What is copyright?
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.
The Copyright Act, 1957 protects original literary, dramatic, musical
and artistic works and cinematograph films and sound recordings from
Unlike the case with patents, copyright protects the expressions and not the ideas. There is no copyright in an idea.
Importance of Copyright Registration
1 Legal Evidence of your ownership
3 Your family members and legal heirs can claim royalty after your death.
4 You will get Maximum damages
Some Interesting facts about copyright law that everyone should know
1 For copyright purposes, a sound recording is separate from a composition.
2 Published and unpublished musical works may be copyrighted.
3 You own the copyright from the second you create the work
4 You can’t copyright an idea
5 You own the rights to any images/music/written material you make during a freelance assignment
6 If you’re an employee of a company for whom you are generating videos,
graphics, and images the copyrights to that material belong to the
7 Copyright infringement is almost always a civil rather than a criminal matter.
8 E-mail is copyrighted as soon as it is sent or saved.
9 Students (generally) have copyright over their schoolwork
10 Fair Use is Not a Right
The general rule of copyright law is that you cannot use the work of
someone who has a copyright on it but there are some exceptions to it.
i. for the purpose of research or private study,
ii. for criticism or review,
iii. for reporting current events,
iv. in connection with a judicial proceeding,
v. performance by an amateur club or society if the performance is given to a non-paying audience, and
vi. The making of sound recordings of literary, dramatic or musical works under certain conditions.
Are copyrights the same for all classes of works?
No. The rights vary according to the class of work.
Is it necessary to register a work to claim copyright?
No. Acquisition of copyright is automatic and it does not require any
formality. However, certificate of registration of copyright and the
entries made therein serve as prima facie evidence in a court of law
with reference to dispute relating to ownership of copyright.
Is copyright protected in perpetuity?
No. It is protected for a limited period of time. It is given for 60 years only
In the case of original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works
the 60-year period is counted from the year following the death of the
In cinematograph films, sound recordings, photographs, posthumous
publications, anonymous and pseudonymous publications, works of
government and works of international organizations, the 60-year period
is counted from the date of publication.
Are there special courts for copyright?
No. There are no special courts for copyright cases. The regular
courts try these cases. There is a Copyright Board to adjudicate certain
cases pertaining to copyright.
Has the Registrar of Copyrights any judicial powers?
Yes. The Registrar of Copyrights has the powers of a civil court when trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure
Is the copyright of foreign works protected in India?
Yes. Copyrights of works of the countries mentioned in the
International Copyright Order are protected in India as if such works
are Indian works.
What are the civil remedies for copyright infringement?
A copyright owner can take legal action against any person who
infringes the copyright in the work. The copyright owner is entitled to
remedies by way of injunctions, damages, and accounts.
Which is the court having jurisdiction over civil remedies in copyright cases?
The District Court concerned has the jurisdiction in civil suits regarding copyright infringement.
Is copyright infringement a cognizable offense?
Yes it is a cognizable offense
Any police officer, not below the rank of a sub-inspector, may, if he is
satisfied that an offense in respect of the infringement of copyright
in any work has been, is being, or is likely to be committed, seize
without a warrant, all copies of the work