Types of Copyrights in India

For different categories - types of Copyright include works which fall under literary, dramatic, artistic, musical, sound recordings or movies. However; there are also a few exclusions.

Copyright protects the originality of the work and provides exclusive rights to its owner(s) which include reproduction rights, adaptation or translation of the work or publishing in public.

Literary Works

literary works They are not limited to works of literature like plays, novels or poems and instead include all forms of written documents.

Works like technical books, scripts, research work, computer programs or database, thesis also form a part of the literary work.

For example – Madeline and the Wedding is a copyrighted script of the animated show Madeline Series.

Tip: The creative work can be in any style or literary merit and is owned by its author.

Dramatic Works 

Dramatic Works They are similar to literary works but include a piece of recitation. Works like choreography, the arrangement of play, scenic arrangement come under Dramatic type of copyright works.

Tip: They are based on a fixed writing work and don’t include a Cinematograph Film.

Artistic Works

artistic works Copyright protection covers works of art. These include paintings, sculptures, graphics, drawings, maps, charts, photographs, caricatures and cartoons.

For example – Tom and Jerry are famous copyrighted cartoon characters.

Tip: The work must be original and is owned by its creator.

Musical Works 

musical works They can be protected in two different ways. The lyrics of a song fall under literary work while the music tune (notation) can be protected under musical works. They need to be submitted in a written format.

Tip: The hard copy of musical notations needs to be submitted at the time of copyright registration.

Sound Recordings 

sound recording Both non-musical  and musical sound recording can be protected by copyright, regardless of the medium of storage. They include recorded speech, podcasts, interviews, soundtracks, speeches. 

All sorts of music created automatically falls under copyright protection.

Tip: A soft copy in the form of CD is submitted along with the application form to register a sound recording.


movies A cinematographic work is a combination of both video films and sound recording. Any work recorded with moving visuals or images, with or without a sound recording is considered a cinematographic film.

For example – Computer Games, Feature Films or Animation Movies.

Tip: The producer of the movie owns the copyright rights after registration.

Copyright under Creative Commons

It is one of the public licenses which allow people to share, reproduce or make changes to a copyrighted work.  It is donated by ‘CC’ symbol which means that the owner of the work gives full rights to the general public.

However; there are different types of licenses which fall under Creative Commons.

Tip: Copyright protects only the expression of the thought or idea.

What cannot be Copyrighted?

There are a few exclusions which cannot be protected under Copyright Registration.

  • Ideas, methods, systems, procedures, concepts, principles or discoveries.
  • Titles, short phrases, names or slogans.
  • Listings of ingredients or contents.
  • Symbols or designs.
  • Works which are not available in a tangible form.

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