Procedure of Copyright Registration in India

Updated on : Feb. 9, 2023 - 4 p.m. 17 min read.

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What is Copyright?

Creative works like music, software, and literature are protected by a type of law known as copyright, which gives the original author the sole right to use and distribute the work. The owner of these rights can decide how their creation is used and can make money off of it. Under copyright laws, which vary by country, the right to reproduce, display, and distribute the work, as well as the right to produce derivative works based on it, is typically granted. After the creator's passing, most nations grant copyright for a predetermined period of time. By giving creators financial incentives, copyright aims to promote the creation of new works while balancing their use and access by the general public.


To qualify for copyright protection, a work must be unique and fixed in a tangible form. This requires that the work express a unique thought and be somehow recorded, such as through writing or recording.

In general, copyright protection is given to the author automatically upon creation of a work. The employer may be the sole owner of the copyright in some circumstances, such as when works produced as part of a job.

It is significant to keep in mind that not all kinds of works are covered by copyright. Only their expressions can be protected by copyright; ideas, facts, and processes are ineligible. Additionally, a work's eligibility for copyright protection may be questioned if it is deemed offensive or unoriginal.

Benefits of acquiring Copyright Registration

  1. Legal Defense: Registering copyright creates a public record of ownership and acts as proof in the event of a legal dispute. This makes it simpler for the copyright owner to uphold their rights and pursue legal action against anyone who violates them, for example by duplicating, distributing, or using the work without permission. Additionally, if a copyright infringement lawsuit is successful and the work is registered, the copyright owner may be entitled to statutory damages and legal fees in some nations, including India.
  2. Market Presence: By registering a copyright, the owner creates a public record proving they are the author of the work, which may help them become more visible in the marketplace. In turn, this may make it simpler for the owner to grant licenses to third parties, including publishers, movie studios, or other businesses. In addition, copyright registration can help to prevent infringement by acting as proof of the owner's rights in negotiations. As a result, the work's value may rise and the owner may reap greater financial rewards.
  3. Exclusive rights: The exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and perform the work, as well as the right to produce derivative works based on it, belongs to the copyright owner. In addition, the owner has the option of licensing their creation for use by others and, if necessary, using the legal system to defend their rights.

Documents required for Copyright Registration

The following papers are typically needed in order to submit an online application for copyright registration in India.

  1. Application: The completed copyright registration application form, which is available online at the Copyright Office.
  2. Work: A duplicate of the piece you're attempting to register. A manuscript, music score, computer program, piece of art, or another type of creative work can be used to demonstrate this.
  3. Authorship proof: It includes documents attesting to your authorship, such as a declaration you signed or a copy of a contract.
  4. Fee payment: The prescribed fee must be paid in full through the Copyright Office's online filing system.
  5. Supporting documents: Additional paperwork, such as a power of attorney or an incorporation certificate, that the Copyright Office may request.

What is the procedure to obtain a copyright registration?

Preparation of application

Prepare an application for copyright registration, which must include a description of the work, the name and address of the author(s), and any other relevant information.

Filing of application

Submit the application online through the Copyright Office's e-filing portal The portal allows you to upload the required supporting documents, such as a copy of the work, and make the payment of the prescribed fee online.

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Examination of application

The Copyright Office will examine the application to ensure that it is complete and complies with the requirements of the Copyright Act. If the application is found to be deficient, the office may ask the applicant to make revisions through the e-filing portal.

Registration of copyright

Once the application has been approved, the Copyright Office will register the copyright and issue a certificate of registration.

Copyright Protection Validity

The validity of copyright protection varies depending on the jurisdiction and type of work. In general, the duration of copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus a specified number of years after their death.

In India, copyright protection for literary, musical, and artistic works is valid for the life of the author and 60 years after their death. For cinematographic films, sound recordings, and photographs, the copyright protection is valid for 60 years from the date of publication. For government works, copyright protection is valid for 60 years from the date of publication.

Rights of the Copyright owner

As a copyright owner, you have several exclusive rights over your work, including:

  1. Right of reproduction: The right to make copies of the work and distribute them to the public.
  2. Right of adaptation: The right to create adaptations or derivative works based on the original work.
  3. Right of communication to the public: The right to communicate the work to the public, including by publishing it online or making it available through broadcast or streaming.
  4. Right of public performance: The right to perform the work in public, including through live performances or playing recorded music in public spaces.
  5. Right of paternity and integrity: The right to be recognized as the author of the work and to object to any alterations that could damage your reputation.
  6. Right of distribution: The right to distribute the work to the public by sale, rental, or other means.

Lawful Use of Copyrighted Work Without Permission

There are certain situations where you can use a copyrighted work without obtaining permission from the copyright owner. This is known as "fair dealing" or "fair use." Some examples of fair dealing in India include:

  1. Criticism and review: You can use a copyrighted work for the purpose of criticism or review, as long as you give proper credit to the author.
  2. Reporting current events: You can use a copyrighted work for the purpose of reporting current events, as long as the use is brief and does not harm the copyright owner's interests.
  3. Research and private study: You can use a copyrighted work for the purpose of research or private study, as long as the use is non-commercial and does not harm the copyright owner's interests.
  4. Parody and satire: You can use a copyrighted work for the purpose of parody or satire, as long as the use does not harm the copyright owner's interests.

Copyright Registration

Copyright registration is a crucial step in protecting your creative works and intellectual property rights. This blog provides a concise introduction to copyright registration, explaining its significance in safeguarding original literary, artistic, and musical creations.

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