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What is the Copyrights Act 1957?
The Copyrights Act 1957 aims at providing registration of copyrights in India. The objective of the legislation is to reward authors, writers, composers etc. the exclusive right to reproduce the work for commercial exploitation and thus encouraging them to create original works.

What is copyright?
A copyright is a right given to the creators of dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. We can say that, it is a collection of rights including rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work.

The copyright exists in the following areas of work:-
  • Original literary, musical, dramatic and artistic work
  • Cinematograph films
  • Sound recordings
Copyrights also persist in the summarization, translation or compilations of such work. There is no copyright for an idea.

Is registration of a copyright compulsory?
No registration of copyright is voluntary. However in case of any disputes registration of copyright serves to be an evidential proof.

What is the procedure for registration of work under Copyrights Act 1957?
The procedure for registration is as follows:
  1. Application for registration is to be made on Form IV along with 4 copies of work ( Including Statement of Particulars and Statement of Further Particulars)
  2. Separate applications should be filed for registration of each work;
  3. Each application should be attached with the fee prescribed in the II schedule to the Rules under the act; and
  4. The applications should be signed by the applicant or the advocate in whose name the 'Vakalatnama' or 'Power of Attorney' has been enforced. The Power of Attorney signed by the party and accepted by the advocate should also be enclosed.
What is the duration of copyright?
The life of copyrights is 60 years. The 60 year period is counted from the year next to the death of the author, in case of original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works. However in the case of cinematograph films, photographs, sound recordings, posthumous publications, anonymous and pseudonymous publications, works of government and works of international organizations, the 60-year period is counted from the date of publication.

Can unpublished work be registered?
Yes both published and unpublished work can be registered.

What does symbol © Denote?
Anyone who solicits copyrights in a work is advised to use copyright notice to alert the public of the assertion. It is not necessary for the owner to get himself registered for using the symbol. Instead of using the symbol the owner can also signal the public about the claim by using the word copyright followed by the name of the copyright owner and year of first publication.

Which advisory body handles the issues related to copyrights?
The government has established a Copyright Enforcement Advisory Council (CEAC) to administer the matters related to copyrights.

What are the remedies against infringements?
It is the duty of the owner to see that his copyright is not being infringed upon by anyone. The owner is accountable for filing a case of infringement against the infringer. The reliefs which are usually extended in such cases are:-
  • Injunctions whether interim or final
  • Damages
The minimum punishment for infringement of copyright is imprisonment of 6 months plus a minimum penalty of ` 50,000.In case of second and subsequent conviction the minimum punishment is imprisonment of one year and a minimum penalty of ` 1 lakh.