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All About The Copyright Filing Procedure

Written by:
Prachi Darji
Published on

Copyright is a variant of Intellectual Property Rights and aims to protect creations, which could be artistic, literary, dramatic, musical, cinematographic films and sound recordings. It augments the process of rewarding the first-hand creators.

Copyright in India and the allied legal framework are enshrined under the Copyright Act, 1957 (hereinafter referred to as “Act”).

In the words of the Supreme Court, the object of this Act is to protect the author of the copyright work from unlawful reproduction or exploitation of his work by others. Copyright primarily means granting the right of a creator of a work to multiple copies.

As a natural consequence, it excludes the right of unauthorized persons from multiplying copies. Copyright Law, as such, finds its justification in fair play.

For more adept legal help or information about the whole legal procedure of filing for a copyright and how to get copyright in India, connect to us for an expert legal consultation.

Works in which copyright exist

The following works are entitled under the Act to copyright protection:

  • Original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works;

  • Cinematographic films; and

  • Sound Recordings

It is necessary for copyright to be available in a published work that it is first published in India. For works published outside India, the author has to be an Indian citizen at the time of publication to avail Copyright in India. The work involved with architectural works is mandatory to be located in India.

In case of joint authorship as well, the said criteria are to be followed. Copyrights do not generally protect titles and names. The Trademark Law usually protects logos and names.

copyright filing procedure


Is it necessary to register to acquire copyright?

As per information available at the Copyright Office website of the Government of India, the acquisition of copyright is automatic and does not require any formality. Copyright comes into existence as soon as one creates work. One requires to complete no formality for acquiring copyright.

However, certificate of registration of copyright and the entries made therein serve as prima facie evidence in a court of law with reference to disputes relating to ownership of copyright. Hence, a copyright registration in India serves the purpose of simplifying the legal process.

The Process of Copyright Filing

This part addresses the question of how to get copyright registered in India, which essentially covers up the copyright India laws and legalities, the copyright registration process involved, the cost of filing and allied questions.

The Act talks about a Register of Copyrights, which has to be maintained in the prescribed form in the copyright office. One needs to add the entries containing details of newly registered copyrights to this register.


Application for entry:

The author, publisher, owner or any other person interested in the copyright in any work may make an application for entering particulars of the work in the register of copyrights. It has to be in the prescribed form and be accompanied by the prescribed fee. One needs to file the application before the Registrar of Copyrights for necessary entries.

The procedure for registration is as follows:

  • One needs to make the application for registration on Form XIV (Including Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars) as prescribed in the first schedule to the Rules

  • Separate applications should be made for registration of each work

  • Each application should be accompanied by the requisite fee prescribed in the second schedule to the Rules

  • The applications should be signed by the applicant. The Power of Attorney signed by the party and accepted by the advocate should also be enclosed, if applicable.

  • The fee is to be paid either in the form of Demand Draft or Indian Postal Order favoring "Registrar of Copyrights Payable at New Delhi" or through E-payment. Each and every column of the Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars should be replied specifically.

  • The fee is either in the form of Demand Draft, Indian Postal Order favoring "Registrar of Copyright Payable at New Delhi" or through E payment

Each and every column of the Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars should be replied specifically. Considering the fact that time for objections and removal of discrepancies have to be given, the time for copyright registration process normally extends up to 2 to 3 months.

Place of Filing:

The application for registration has to be filed at the Copyright Office headed by the Registrar of Copyrights. One can send the applications via post as well. Technological progress has augmented the process of copyright registration as well by opening up a system for E-Filing, provided from February 2014.


The fee details, as per sections of the Act, exhaustively giving details on each kind of work and the corresponding fee, could be found on the Copyright Office.

Time for registration procedure:

Considering the 30 days mandatory time period which has to be given for the purpose of filing objections and the additional 45 days time for removal of discrepancies, if any, it may take a maximum of 2 to 3 months for the Copyright to get registered.

Effect of Registration

Registration of a Copyright creates a public record of the creator’s rights over his creation. This serves as a huge incentive towards the process of creation. This as such helps avoid infringements. It prevents people from taking advantage of others’ copyrights. This might as well happen in a regime devoid of copyright protection laws.

In the normal course, the copyright protection is available for a period of 60 years, starting date of which varies from work to work. The law gives copyright to the literary, musical or artistic works till the death of the author and 60 years from the said death date.

For more queries or confusion regarding the legal nitty gritty of the copyright filing procedure in India, ask for expert legal advice from us now!

Effect of Infringement

Section 51 of the Act mentions conditions under which one can infringe a copyright.  A plea of honest and concurrent use does not work under copyright law. People have filed suits and proceedings at the district court that has jurisdiction over copyright infringement.

Where one infringes a copyright in any work, he entitles the owner of the copyright to lots of remedies by way of injunction, damages, accounts or otherwise as the law may confer for the right infringement. One can grant injunction to prevent infringement.

Remedies for Infringement

There could be Civil and Criminal remedies available in case of Copyright Infringements. Where one infringes a copyright in any work, they entitle the owner of the copyright to all such remedies by way of injunction, damages, accounts or otherwise as may be conferred on by the law.

The law gives the provision for damages the widest interpretation so as to allow compensatory as well as punitive and exemplary damages. Injunctions are another form of civil remedy possible. The District Court with jurisdiction to try infringements needs to institute the suit. Under criminal remedies there’s scope for imprisonment, fine or search and seizure or delivery of infringing goods