software. Basically, any original audio, visual and textual content is granted a copyright the moment it is created.

Why Register a Copyright?

As you may notice, a copyright is conferred upon its author the moment the work is created. Then why go through the trouble of a copyright registration at all? But it does make sense to do so. The main reason for this is that the courts will not accept any suit of copyright infringement if a copyright is not registered. This means that, in case your brand or content is copied, you have no legal recourse unless you have registered the copyright. Therefore, businesses and commercial artists find it beneficial to register a copyright.

Procedure for Copyright Registration

The registration of a copyright is simple, but the entire process will take over a year to complete. This is because the Registrar of Copyrights needs to be clear that yours is an original work. The steps for copyright registration are as follows:

Application Filing

An application, with all details of the work, is to be filed with the Registrar of Copyrights in New Delhi. The relevant fees, which range from Rs. 500 for text to Rs. 4000 for film, must be paid, in the form of a demand draft. A diary number is assigned to this application.

    1. Application Requirements –

      1. Duly filled and signed Form XIV needs to be submitted with required fees for copyright. In case of a demand draft, it needs to be in favour of Registrar of Copyrights.
      2. The application should be accompanied by aStatement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars.
      3. According to the Amendment Act, 2013, the copies of application need to be sent through registered post to the registrar as well as all to those who seem interested in the property (if any).
      4. Two samples of the work need to be submitted along with the application, followed by a power of attorney, in case the application is filed by an agent or lawyer.
    2. Examination –
      An examiner scrutinizes the applications submitted for copyright. There are three different scenarios that need to be discussed in this step. Since a copyright application can be objected, we need to understand what happens if any objections are raised, or not raised.

      1. No objection, no discrepancy:
        If no objections or discrepancies are raised, then you can proceed straight to the next step, which is registration.
      2. Discrepancies found:
        In case of a discrepancy, the letter regarding the same is sent to the applicant. Based on the reply received from the applicant, a hearing is conducted. Once the discrepancy is cleared and the examiner is satisfied, the application moves to the registration step and the extracts are sent to the applicant.
      3. Objection raised:
        If an objection is raised, letters are sent to both parties – the applicant and the person raising the objection, to take back the objection. After the reply is received from the party that raised the objection, a hearing is conducted in the presence of the registrar.The registration of copyright depends on upon the results of such hearing, and the final decision lies with the registrar.Again here, the steps might depend on upon the hearing:

        1. If an objection is rejected and no discrepancy is perceived, the copyright moves tothe registration stage.
        2. In case the objection is rejected, but a discrepancy is observed in the application, the following is conveyed to the applicant and,after a suitable reply, the request is registered and extracts sent to the applicant.
        3. However, if the objection is accepted, or the discrepancy is not duly satisfied, the application is rejected, and formal notifications are sent to the applicant, along with the necessary details.
    3. Registration –
      After the second step, if the approval is granted and all objections/discrepancies cleared, and the registrar approves the application, the copyright is registered. Only after the registrar approval will the copyright become valid.

    [Top Image – Shutterstock]

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    Vardaan
    Founding editor at IndianWeb2, he's been writing at IndianWeb2 since 2007. Apart from blogging he had a professional career of software developer, Ux developer and search engine marketer in past. His vision of IndianWeb2 has been laid down so as to showcase, encourage and propagate Indian startups, innovation and entrepreneurship ideas.

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