Copyright subsists in all original published or unpublished literary, artistic works. Copyright is a right owned by the creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings.
All original published or unpublished literary, artistic, dramatic, musical, sound recording and cinematograph films are registrable under the Copyright Act, 1957.
Copyright is a bundle of rights that confers on its owners the following rights to:
Apart from the above, the following moral rights are also enjoyed by the author or copyright owner:
Copyright does not ordinarily protect titles by themselves or names, short word combinations, slogans, short phrases, methods, plots or factual information. Copyright does not protect ideas or concepts. To get the protection of copyright, a work must be original.
Copyright comes into existence as soon as a work is created and no formality is required to be completed for acquiring copyright protection. India is a member of the Berne Convention as well as the Universal Copyright Convention. Therefore, work created in other member states is accorded protection in India as well. Registration of copyright is not mandatory. However, it is advisable to apply for Registration of Copyright as the 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. It also makes the process of licensing and/ or assignment of the registered work much easier.
With effect from August 01, 2014, all copyright applications are to be filed online by visiting the website of the Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov.in, or as an alternative, to be sent by Speed Post/Registered Post in the format prescribed.
Any individual who is the author or rightful owner, or his/ her assignee or legal heir, can file an application for the registration of copyright of a work.
A Computer Software or a software programme can be registered as a ‘literary work’ under the Copyright Act. As per Section 2 (o) of the Copyright Act, 1957 “literary work” includes computer programmes, tables and compilations, including computer databases. ‘Source Code’ also has to be supplied along with the application for registration of copyright for software products.
The duration granted for works of copyright varies depending on the type of work. Literary or musical works or artistic works, other than photographs, have a life span, which extends through the lifetime of the author and an additional 60 years from the year in which the author dies. However, if the work has not been published, performed, or offered for sale or broadcast during the lifetime of the author, the copyright protection shall continue for a period of 60 years from the end of the year in which any of these acts are done relating to the work. Cinematograph films, photographs and computer programs are protected for 60 years from the year in which the work is made available to the public with the consent of the owner of the copyright or published work, or, failing such an event, for 60 years from the end of the year in which the work is made. Sound recordings are protected for 60 years from the end of the year in which the recording is first published.
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