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A copyright is a collection of rights that automatically vest to someone who creates an original work of authorship – like a literary work, song, movie or software. These rights include the right to reproduce the work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies, and to perform and display the work publicly.


Getting copyright protection for a creative original work comes with the following benefits:

  • Copyright registration lists the ownership of the work in the public records. Registration helps in tracking the copyrighted work back to its creator.
  • In case of infringement of Copyright, Copyright registration proves the actual ownership of the work. It makes it easier for the court to give a decision since the registration certificate details all the information of the owner/author.
  • Copyright registration also establishes the date of publication of the work when dealing with infringement matters. When an infringement suit is filed, one of the key things is to trace back the date on which the creation was registered and from which date the alleged infringement started.
  • With the registration of Copyright, the owner or author can license the IPR easily to others. IPR Licensing agreements can be executed between the licensor and licensee when there is proof that the work indeed belongs to the licensor.
  • When a Copyright protected work is translated, adapted or edited, Copyright registration enables the owner to claim remuneration and royalty. This is prevalent in the music industry when songs are remixed, or used in videos. The most common use of Copyright nowadays is on Youtube, when creators copy each other’s work and it becomes necessary to establish the original ownership of the work.
  • Copyright registration makes exports and imports of Copyrighted work simpler. A creation which has its owner defined, can be easily exported or imported without issues with the Customs.
  • In case of artistic works like paintings, photographs or other artworks, the creator can hold exhibitions to display and sell their work.


A copyright gives certain exclusive rights to persons who create original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Copyrightable works include the following categories:

  • literary works
  • musical works, including any accompanying words
  • dramatic works, including any accompanying music
  • pantomimes and choreographic works
  • pictorial, graphic and sculptural works
  • motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • sound recordings
  • architectural plans, drawings and actual buildings


  • Facts
  • Works created by the United States Government
  • Works not fixed in a tangible form of expression
  • Ideas, concepts, principles, or discoveries
  • Words, phrases, or familiar symbols


Rights of Copyright ownership gives the holder of the copyright in an original work of authorship six exclusive rights:

  • The right to reproduce and make copies of an original work;
  • The right to prepare derivative works based on the original work;
  • The right to distribute copies to the public by sale or another form of transfer, such as rental or lending;
  • The right to publicly perform the work;
  • The right to publicly display the work, and
  • The right to perform sound recordings publicly through digital audio transmission.


Who can register a piece of work with the Registrar of Copyrights?
The author

  • Either the person who actually created the work, or
  • if made during the scope of employment, then the employer. This is considered as ‘work made for hire’.
  • Such an author is legally allowed to get a copyright for his/her work.


The copyright law can grant a person exclusive rights to control and use and distribution of an original work. These rights include the right to reproduce or make copies of the original work, the right to distribute copies of the work, the right to publicly display the work, the right to perform the work and the right to alter the work and make derivatives of the original work. The owner of such exclusive rights is permitted to apply for registering his or her claim in the work.


  • The author, or
  • A person or an organization that has obtained ownership rights from the author through a written contract, will etc.


  • The authorized agent
  • The copyright claimant, or
  • The owner of an exclusive right.


Though there are some special requirements for different kinds of work, broadly the essential requirements are:

  • 3 copies of the work if the work is published;
  • If the work is not published, then 2 copies of manuscripts;
  • If the application is being filed by an attorney, then special power of attorney or vakalatnama signed by the attorney and the party;
  • Authorization in respect of work, if the work is not the work of the applicant;
  • Information regarding the title and language of the work;
  • Information regarding the name, address and nationality of the applicant;
  • Applicant must also provide his mobile number and email address;
  • If the applicant is not the author, a document containing the name, address and nationality of the author, and if the author is deceased, the date of his death;
  • If the work is to be used on a product, then a no-objection certificate from the trademark office is required;
  • If the applicant is other than the author, a no-objection certificate from the author is required. In this case, an authorization of the author may also be required;
  • If a person’s photo is appearing in the work, then a no-objection certificate from such person is required
  • In case the publisher is not the applicant, a no-objection certificate from the publisher is required;
  • If the work is published, the year and address of first publication is also required;
  • Information regarding the year and country of subsequent publications;
  • In case of copyright is for software, then source code and object code are also required.


The steps involved in the registration process are:


  • The author of the work, copyright claimant, owner of an exclusive right for the work or an authorized agent file an application either physically in the copyrights office or through speed/registered post or through e-filing facility available on the official website (
  • For registration of each work, a separate application must be filed with the registrar along with the particulars of the work. Along with this, the requisite fee must also be given, Different types of work have different fees. At the end of this step, the registrar will issue a dairy number to the applicant.


In the next step, the examination of the copyright application takes place.
Once the dairy number is issued, there is a minimum 30 days waiting period. In this time period, the copyright examiner reviews the application. This waiting period exists so that objections can arise and be reviewed. Here the process gets divided into two segments:

  • In case no objections are raised, the examiner goes ahead to review and scrutinize the application to find any discrepancy.
    • If there is no fault and all the essential documents and information is provided along with the application, it is a case of zero discrepancies. In this case, the applicant is allowed to go forward with the next step.
    • In case some discrepancies are found, a letter of discrepancy is sent to the applicant. Based upon his reply, a hearing is conducted by the registrar. Once the discrepancy is resolved, the applicant is allowed to move forward to the next step.
  • In case objections are raised by someone against the applicant, letters are sent out to both parties and they are called to be heard by the registrar.
    • Upon hearing if the objection is rejected, the application goes ahead for scrutiny and the above-mentioned discrepancy procedure is followed.
    • In case the objection is not clarified or discrepancy is not resolved, the application is rejected and a rejection letter is sent to the applicant. For such applicant, the copyright registration procedure ends here.


The final step in this process can be termed as registration. In this step, the registrar might ask for more documents. Once completely satisfied with the copyright claim made by the applicant, the Registrar of Copyrights would enter the details of the copyright into the register of copyrights and issue a certificate of registration.

The process registration of copyright completes when the applicant is issued the Extracts of the Register of Copyrights (ROC).

S.NoFor an application for COMPULSORY LICENSE :Fee
1For a license to republish a Literary, Dramatic, Musical or Artistic work (Sections 31, 31A,31B* and 32A)Rs. 5,000/- per work
2For a license to communicate an any work to the public by Broadcast(Section 31(1)(b))Rs. 40,000/- per applicant/per sataton
3For license to republish a Cinematograph Film (Section 31)Rs. 15,000/- per work
4For a license to republish a sound recording (Section 31)Rs. 10,000/- per work
5For a license to perform any work in public (Section 31)Rs. 5,000/- per work
6For a license to publish or communicate to the public the work or translation (Section 31ARs. 5,000/- per work
7For a license to publish any work in any format useful for person with disability (Section 31 B)Rs. 2,000/- per work
8For an application for a license to produce and publish a translation of a Literary or Dramatic work in any Language (Section 32 & 32-A )Rs. 5,000/- per work
9For an application for registration or copyright in a: 
(a)Literary, Dramatic, Musical or Artistic workRs. 500/- per work
(b)Provided that in respect of a Literary or Artistic work which is used or is capable of being used in relation to any goods or services (Section 45)Rs. 2,000/- per work
10For an application for change in particulars of copyright entered in the Register of Copyrights in respect of a: 
(a)Literary, Dramatic, Musical or Artistic workRs. 200/- per work
(b)Provided that in respect of a literary or Artistic work which is used or is capable of being used in relation to any goods or services (Section 45)Rs. 1,000/- per work
11For an application for registration of Copyright in a Cinematograph Film (Section 45)Rs. 5,000/- per work
12For an application for registration of change in particulars of copyright entered in the Register of Copyrights in respect of Cinematograph film (Section 45)Rs. 2,000/- per work
13For an application for registration of copyright in a Sound Recording (Section 45)Rs. 2,000/- per work
14For an application for registration of changes in particulars of copyright entered in the Register of Copyrights in respect of Sound Recording (Section 45)Rs. 1,000/- per work
15For taking extracts from the indexes (Section 47)Rs. 500/- per work
16For taking extracts from the Register of Copyrights (Section 47).Rs. 500/- per work
17For a certified copy of an extract from the Register of Copyrights of the indexes (Section 47)Rs. 500/- per copy
18For a certified copy of any other public document in the custody of the Register of Copyright or Secretary of the Copyright BoardRs. 500/- per Copy
19For an application for prevention of importation of infringing copies (Section 53) per place of entryRs. 1,200/- per work

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