Protect your work using copyright laws and enjoy the benefits of ownership over the products of your creativity. Register for copyright protection through a hassle-free process.

WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) states that, “Copyright (or author’s right) is a legal term used to describe the rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works. Works covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture, and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, and technical drawings”. Copyright provides an exclusive right to reproduce, replicate, and distribute the copyrighted work. 

Section 48 of Indian Copyrights Act, 1957 provides that the primary objective of copyright registration is to show its prima facie validity however this point can be debated as a rebuttable presumption and can also be proved otherwise. Therefore, by reason the burden of proof to show invalidity of the registration rests upon the person asserting it.


  • Right to distribute and reproduce the work – 

    The owner can distribute his work in whatever form he likes. If he wishes, he can also transfer certain rights to another person to use the copyright. Also, he receives exclusive rights for the work. An individual cannot make copies or reproduce work without the permission of the copyright owner

  • Right to derive from original work – It allows the creator to use his piece of work the way he wants to use it. He can create any derivatives of his original work. He can also use a different format based on his existing creation

  • Right to broadcast – The owner can broadcast their original work to the public. The copyright owner can use visual signs or even images.

  • Right to perform in public – The owners of artistic and musical work can perform their works in public. A musician can play his piece of music for the people. An artist can perform in public or any platform the artist wishes to.


There are various advantages to Copyright Registration as follows:

  • Copyright protection is crucial as it creates a public record of the ownership by the author or copyright holder.

  • Once a copyright is registered the holder can take legal action against infringers in the court of law.

  • To establish validity of copyright in case of any infringement or dispute.

  • In case a registration is made within a limited time frame and at any time prior to the infringement of the registered work, the holder is can claim statutory damages in a High court. A lack of registration can make it very difficult to prove actual damages and profits in the Court of law in case of infringement.

  • Copyright enables certain moral rights also identified as paternity right. In case of any dispute or distortion of such right objection can be raised. Another important moral right is the Author’s right of integrity. This right ensures that the author can object to the adaptation or any derogatory action related to his /her work.

  • Registration must take place within five years of publication.  This will help in eliminating the future challenges that may be faced with work related rights.

  • Once a work has been copyrighted the one can freely use, reuse and reproduce the copies.

  • A copyrighted work can bring about higher imports and exports when whole or part of the work can have copyright protection.

  • Registration plays a big role in copyright licensing.

  • Verification of new work and literature- A registration record, as found at the Copyright office, notifies anyone who is desirous of verifying a new work and intends to file for Registration. Potential disputes can be avoided and most importantly without any extra costs for the registered proprietor.


WIPO enlists that exhaustive lists of works covered by copyright are usually not to be found in legislation. Commonly protected works by copyright throughout the world include:

  • literary works such as novels, poems, plays, reference works, newspaper articles;
  • computer programs, databases;

  • films, musical compositions, and choreography;

  • artistic works such as paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculpture;

  • architecture;

  • and advertisements, maps, and technical drawings.


Section 13 of the Copyright Act enlists the following works in which the copyright subsists:

  • Original dramatic, literary, musical or artistic works.
  • Cinematographic films.

  • Sound Recording.

  • Computer programs, Compilations and Tables. It provides for commercial manifestation of original work and the fields specified therein.

Section 13 of the Act stipulates that right to claim copyright is subject to the provisions of the said section and the other provisions of the Act and does not exist de hors and outside the Act. It is the right created under the statute and no right outside the said Act can be claimed.

Section 13 subsection 1 of this Act provides for works which are copyrightable. Broadly, copyright covers original literary work, dramatic work, musical notes, artistic work, sound recording and even cinematograph films. Copyright is otherwise known as “Author’s Rights”. Copyright is a bundle of exclusive rights upon an incorporeal property. It is a negative right that can be exercised by the copyright-holder to prevent the duplication of his work by others.

In “Star India Pvt. Ltd. v. Piyush Agarwal & Ors.”, the court stated that though the definition of ‘work’ in Section 2(y) did not include the performer’s right, however, it had necessarily to be read with Section 38 which provided for a performer to have a copyright in his performance and therefore performance was a work in which copyright was created under the Act. Thus, copyright could exist in those works which were found on a simultaneous reading of Sections 13 and 38 of the Act.


The two main requisites are originality and fixation.

 A) Originality

  • This is a compulsory requirement for a copyright to subsist. Originality exists only as a concept as it is not defined under Copyright Law. A mere expression or print of an inventive work cannot be considered as original. Any work is original if it has been established by incorporating skill and reasonable judgment.
  • In the Easter Book Co. case discussed above a Test of Originality was laid. The test required the judge to check whether genuine skill, labour and judgment has been applied to come up with particular literary work. It is also important to note that Originality is finely different from Novelty. Novelty simply means a creation that has never existed in the public domain.

  • “Sweat of the Brow Doctrine”- this doctrine confers copyright any work where energy, labour and sufficient skill has been put in.

  • In University of London Press v. Tutorial Press, it was formulated this Doctrine to study the originality of a particular work seeking copyright. This case mainly stated that the most essential part of copyright requirement is that the work must not be copied from another work but must originate from the author.

  • “Modicum of Creativity”- there was shift of opinion with regard to what is copyrightable. In Feist Publications v. Telephone Service, the court observed that the de-minimus quantum of creativity must be satisfied wholly. A telephone directory compiles names of towns and telephone no.s. This concept primarily tries to correct the flaws of the “Sweat of the Brow Doctrine”.

  • Idea versus Expression- just a figment of imagination or idea cannot be copyrighted but a legitimate expression in the form of notes, book, notations, poem, recitation, choreo etc. that makes a work copyrightable. Thus, the work must be expressed in some permanent (not necessarily) form (de minimus). Thus, ideas can be freely taken and exploited.

  • Donoghue versus Allied Newspaper was settled in 1938. In this case, a well-known jockey gave exclusive interviews to a certain Newspaper. Felstead was the journalist at this Newspaper. He used to take down notes of the interviews. He wanted to republish the series of interviews he had taken under another newspaper agency. The Jockey said that he is the one who owns the copyright and doesn’t permit its republication. “The Court took up a unique view. It stated that the jockey provided the ideas behind the stories written by Felstead. However, the form in which it was expressed completely belonged to Felstead only. The short hand notes are copyrightable and Felstead was the owner of the Copyright. A brilliant distinction was drawn between ideas and expression. It stated that stories provided by the Jockey were just ideas and Felstesad was the real owner for he expressed those instead, he wrote the articles.” Thus, Ideas per se is not entitled to copyright protection.

  • Degree of Originality – The degree of originality required for literary work for CR protection is minimal because this reduces the element of subjective judgment in determining what work qualifies for protection and gives protection to a person who expends labour, skill, judgment and capital in producing the work. The same was observed in the cases Walter v. Lane and Morris v. Gilman.

 B) Concept of Fixation

  • A work has to be expressed in some way or the other. It has to be fixed in a tangible medium such as- recoding, written, manuscripted etc. this requirement has been adopted from the Berne Convention.
  • Publication (Section 13 clause 2) – now a publication is not a prerequisite. It only means that it is available to the public at large is a published literary work can qualify for copyright protection in India, if it is published within the territory of India, the author must be an Indian citizen at the time of publishing even if his work was published outside.

  • If the work us unpublished and the author happens to be dead at time of the creation of the work the author should be an Indian Citizen or must have at least been domiciled in India.

  • Foreign work written by an author who doesn’t hold the citizenship of India is excluded from the ambit of the Copyright Law in India.


The process of Copyright registration includes:

 A) Filing Application

  • The copyright application can be made by applying physically in the copyright office or through speed/registered post; or through e-filing facility available on the official website of Copyrights Office (
  • There should be one application for one work. Each application in Form IV should be accompanied by the requisite fee prescribed in the second schedule to the Rules.

  • Fee ranges from 500 INR to 40,000 INR, depending on the form of work. The fee can either be in the form of Demand Draft or Indian Postal Order favouring “Registrar of Copyright Payable at New Delhi” or through E-payment.

 B) Examination

  • Once the application is filed, a diary number is received. There is a provision of a mandatory wait period of 30 days, so that “No Objection” is filed against the claim made by the author.
  • If some objection is filed against the copyright claim, then it may take one more month. The Registrar of Copyrights gives both the parties an opportunity of hearing the matter.

  • After the decision on the ownership or if the objection is rejected, the application goes for scrutiny. The applicant is asked to remove any discrepancy if found; within 30 days.

 C) Registration

  • On further submission of documents, if the Copyright Registrar, is completely satisfied with the completeness and correctness of the claim made in the application, he shall enter the particulars of the copyright in the register of copyrights and further issue a Certificate of Registration.
  • Registration completes when the applicant is issued with the copy of entries made in the Register of Copyrights.

Finally, after going through the whole process of registration, it can be concluded that it is fairly simple and is similar to the process followed by trademarks and even patents etc. One of the major observations is that for Copyright, the rights are created as soon as the work is expressed and fixated in any form. It is important to understand that the impact of registration shall not be diminished even if it is only a contributing factor to the creation of rights of the author or creator. An overview of the advantages of registration shows that it is necessary as it would not only give more validity and strength to the creator’s work but also protects it from rampant infringement and plagiarism. Lastly, registration can also affect the author’s remuneration when the ownership belongs to someone else. Copyright has a wide subject-matter and with moral and performer’s rights round the corner the protection provided under the 1957 Act is expanding.


  • Filing of a Copyright Form by the applicant based on which we will be filing Form IV at the Copyright Office.
  • Once, the forms and the copies of the work are received we can go for e-filing.

  • Once form IV is prepared online, we will be sending it to the client for signatures

  • Submitting the signed Form IV online.

  • Sending hard copies of 1 hard copy (print) of “Acknowledgement Slip” and 1 hard copy (print) of “Copyright Registration Form copyright work to the Copyright office.

  • Receiving a dairy number from the Copyright office and 30 days mandatory waiting time for any objections.

  • Prosecution of the Copyright.

  • In case of Objections: In the case of any objection, a letter is sent to both the parties and are heard in front of the Registrar of Copyright. If the objection is suspended then a verification is done by the Examiner.

  • Finally, the application is approved by the registrar, after which a certificate is issued.

Note: All kinds of literary and artistic works, computer program, and even websites can be copyrighted. Computer Software or program can be registered as a ‘literary work’.