Copyrights FAQs

Copyrights

  • What is a copyright?

    Copyright is a form of Intellectual property right to protect literary and artistic works of an author.

  • What is meant by a work?

    A work is an outcome of the creativity of an author.

  • When does a work qualify for a copyright?

    If the work comes under the purview of the protection of the copyright act of 1957.

    If it is an original expression

    If it is present in a tangible medium (Books, CD’s, Photograph)

  • What works are protected by a copyright?

    The works may include: Literary works both fiction and non-fiction, dramatic works, musical works including composition of a song and the lyrics, artistic works like paintings and sculptures etc.

  • How is copyright different from patents and Trademarks?

    Patents involve inventions, Trademarks involve brand or Logo, whereas copyrights involve expressions.

  • Who is an author?

    Author under the copyright law is the creator of the original expression in a work. For example: Composer of a song, Author of a novel, Film Producer etc.

  • How long is a copyright protection given?

    In India the protection lasts for lifetime of the author + sixty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the author dies. For example: If the author dies in Nov 2019, the copyright protection period kicks in from 01 Jan 2020 for the next sixty years. For Posthumous works until sixty years from the beginning of the calendar years next following the year in which the work is first published.

  • Can I have copyright for my work automatically?

    Copyright protection is automatic. However, copyright registration entitles the creator of the work the economic rights.

  • What is the process for registration for a copyright in India?

    • An application (including all the particulars of the work and the statement of the particulars) has to to be sent to the registrar of copyrights in the format of FORM IV. The application should be accompanied by a requisite fee (http://copyright.gov.in/frmFeeDetailsShow.aspx)
    • It is to be noted that each work needs to be registered as a separate application.
    • Each application needs to be signed by the applicant as well as the advocate in whose favour the POA or the Vakalatnama is executed.
    • Issuance of a diary number by the registrar which puts the application to a mandatory waiting time for a period of 30 days for any objections to be received.
    • If there are no objections received within 30 days, the application will be checked for discrepancies if any. Upon clearance, the registration of the work is done and an extract will be sent to the registrar for the entry in the Register of Copyright.
    • If any objection is received, the examiner sends a letter to both the parties about the objections and are assigned a hearing date.
    • After the hearing, if the objections are resolved the scrutineer will scrutinize the application. Accordingly, the application is either approved or rejected as the case may be. The decision of the scrutinizer is final.

  • Can multiple parties (persons) file for a single copyright?

    A Standard Copyright Application allows the multiple applicants, titles, authors, and claimants appropriate to the work being registered.

  • Is a copyright transferable?

    The rights of a copyright owner can be assigned by him to any other person by way of an assignment. … According to the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 a prospective owner of copyright of the future work may also assign his rights partially or wholly.

  • How to protect your work internationally?

    The Indian Copyright law of 1957 provides copyright protection for the work within the boundaries of India. For International filings the application may be filed as per the norms of various treaties of which India is a signatory.

  • What International treaties is India a signatory of?

    • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic works.
    • Universal Copyright Convention.
    • Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorised Duplication of their Phonograms.
    • Multilateral Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation of Copyright Royalties.
    • Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement.

  • What does the symbol © mean?

    It is a short form of copyright. This symbol normally precedes the year of registration and the owner’s name. Example: © 2019 Instagram.

  • Who is the registering authority for copyrights in India?

    The Registrar of Copyrights is the head of the Copyright Office under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and in-charge of implementation of Copyright Act.

  • Who is the author for work done by Artificial Intelligence?

    Though this is still being debated, but a human author behind the work executed through AI is considered the actual author.

  • Is software copyrightable?

    Software can be protected under copyrights. Software program “per se” in India normally qualifies as a literary work.

  • Are recipes copyrightable ?

    Mere listing of ingredients is not copyrightable. However, the expression and methodology to execute the combination of ingredients to prepare a recipe can be copyrighted.

  • Are architectural works copyrightable?

    The drawings and expression of the drawings as an architectural works are copyrightable. However, some designs may be so common that they hold no protection.

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