Copyright comes into existence as soon as a work is created and no formality is required to be completed for acquiring copyright. However, facilities exist for having the work registered in the Register of Copyrights maintained in the Copyright Office of the Department of Education. The entries made in the Register of Copyrights serve as prima-facie evidence in the court of law. Copyright is a legal term describing exclusive right given to creators for their literary and artistic works. The kinds of works covered by copyright include: literary works such as novels, poems, plays, reference works, newspapers and computer programs; databases; films, musical compositions, and choreography; artistic works such as paintings, drawings, photographs and sculpture; architecture; and advertisements, maps and technical drawings. The Copyright Act, 1957 came into effect from January 1958. This Act has been amended five times since then, i.e., in 1983, 1984, 1992, 1994 and 1999, with the amendment of 1994 being the most substantial.
An application for copyright on Form-IV accompanied by four copies of the work is to be made on Form IV ( Including Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars) along with the prescribed fee at Copyright Office of the Department of Education, New Delhi. The Copyright Office initially provides a filing number and filing date and issues a filing receipt. Thereafter the application is formally examined by the Office. Defects will be communicated to the applicant. Once the application is found to be in order it is accepted and the Copyright Office issues the registration certificate.
Duration of registration
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 for the life of the author and 60 years from the end of the year in which the author dies. However, if the work has not been published, performed, or offered for sale or broadcast during the life 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 end of the year in which the work is made available to the public with the consent of the owner of the copyright or published, 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.
In the case of anonymous or pseudonymous works, the copyright is for 60 years from the end of the year in which the work is made available to the public with the consent of the owner of the copyright or from the end of the year in which it is reasonable to presume that the author died, which ever term is shorter.
Use of the "©" symbol
Anyone who claims copyrights in a work can use copyright notice to alert the public of the claim. It is not necessary to have a registration to use the designations though it is highly advisable to incorporate a copyright notice like the symbol, etter "c" in a circle or the word "Copyright" followed by name of copyright owner and year of first publication. For example, © ipfirmsdirectory 1999.
Remedies For Infringement
It is the sole responsibility of the owner to see that his copyright is not being infringed upon by someone else. It is the owner's duty to file a suit of infringement against the infringer. The reliefs which may be usually awarded in such a suit are –
i. Injunctons whether interim or final.
Criminal action also can be taken on the basis of copyright registration. The minimum punishment for infringement of copyright is imprisonment for six months with the minimum fine of Rs. 50,000/-. In the case of a second and subsequent conviction the minimum punishment is imprisonment for one year and fine of Rs. one lakh.
International copyright protection
India is a member of both Berne and Universal Conventions and Indian law extends protection to all copyrighted works originating from any of the convention countries. Foreign works first published in a country which is a member of either of the Conventions would be accorded the same copyright protection in India as Indian works without undergoing any formalities, on the assumption that the home country accords reciprocity to Indian works.
The Copyright Office is currently located at the following address
B-2/W-3, Curzon Road Barracks
Kasturba Gandhi Marg
New Delhi – 110001
Application for Registration of Copyright
Copyright handbook – http//education.nic.in/copyright.asp