As stated in our earlier posts, copyright registration is not mandatory, as copyright comes into existence the moment a work is expressed in a tangible form. However, writers are generally advised to get copyright registration for the work to make sure that the ownership of the work is duly established and to avoid disputes related to ownership. As copyright registration certificate acts as a proof of ownership right, it is advised that the copyright registration application is filed in the real name of the person/entity having the right in the work.
The application process for registering a copyright is simple, and it can be filed either online or offline. Generally, the application process does not require a lawyer or a person with extensive legal knowledge.
In order to ensure maximum protection for the book, the writer may choose to file copyright registration in three categories. The writer may file for copyright registration for the text of his book under literary work, images and cover page of his book under artistic work and audio of his book under sound recording.
This post deals with filing of a copyright registration application in India for literary works. The filing process for artistic works and sound recordings will be dealt with in subsequent posts.
Process of Filing an Application for Copyright Registration
The Indian Copyright Office provides for offline and online filing of applications for copyright registration in India. In India, literary works can be registered as a compilation. However, based on various factors, like marketing strategy, promotional publications of certain abstracts of the books, structure of the book, etc., the writer may choose to file separate applications for registration of separate parts of his book.
Application for registration of copyright is to be filed under Form XIV, provided under the First Schedule of the Copyright Rules 2013. Application for copyright registration must be submitted with all the required documents (as discussed below) and prescribed fees.
Process of Filing Online Application for Copyright Registration
An online application for copyright registration must be filed on copyright office’s website, copyright.gov.in.
For better understanding of the filing process, let us consider an example of a book, titled “FunIP” authored by Dr. Kalyan C Kankanala, published in 2012 by Literators Publishing.
For filing an application for a literary work, the writer needs to follow the following steps:
- The writer needs to click on to the “e-filing of Application” option, available on the left side of the home page, under the category of “Online Services”. Then the writer should create an account with copyright office and sign-in to his account. Online registration may also be done here.
Dr. Kalyan’s form for creating an account with Indian Copyright Office is provided below.
- After creating an account, the writer needs to login to his/her account and click on “e-filing of Application” option, available on the left side of the home page, under the category of “Online Services”. Then the writer should click on the “Click here for online Copyright Registration” option available in the account.
- After clicking on “Click here for online Copyright Registration” option, Form XIV will appear on the screen.
In Column 2 of Form XIV, the writer needs to provide his name and other details of the persons who hold an interest in copyright of the book. People like publishers, co-writers etc., may hold interest in the book. The writer should also send Form XIV, statement of particulars and statement of further particulars (basically the whole copyright registration application) to each person who have an interest in the book.
In present example, Dr. Kalyan is the only writer of the book and hence he need not send the application to any person except the publisher of the book. So Dr. Kalyan has to provide details of Literators Publishing in Column 2 of Form XIV and send the copyright registration application to Literators Publishing.
In Column 3 of Form XIV, the writer needs to provide his address for communication. If the writer is a foreign resident, he has to provide a communication address in India. A foreign writer may mention the address of his/her agent, attorney or any other address in India as his/her communication address.
After filling the said details, the writer should read and agree to the undertakings provided in the form, save the details and move to statement of particulars.
Screenshot of Dr. Kalyan’s Form XIV for FunIP is provided below for reference.
- After Form XIV, the writer needs to fill the statement of particulars, which requires him to provide various details regarding the copyrighted work and his ownership, including nature of the work, writer’s interest in the work, language of the work, etc.
Details regarding information to be filled in each column is provided in the table below.
|Column No.||Information to be filled|
|1.||To be filled by Copyright Office once the work is entered into the Register of Copyright. This column is not available in online form.|
|2.||Writer should provide his complete name, address and nationality.
In present example, Dr. Kalyan has to provide his name, details and nationality.
|3.||Writer should provide nature of interest in the copyright of the work. The writer has to select category as an “author” of the work.|
|4.||The writer shall mention “Literary Work” as the appropriate class of work.|
|5.||The title which appears on the work should be exactly mentioned
In present example, Dr. Kalyan has to provide “FunIP” as the title of the book.
|6.||Language of the work is to be mentioned here. In case the work contains multiple languages, all languages must be mentioned in this column.
In present example, Dr. Kalyan’s book is in English language and hence he has to write “English” as the language of the book.
|7.||Writer has to mention the name, address and nationality of the person(s) who has created or authored the work or was involved in the creation/authorship of the work should be entered here. In case there is more than one author, the details of every such person should be mentioned.
It is also important to note that only a natural person (human being) can be the author of the work. The name and details of the person who actually created the work should be mentioned in this column.
In present example, Dr. Kalyan is a sole writer of the work and hence he has to mention his name and details in this column.
|8.||The writer should provide the status of the work at the time of filing the application, i.e. whether the work is published or unpublished.
In present example, the book was published in 2012, hence Dr. Kalyan has to select “Published” as the status of the book.
|9.||Details of the publisher need to be mentioned here, if the work is already published. If work is not published then writer may write “NIL” in this column.
In present example, the book is published by Literators Publishing and hence Dr. Kalyan ha to mention details of Literators Publishing in this column.
|10.||Details of the subsequent publisher (if any) need to be submitted along with the latest year of publication. If no subsequent publication is there then writer may write “NIL” in this column.|
|11.||Details of all the persons holding various rights/interest in the work need to be mentioned in this column. If the writer owns all the rights in the work, his details can be mentioned again.
If the writer is a partnership firm, name, details of each partner may be mentioned in this column, along with their share in the copyright.
In present case, being a publisher Literators Publishing have interest in the book and hence Dr. Kalyan has to provide their details in this Column.
|12.||If any person is authorized to assign or licence the copyright, on behalf of the owner, the name, address and nationality of such person may be indicated. If not, ‘NIL’ or ‘N/A’ may be indicated.
In present example, Dr. Kalyan has not authorised any person to assign or license the book on his behalf and hence he will mention “NIL” in this column.
|13-16||These columns relevant for artistic work and are not required for litereary works.|
|17.||This is a non-mandatory column and writer may write any remarks relating to the work in this column. Remarks relating to originality or elaborating the content of the work may be written in this column.
In present example, Dr. Kalyan may decide to provide a brief description of the book in this column.
The writer must provide all the required details, as described above, and then move to next step.
Screenshot illustrating Statement of Particulars in Dr. Kalyan’s application is provided below.
- After statement of particulars, the writer is directed to the next step, i.e. statement of further particulars.
Statement of further particulars is a declaration regarding the originality of the work. If the book is not an adaptation or translation of any primary work then writer should tick “Yes” in Column 1 and the other columns will automatically become irrelevant. If the work is an adaptation or translation of the already existing work then the writer needs to tick “No” in first column and must provide the details whether the original book is in public domain or a copyright subsists in the said original book. In case the book is an adaptation or translation of the already existing book in which copyright subsists, then the writer is required to provide a No Objection Certificate from the copyright owner of the original book. The writer may also enter additional remarks in statement of further particulars.
In the present example, Dr. Kalyan’s book is his original creation and hence he has to mention “Yes” in first column of Statement of Further Particulars.
Screenshot illustrating Statement of Further Particulars in Dr. Kalyan’s application is provided below.
- After submitting statement of further particulars, the writer is required to make payment of the prescribed fees. The prescribed fees for filing a copyright registration application for literary work is INR 500.
- The writer must also provide certain documents along with the application for registration of the copyright. The following documents are required to be sent to the copyright office along with the print out of the application form, within 30 days from the date of filing of the online application:
- Copy of the form, generated online
- 2 Copies of work
- DD/IPO of Rs. 500 (as applicable) per work (only if the application for copyright registration is filed offline)
- NOC from publisher if writer is other than publisher and work is published.
- NOC from author if writer is other than author (presently, we are considering that the application is filed by the writer and hence this is not required, except if more than one author is involved in the creation of the work).
If the application is being filed through an attorney, a specific Power of Attorney in original duly signed by the writer and accepted by the attorney is required.
It is recommended that the writer should send a cover letter along with all the documents for the ease of the copyright office. Cover letter may contain Dairy Number (if application is filed online), name and details of the writer and the list of documents send along with the application.
In present example, Dr. Kalyan needs to send a cover letter, copy of his application form, 2 copies of the work and NOC from the publisher.
As he is the sole writer of the book and is filing the application himself, the last two things from the abovementioned list are not required.
Currently, the Copyright Office does not provide a facility to submit the documents online and hence the writer is required to take the printout of the form and send it to the copyright office along with all the required documents. Form is to be sent to the address provided below.
Process of Filing Offline Application for Copyright Registration
The writer may also send or directly hand over an application for copyright registration to the copyright office. The application must be sent on the below address, along with Form VIX, the statement of particulars and the statement of further particulars. The application must be accompanied by all the required documents and prescribed fees.
Registrar of Copyrights
Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion
Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Boudhik Sampada Bhawan,
Plot No. 32, Sector 14, Dwarka,
The requirements and fees for filing offline copyright registration application is the same as that of the online application. All the forms required for filing copyright registration application can be downloaded here.
We will be elaborating the process for filing copyright registration application for artistic works and sound recordings in our subsequent posts.
This post is authored by Arjun Kansal (Associate, BananaIP Counsels)
Note: If you are a writer and would like us to answer specific questions, please write to [email protected] with the subject: Copyrights and Writers.
- Chapter 3, Fun IP, Fundamentals of Intellectual Property, Dr. Kalyan C. Kankanala (2012).
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