Persons who can apply for Copyright Registration

Persons who can apply for copyright in a work include the author, the publisher, the owner of or any person interested in the copyright in the work. Generally, the author is the first owner of the copyright in the work.

Who is an Author?

The term “author” has been defined under Section 2(d) of the Copyright Act as:

  1. in relation to a literary or dramatic work, the author of the work;
  2. in relation to a musical work, the composer;
  3. in relation to an artistic work other than a photograph, the artist;
  4. in relation to a photograph, the person taking the photograph;
  5. relation to a cinematograph film or sound recording, the producer; and
  6. in relation to any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work which is computer-generated, the person who causes the work to be created;

Works for which Copyright Protection is Available

Copyright shall subsist throughout India in the following classes of works:

  1. original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works
  2. cinematograph films; and
  3. sound recording

Term for Copyright Protection

Copyright is protected for a limited time

The rule is that copyright lasts for 60 years. 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 author.

In the case of cinematograph films, sound recordings, photographs, posthumous publications, anonymous and pseudonymous publications, works of government and works of international organisations, the 60-year period is counted from the date of publication.

Remedies for Copyright Infringement

Civil remedy– 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 against the Infringer

Criminal Remedy– Copyright infringement is a criminal offence under Section 63. which envisages that any person who knowingly infringes or abets the infringement of the copyright in a work shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extended to three years and with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees.

Assignment of Copyright

Chapter IV provides for the assignment of copyright and the mode of assignment of copyright.

The owner of copyright may assign the copyright wholly or in part by writing which is to be signed by the owner of his authorized agent. The assignment may be made generally or may be subject to limitations.

The assignment of copyright shall clearly indicate the rights proposed to be assigned and the size of the work. Assignment of copyright can be for an existing as well as for future work. However, for future work assignment shall not take place unless the work comes into existence.

Right of the Author to Relinquish Copyright

Section 21 provides for the Author’s right to relinquish copyright. It states that the author of work may relinquish all or any of the rights comprised in the work by giving notice in the prescribed form to the Registrar of copyrights.

On receipt of notice, the Registrar shall cause to publish the same in the Official Gazette for invitation of objection if any