Copyright grants exclusive rights to authors in relation to their works, such as literary, dramatic, artistic, musical, and photographic works, for a duration of the author’s lifetime plus 60 years in some cases.
Our firm deals with the copyright laws in India. We negotiate, draft and vet copyright assignment/ licensing agreement, software licensing agreement, Film Production Agreement, Master Service Agreement and other related agreements.
We cater services to clienteles of different sectors such as Authors, Novelists, Artists, Screenplay writers, Publishers, Photographers, Advertising agencies , Film Production Companies, Music Companies, Mobile Application Developers, Software Development Companies, to name a few.
Our Copyright service includes :-
- Copyright Filing and Registration
- Handling Copyright Objections
- Copyright Opinions and Reports
- Content Protection and Management
- Copyright Enforcement
- Take Down Notices and Process
- Digital Rights Management
- Copyright Litigation Management
- Piracy Management
- Drafting and Negotiating Copyright Agreements such as Copyright Licensing and Assignment Agreements
What is Copyright?
Copyright is a type of IPR protection that helps to protect the intellect of human creation. Copyright law provides exclusive and monopoly right to the creator/author/owner of “original” literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, cinematograph films. Computer Software is considered literary work; hence it is also protectable under copyrights.
Different Classes of Work Protected under Copyright are:
- “Literary work”: Computer programmes, books, articles, poems, tables and databases.
- “Artistic work”: Paintings, a sculpture, a drawing (including a diagram, map, chart or plan), an engraving or a photograph, whether or not any such work possesses artistic quality; a work of architecture; and any other work of artistic craftsmanship.
- “Musical work” means a work consisting of music and includes any graphical notation of such work but does not include any words or any action intended to be sung, spoken or performed with the music. A musical work need not be written down to enjoy Copyright protection. Example: Written work of lyricist, composer and rights of the singer.
- “Sound recording” means a recording from which sounds may be produced regardless of the medium on which such recording is made or the method by which the sounds are produced. Example: Sound recordings fixed in a CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, USB drive.
- “Cinematograph film” means any work of visual recording on any medium, produced through a process from which a moving image may be produced by any means and includes a sound recording accompanying such visual recording and “cinematograph” shall be construed as including any work produced by any process analogous to cinematography including video films. Example: Movies
Why should one register for Copyright?
Copyright comes into existence as soon as a work is created and no formality is required to be completed for acquiring Copyright in India. However, certificate of registration of Copyright and the entries made therein serve as a prima facie evidence in a court of law and therefore, would help in establishing authorship and also infringement.
In case the author or the owner decides not to register, the work should be properly dated and signed. This may be useful in case of engineering drawings.
Note: In case of registered or unregistered work, the symbol “c” with circle “© “ is used along with the name of author, year of first publication on the work, to signify that work is under Copyright protection for a specific duration. If this sign is associated with any work, it means the work is Copyrighted.
Source: Copyright Office, Government of India
How a creator is benefited from Copyright and its creation?
Copyright owner has economic rights as well as moral rights:
i) Economic rights:
Copyright protection is a form of intellectual property which provides similar right as to the owner of Land/Home. The owner of a land can use, may give it on lease, and sell it. Similarly, 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. A Copyright owner can:
- Make use, sell and distribute his/her work to earn economical reward: The Copyright owner can make copies of the work protected by Copyright or related right and sell the same.Examples: Printed copies of the book and sell the same directly.
- Assign the work (sell): The Copyright owner can assign his/her current work or proposed work to a third-party in return of onetime payment or royalty. For e.g. an author is writing a book and once fixed assigns the rights to sell the printed copies of this book to a publisher. However, for the proposed work, assignment will come into force only when the book is completed and fixed in a tangible format. The Copyright owner can completely or partially assign his/her right but this assignment is only valid if it is in written format signed by the Copyright owner or his/her legal representative. Term of assignment and extent of territory must also be specified as per the Copyright Act, otherwise by default the term of protection will be 5 years and will extend for whole of India.
- License the work (Lease): The creator/author can license his or her work to one or more companies with certain fixed set of terms and condition in exchange for payment.
ii) Moral Rights or Author’s Special Rights: Independent of the author’s copyright and even after the assignment either wholly or partially of the said copyright, the author of a work shall have the right:
- To claim the authorship of the work; and
- To restrain or claim damages in respect of any distortion, mutilation, modification or other act in relation to the said work, if such distortion, mutilation, modification would be prejudicial to his honour or reputation.
What is the term of protection for Copyright?
Term of Different Classes of Copyrights is as follows:
|S.No||Class of Work||Term of Protection||Explanation|
|1||Literary (including computer software), dramatic, musical photograph, and artistic||Life time + 60 years. The 60 year period is counted from the year following the death of the author||The period of counting 60 year for this process starts from next year following the year in which author dies. Example: if Author dies in say 2nd Nov, 1979. So, duration of protection of 60 years period will be from 1st Jan, 1980 to 31st Dec, 2040.
Also, in case of joint author, year count for this process will depend upon the author who dies last. Example: Author X and Y are co-author of a work. Author X dies on 4th April 1988 and Y dies on 26th August 1991. So duration of protection of sixty years period will start from 1st Jan, 1992.
|2||Cinematograph films, Sound recordings, Posthumous Publications, Works of Government, Work in Public undertakings and Works of international organizations||60 years period is counted from the date of publication||Date of publication is always the first publication of the work.
Period starts from the beginning of next year, following the year in which film was first published.
|3||Anonymous and pseudonymous publications||In case of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, which is published anonymously or pseudonymously, copyright subsist until 60 years from the beginning of the calendar year next following year in which the work is first published. PROVIDED that where the identity of the author is disclosed before the expiry of the said period, copyright shall subsist until 60 years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which author dies.
Source : The Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012
What are the steps in the copyright registration process?
Copyright registration process consists of the following steps:
- Application to be made in form XIV
- One application to be made for each category of work
- Every application should be signed by the author or owner of right
- Application for registration of a computer programme should be accompanied by source code/object code
- Application should be accompanied with the official fees
- The person applying for registration shall give notice of his application to every person who claims or has any interest in the subject matter of the copyright
- If no objection is received within 30 days by the Registrar, the particulars given in the application will be entered in the Register of Copyrights
Is copyright registration mandatory?
No it isn’t but getting copyright registration is the best way to seek legal remedy as it serves as a prima facie evidence in a court of law, in case of any dispute arising out of copyright ownership issue.