section 63 of copyright act

Why to file for Copyright Registration?

With the rampant growth of technology, the misuse of creativity, unethical use and distribution of pirated work of artists are on a rise. With this, the importance of availing copyright protection is emerging as the need of the hour.

As such, copyright is the protection granted to the expression of ideas. Such a kind of protection enables the original authors, writers, directors, composers, designers, and others covered under the copyright Act to retain their originality and also encourages others to create or work upon their original and unique ideas. Copyright, being one among the other intangible rights protected under law, does not entirely create a monopoly and restrict the distribution of the works in its form as filed for registration per se. It, instead, grants protection to the original copyright owner over others in the case of piracy or duplicity. As per section 14, copyright is generally granted for artistic, musical, and dramatic works and thereby includes computer programs, performer’s rights, sound recordings, chorographical works, and cinematographic works.

The entire registration process may seem like a complex procedure but it is in fact easy once you have a basic understanding of the steps involved. Read on to understand the procedure in simple terms.

Before moving ahead, let’s understand who can apply for copyright registration in India?

The following are the persons who can apply for copyright:

ο‚· The original creator of the work;

ο‚· A person claiming to have obtained ownership rights from the creator; or

ο‚· An agent authorized to act on behalf of the aforementioned persons.

Basically, book authors, song writers, singer, music creators, designers, photographers, teachers etc. all those who create something original may file for copyright.

The procedure of copyright registration are summarized as below-

1) Filing of application along with fees- getting the copyright application number, also known as Diary number- Once the application form is filed, a unique diary number is generated by the copyright office, with the help of which a person can check the status of their copyright application. In case one does not have a diary number, then the applicant can still check the status with the help of the ROC number, name, or applicant's title of work.

2) Examination: After the generation of the diary number, the applicant has to wait for 30 days to record and analyse any objections that may be received against the application.

ο‚· If there are no objections, the application moves forward to the next step. It happens when all the necessary information and proper documents are filed.

ο‚· In the event that there are some discrepancies, the registrar sends a letter of discrepancy to the applicant. Based on his reply, the registrar conducts a hearing. After the hearing, when all the discrepancies are resolved, the extracts of the same are sent to the applicant and the application moves to the next stage.

ο‚· If at all objections are raised by someone, the registrar sends notice to both parties for a hearing. If the objections are rejected, then the application moves to the next stage as abovementioned. However, if the objections are not resolved, then the application is rejected and the registration process comes to an end.

3) Registration

The last step in granting copyright protection is registration. At this stage, the registrar may ask for some documents, and once completely satisfied, the registrar goes on to enter the details in the register of copyrights and finally issue a certificate of registration.

The process of registration comes to an end when the registrar issues the extracts of the register of copyright (ROC).

As discussed earlier, the applicant can check the status of the application at every stage. The results of the application status will be displayed under the following headings:

  1. Work awaited- It means that the copyright office has yet to receive the copies of the work. The applicant is supposed to submit all relevant documents and work copies within 30 days of applying for the application. Otherwise, the application can be dismissed.

  2. Waiting- This shows the period wherein after payment, the application is put on hold, mandatorily for 30 days during which objections may be received. It also shows that the registration fee has been processed successfully.

  3. Documents not received, formality check failed- This shows that the necessary documents or work have not yet been submitted. In such a scenario, a response needs to be sent to the copyright office to rectify it.

  4. Abandoned- If no reply has been filed after a discrepancy letter is issued, then the application will be abandoned.

  5. Scrutiny- If the application is not abandoned, then it is scrutinized by the copyright examiner. This is the stage where the application is examined to determine if there is a lack of distinctiveness or any incorrect details.

  6. Discrepancy- This means the application is not in complete format and a letter will be sent to the applicant by registered post if the examiner finds any discrepancies.

  7. Re-scrutiny- Following the receipt of the response to the discrepant letter, the application is re-evaluated. Here, the applicant even gets a chance to prove the uniqueness of his work.

  8. Pending for hearing- After re-evaluation, if the registrar wishes to know more about the work or is doubtful of any details, he can call for a hearing.

  9. Hearing- The registrar at this stage hears the objections received.

  10. Sub-judice- This stage notifies that the application in question is pending subject to a decision of the competent court of law.

  11. Registered- Finally, the ROC is generated by the registrar and it will be sent to the applicant by registered post.

Once the certificate is issued, the applicant becomes eligible to use the mark Β© on all his unique work that has received protection. Thus, it is necessary for the applicant to check the status of his application at every stage and respond properly when required to complete the registration process in an efficient manner.

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