Copyright Registration: Process and Fees

In India, copyright registration is governed by the Copyright Act 1957 and Copyright Rules 2013. This article explains, in brief, the process of copyright registration and applicable fees.

Registration of copyright grants certain exclusive legal rights to a creator of original work, including the right to publish and economically exploit his/her work, the right to reproduce his work and broadcast it to the public. The registration process for copyright in India is set out under the provisions of the Copyright Act 1957 and Copyright Rules 2013 and is as under:

Step 1: Filing of the Copyright Application:

Application for registration can be submitted online in Form XIV and filled with Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars. The following documents, along with a hard copy of the application filed online, are to be sent to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. 

1. 2 (two) copies of the work;
2. A no-objection certificate from the author if the applicant is other than the author; and 
3. If the application is filed through an attorney, the applicant shall submit a power of attorney(original) duly signed and accepted by the attorney.

Step 2: Notice to Interested Parties:

The person applying for registration is required to give notice to everyone who claims any interest in the subject matter of copyright or disputes the applicant's rights to it, to enable them to raise objections, if any, within 30 (thirty) days from such notice.

Step 3: Examination by the Registrar of Copyrights:

At this stage, a formal evaluation of the application will be conducted to check compliance requirements. This includes the assignment from the author to be filed, authorization from the applicant in favour of the attorney/ agent to be filed, description of the work is correct and matches the work claimed, etc. The Registrar, at this stage, also evaluates whether the work is registrable or not.

Step 4: Evaluation by the Registrar of Copyrights:

1. Examination of Objections and Correctness of the Application: 
Suppose the Registrar receives any objections to such registration within 30 (thirty) days of receipt of the copyright application. If the Registrar is not satisfied with the correctness of the particulars given in the application. In this case, after holding such inquiry as the Registrar deems fit, the Registrar may enter such particulars of the work in the Register of Copyrights as the Registrar considers necessary. The Registrar of Copyrights shall give an opportunity of hearing before rejecting any application filed for registration of any work.

2. If No Objections are received: 
Suppose the Registrar of Copyright receives no objection to such registration within 30 (thirty days) of receipt of the application. In that case, the Registrar of Copyright shall enter such particulars in the Register of Copyrights if satisfied with the correctness of the particulars given in the application.  

Please note that the registration process is deemed to be completed only when a copy of the entry made in the Register of Copyright is signed and issued by the Registrar of Copyright or by the Deputy Registrar of Copyright. Once the particulars are published in the Register of Copyrights, the Registrar sends a copy of the entries made in the Register of Copyrights to the parties concerned. 

Applicable Fees:

As per the Second Schedule of the Copyright Rules, 2013, the fees in case of literary work, musical work, artistic work, and dramatic work shall be Rs. 500 per application per work, whereas in the case of a cinematographic film, it shall be Rs. 5,000 per application and in case of a sound recording Rs. 2,000 per application per work. Anyone can pay the fee through an Indian postal order (IPO) / Demand Draft (DD) addressed to the Registrar of Copyright, payable at New Delhi, or through an e-payment facility.

Copyright registration is an essential step in protecting one’s original work. However, the registration process is lengthy and may take up to 12 months. 

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