Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to copy and distribute a creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, educational, or musical form, this means that the original creator of work and anyone they give authorization to are the ones with the exclusive right to reproduce the work.

Copyright is intended to protect the original expression of an idea in the form of a creative work, but not the idea itself. Copyright protection also extends to work commissioned by organisation and association.


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. 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.

Copyright law specifically recognizes several categories of works that receive protection.  Those categories include:

Literary Works: Literary works includes books, journal and newspaper articles, reports, working papers, computer software and programs, letters, emails, novels, poetry, manuscripts, song lyrics, databases, tables and compilations, tables and compilations including computer databases.

 Musical Works: Music work includes works composed of music and containing graphic symbol.

Sound Recordings: Sound Recording means sound is captured, which means that the sound must be recorded on a medium that can be sensed, copied or otherwise transmitted.  

Cinematograph Films: A cinematograph film is a work of visual recording together with the sound recordings accomplished by any process, whether digital or analogous, including the video films. As per the definition of cinematograph films, every single recorded work with moving images or visuals will be considered a cinematograph.

 Dramatic Works: Dramatic Work is also a type of literary work. The Dramatic Works includes any arrangement of acting a play, or choreographing work or dumb show entertainment, a picturesque arrangement, or acting work based on a fixed writing work. But, the Dramatic works does not include any type of cinematograph films.


Both published and unpublished works can be registered. There exists a set procedure for registration of a work under the Copyright Rules, 1958 which has been suitably amended from time to time and registration is provided for both published and unpublished works. Copyright in works published before 21st January, 1958, i.e., before the Copyright Act, 1957 came into force, can also be registered, provided the works still enjoy copyright.

All kinds of literary and artistic works can be copyrighted. One may also file a copyright application for his/her website or other computer program.


     The procedure for registration is as follows:

  1. Application for registration is to be made on as prescribed in the first schedule to the Rules along with the requisite fee. Once this application is filed, a diary number is generated and issued to the applicant;
  2. Separate applications should be made for registration of each work
  3. There is a minimum wait of 30 days for recording and analyzing any objections that may come up against the copyright application
  4. The application goes ahead for scrutinization by an examiner, either examiner raise some discrepancies in such cases replies are filed and hearings are marked by the department or the application gets straightway accepted by the department in case of zero discrepancy.
  5. The applications should be signed by the applicant or the advocate in whose favor Power of Attorney has been executed. The Power of Attorney signed by the party and accepted by the advocate should also be enclosed.


In the case of original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, the duration of copyright is the lifetime of author or artist and sixty years counted from the year following the death of the author. And, In the case of cinematograph films, sound records, government works are protected for a period of 60 years from the year following the date of publications.


Right of distribution: Copyright gives the owner of specific content the exclusive rights to reproduce or distribute copies of the work publicly. Additionally, if someone has copyright ownership they can allow others to utilize these exclusive right as well.

Legal Protection: The copyright registration protects the published work from unauthorized access that eventually ended up in duplicacy.

In the absence of such registration user can’t exercise any legal proceedings to claim the ownership of the infringement asset.

Safeguard Reputation: For protecting original work, copyright registration ensures that the reputation of their creators or authors is protected.

Better control over infringer: Copyright registration enables the holder to take a legal action against the infringers in a court. Copyright registration proves the actual ownership.

Communicate to the public: Any copyright owner can make their work accessible to the public. Copyright registration creates a public record. It tells the audience that your work is protected by copyright.


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