What is a Copyright? And what is its validity?
Copyright is a form of intellectual property that grants the creator of an original work, exclusive rights to its use and distribution, with the intention of enabling the creator of intellectual wealth to receive compensation for their work. Original works of authorship such as literary works, dramatic, musical and artistic works, computer software (mobile or any other), cinematographic films and sound recordings. In short everything that can be penned into a paper having created solely by its author.
A copyright registration is valid for the entire lifetime of the applicant holder + 60 years.
What can be covered under a Copyright?
- Literary work (i.e. books, articles, notes, texts, etc.)
- Artistic work (i.e. Logo, design, etc.)
- Software or computer program (mobile, desktop or any other)
- Websites and web content.
- Cinematographic film and photographs.
- Sound recording (i.e. song, record, cassette, CD, etc.)
- Dramatic and musical work (i.e. skit, play, movie, etc.)
- Work of architecture.
What are the Benefits of Copyright Registration in India?
- The copyrighted work cannot be copied by anyone else. This helps maintain the originality of the work and makes the creator of the work the sole receiver of any consideration receivable for the work.
- The certificate (where the details of the work are entered on registration) is the prima facie evidence in all courts.
- If the work is used without permission by anyone else, it is a cognizable offence i.e. one can directly file a police complaint to stop the misuse of the work.
- One does not have to go the court near the place where the infringement has occurred, the owner of the copyrighted work can file a complaint in a court near him and the respondent regardless of where he or she is situated will have to appear before the court where the appeal is filed.
- The owner of the work can reproduce the work in any material form including storing of it in any medium such as electronic means, etc.
- In case of computer program the rights also includes to sell or give on hire, any copy of the computer program.
What relief can be granted in case of infringement?
Courts are empowered to grant the following relief in case of infringement of copyright:
- Temporary and permanent injunction (Prohibition to continue the act of infringement).
- Impounding and destruction of all infringing copies.
- Actual monetary damages plus the infringer’s profits.
- Statutory Costs – Court charges and reasonable attorneys’ fees.
- In addition to civil remedy, the Copyright Act enables the owner of a copyright to take criminal proceedings against the infringer.
- The offence of infringement is punishable with imprisonment which may extend from a minimum period of 6 moths to a maximum period of 3 years and a fine of Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2 Lac.
Where is it registered in India?
To get your Copyright Registered, it needs to be applied with the Copyright Office, HRD Ministry Government of India, New Delhi, India. There is only 1 office in India situated in Delhi.
I have applied for a Copyright with SunBrio, what now? When will I get the Registration Certificate?
Generally it takes around 4 to 6 months to get it registered. We have also been able to obtain it within 1 month where the work is fairly simple and the client follows all the instructions given by us on time.
Are the applications rejected by the Government?
Yes, if an exact copy of the work already exists with the Copyright Office the application will get rejected. As per the Copyright Act, if there is any original aspect added to the work already registered you will be given a new certificate. Awareness about copyrights in India is so less that a chance of registration being already present is very rare.
What is the difference between a Trademark and a Copyright?
I have a brand name and a logo, do I get it trademark or copyrighted?
A Trademark is done for the brand name, whereas a copyright is for an artwork which can be a book, script, logo, design, etc.