Introduction of copyright

Copyright refers to the legal right of the owner of intellectual property. It grants ownership and control to creators of “originally” creative works that have been fixed in tangible form. Copyright law does not protect the idea, concepts, discoveries or theories instead it protects the creative expression of these original ideas and concepts only after the idea has been creatively expressed by fixing it in a set of tangible forms, such as a written document or recording.

In copyright law, there are a lot of different types of work, such as illustrations, sound recordings, computer programs, photographs, blog posts, visual work, choreography, etc.

Copyright is a creation of a statute. In present law, there is no such thing as a common law copyright. According to section 16 of the copyright act 1957, No person shall be entitled to copyright or any similar right in any work, whether published or unpublished, otherwise than under and in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Meaning of Copyright

The term copyright is the legal right given to the owner of intellectual property. As the term suggested, it is the right to copy. Thus, the meaning of copyright is that when a person creates a product, they own the right to it. Only that individual can have the exclusive right to reproduce that work or anyone they give authorization. For a limited time, copyright law grants the original creators the exclusive right to use or duplicate the product. At this point, the item that has been copyrighted develops into the public domain.

Benefits of Copyright Registration

Copyright registration grants authors a monopoly over their unique creations. Copyright is required when some creative or artistic work is completed and proper credit to its creator is to be given legally, to not to allow any further alterations, and to limit its use for commercial or domestic purposes by others without the owner’s permission. Copyright registration is an important way to protect creative works and can offer valuable benefits, such as:

  • Registered copyright has proof of ownership and you can use it for marketing and it also creates goodwill.
  • If a work is protected in another nation, it gives a similar privilege to that work in India.
  • It allows you to sell and pass the rights of your work.
  • Exclusive legal protection is provided to creators when their work I copied with their permission.
  • Copyright registration contributes to economic stability.
  • With registration, there is a public record that the creation is solely yours.


Copyright infringement is the unauthorized use of someone’s copyrighted work, in other words, a person who uses copyrighted material without the permission of the owner, the copyright owner can compel the infringing party to stop using his material and demand compensation for the use of the material. Copyright infringement lawsuits must be brought in federal courts, and remedies for compensation to pay damages, to enter into copyright licensing agreements and to cease to use of the material.

Copyright Infringement examples

  1. If someone uses someone’s song as background music in his/her music video, he could be liable for copyright infringement.
  2. If a student takes screenshots or video recordings from a restricted educational application or an unauthorized source then that person is made liable for copyright infringement.

Procedure of Registration

The copyright registrar under chapter X of the Indian copyright act of 1957 and rule 70 of the copyright Rules of 2013. The following steps are involved in the registration process.

File an Application- (i)  The author of work, copyright claimant, owner of an exclusive right for the work or an authorized agent file an application either physically in the copyright office or through speed/ registered post or through an e-filling facility available on the official website  (

(ii) To register each work, a separate application must be filed with the registrar, along with the work specifies. Along with this, the required fee must be paid fees vary depending on the type of work.

Examination- there is a minimum 30-day waiting period after the dairy number is issued. During this time, the copyright examiner will receive the application. This waiting period exists in order for objections to be raised and reviewed.

Registration- Registration is the final step in this procedure. The registrar may request additional documents at this stage. When the registrar of copyright is completely satisfied with the applicant’s copyright claim, he or she will enter the details of the copyright into the register of copyrights and issue a certificate or registration.

The copyright registration process is completed when the applicant receives the extracts from the register of copyright.  

Copyright Infringement Cases

1. Vanilla Ice vs. David Bowie/Freddie Mercury

In this case, Vanilla Ice had a hit, in 1991, with Ice Baby- it sampled but did not credit the song under pressure by David Bowie and Queen. Though at first denying it, vanilla ice later retracted the statement saying it was “a joke”. Facing a lawsuit by the duo, Vanilla Ice fessed with sampling the work.  And the case was settled out of the court with ice paying an undeclared sum of money and crediting Bowie/Queen on the track.

2. Super Cassettes Industries Limited vs. YouTube and Google

Super cassettes industries limited claimed that the YouTube business model makes a financial gain from using the copyrighted work uploaded without the permission of the copyright owner and without paying a royalty. By this order, the Delhi High Court has granted an injunction against the business practice of YouTube of earning profits at the expense of a copyright owner. The profits from this business model, which is based on copyright infringement, are enormous, as indicated by the fact that Google paid $1.65 billion in stock to acquire YouTube. He added that YouTube has caused a tremendous loss of revenue to SCIL by infringing its copyright.


Creativity is the most important requirement for societal progress. Encouragement of creativity promotes a society’s economic and social development. Copyright protects people’s creativity and serves as a source of inspiration for artists, authors, and others. By registering your work with the registrar of copyright, you gain the right to reproduce it, the right to adopt it, the right to paternity, and the right to distribute it. Though it looks easy, the copyright registration process is a lengthy but important process which can take up to 10 to 12 months.

Once your copyright is registered, it is much easier to take the person who illegally copied your work to court and have them punished. To adequately protect copyright holders, the copyright act, of 1957 provides for imprisonment from six months to three years, as well as a fine of not less than INR 50,000, if your right is infringed by someone.  

 Written by Avichal Singhal 


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