• Sandeep Kurukuti

How do I Register a Copyright in India?

What is Copyright?

A copyright gives the owner of the subject an exclusive right over his work. If a work is protected by copyright, no one can imitate, copy or reproduce the original work in any other way. Copyright can be taken for the following works:

  • Music

  • Books

  • Manuscripts

  • Films

  • Fashion Designs

  • Training Manuals

  • Software

  • Literary Work

  • Performance

  • Paintings etc

The register of the Registrar of Copyrights is divided into 6 categories:

PART – 1: Literary works other than computer Programs

PART – 2: Musical Works

PART – 3: Artistic Works

PART – 4: Cinematography Films

PART – 5: Sound Recording

PART – 6: Computer Programs, tables & Compilations


Copyright doesn’t specifically require registration of the copyright. It is an exclusive legal right given to the work creator, to reproduce or generate copies or translate or adapt his work. It is governed by the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 (as amended in 2012) and Copyright rules 1958 (as amended in 2013, 2016).


Copyright in India is recognized virtually worldwide under the “Berne Convention” and the applicable law of its member nations. If total compliance is followed the “certificate of copyright” is a future safeguard for the creative minds to preserve their creativity and reap exclusive monetary benefits from it as well.


Online Filing Procedure of Copyright Registration

Step 1: Open the portal https://www.copyright.gov.in/#


Step 2: Enter your valid User ID and Password to login.


Step 3: Click onto NewUser Registration, if you have not yet registered. Note down User ID and Password for future use.


Step 4: After login, click on to link “Click for Online Copyright Registration”. The online “Copyright Registration Form” is to be filled up in four steps-

  • Complete the Form XIV, press SAVE button to Save entered details, and press Step 2 to move to Next Step.

  • Fill up the Statement of Particulars, and then press SAVE button to Save entered details, and press Step 3/4 to move to Next step

  • Fill up the Statement of Further particulars. This form is applicable for “LITERARY/ DRAMATIC, MUSICAL AND ARTISTIC” works, and then press SAVE button to Save entered details, and press Step 4 to move to Next Step.

  • Make the payment through Internet Payment gateway or;

  • The fee is either in the form of Demand Draft, Indian Postal Order favoring “Registrar Of Copyright Payable At New Delhi”.

Step 5: After successful submission of the form, Diary Number will be generated (Please note it for future reference).


Note: Artistic works are required to be uploaded in JPG, PNG or PDF format whereas literary works are to be uploaded in PDF format, less than 5 MB.


Step 6: Please take a hard copy (print) of “Acknowledgement Slip” and “Copyright Registration Report”, and send it by post.


Why should one get their work registered under the copyright law?

It is not mandatory to get copyright protection but always advisable to do so because it will give the owner a certain set of minimum rights over his work and the protection that no one will be able to copy his work for a minimum period of time. This satisfaction will always motivate the owner to do more work and create more items. Registering a copyright is an added advantage, which protects the ownership of the work from any unnecessary disputes. In the event of probable copyright infringement dispute, certificate of registration of copyright and the Register of Copyright containing particulars of registered copyrights are considered as “admissible evidence” in the court of law. These serve as prima facie evidence with reference to dispute relating to ownership of copyright.

A copyright shall subsist in the work from the time it is published within the lifetime of the author until sixty years after the author dies. In Section 22 of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957; it is mentioned as,

“Except as otherwise hereinafter provided, copyright shall subsist in any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work (other than a photograph) published within the lifetime of the author until 60[sixty] years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the author dies”.

What is the procedure to obtain a copyright registration?

To obtain the copyright registration the following process has to be followed:

  • An application (including all the particulars and the statement of the particulars) in the format of FORM IV has to be sent to the registrar along with the requisite fees (mentioned in the Schedule 2 of the act.). A separate application has to be made for separate works.

  • Fees for different works have been given by the government in this link: http://copyright.gov.in/frmFeeDetailsShow.aspx

  • Every application has to be signed by the applicant as well as an Advocate in whose favor a Vakalatnama or a Power Of Attorney (POA) has been executed

  • The registrar will issue a Dairy No. and then there is a mandatory waiting time for a period of 30 days for any objections to be received

  • If there are no objections received within 30 days, the scrutinizer will check the application for any discrepancy and if no discrepancy is there, the registration will be done and an extract will be sent to the registrar for the entry in the Register of Copyright.

  • If any objection is received, the examiner will send a letter to both the parties about the objections and will give them both a hearing.

  • After the hearing, if the objections are resolved the scrutineer will scrutinize the application and approve or reject the application as the case may be.


Chapter X of the Indian Copyright Act,1957 and Rule 70 of Copyright Rules, 2013, mention the following procedure about the registration of copyrights in India:


1. Application: An author or applicant can file the application for registration of copyright, himself or via his authorized legal representative. This application can be made by applying physically in the copyright office or through speed/registered post; or through e-filing facility available on the official website of Copyrights Office (copyright.gov.in). There should be one application for one work. Each application in Form IV should be accompanied by the requisite fee prescribed in the second schedule to the Rules. Fee ranges from 500 INR to 40,000 INR, depending on the form of work. The fee can either be in the form of Demand Draft or Indian Postal Order favoring “Registrar of Copyright Payable at New Delhi” or through E-payment.


Other information which needs to be provided are:

a. Name, address, the nationality of the applicant;

b. Nature of applicant’s interest in the work;

c. Title of the work;

d. Name, address, the nationality of the author of the work and if the author is deceased, date of his death;

e. Language of the work;

f. Whether the work is published or unpublished;

i) Year and Country of first publication and Name, address, the nationality of the publisher;

ii) Year and Countries of subsequent publications, if any, and name, address, the nationality of subsequent publishers;

g. Name, address, the nationality of a person authorized to assign or license the rights comprising the copyright, if any;

h. No-objection Certificate signed by the author (if different from applicant);

i. Vakalatnama or Power of attorney signed by the advocate and the party (if the application is made by the advocate of the party);

j. Three copies of published work must be sent along with the application.

k. If the work is unpublished, two copies of the manuscripts must be sent with the application (one copy will be duly stamped and returned and other will be retained).

l. Application for registration of a computer programme must be filed with the source and object code.

m. Application for registration of an artistic work used or capable of being used in relation to goods must be filed with a statement to that effect and a no-objection certificate from the Registrar of Trademarks.

n. Application for registration of an artistic work capable of being registered as a design must be filed with a statement in the form of an affidavit stating that it has not been registered under Designs Act, 2000 and has not been applied to any article through an industrial process.

o. Application must be signed by the applicant or the advocate;

p. Applicant must provide his mobile number and email address to receive the filing number.


2. Examination: Once the application is filed, a diary number is received. There is a provision of a mandatory wait period of 30 days, so that “No Objection” is filed against the claim made by the author. If some objection is filed against the copyright claim, then it may take one more month. The Registrar of Copyrights gives both the parties an opportunity of hearing the matter. After the decision on the ownership or if the objection is rejected, the application goes for scrutiny. The applicant is asked to remove any discrepancy, if found; within 30 days.


3. Registration: On further submission of documents, if the Copyright Registrar, is completely satisfied with the completeness and correctness of the claim made in the application, he shall enter the particulars of the copyright in the register of copyrights and further issue a Certificate of Registration. Registration completes when the applicant is issued with the copy of entries made in the Register of Copyrights.


Documents required for Artistic Work

  • No objection certificate from the author if applicant is different from author;

  • No objection certificate from the publisher if contender is different from the publisher;

  • No objection certificate from the person whose photograph appear on the work;

  • If the application is being filed by any attorney, an original duly signed specific Power of Attorney by the applicant and accepted by the attorney;

  • Demand Draft (DD) in favor of ‘Registrar of Copyrights’;

  • 2 Copies of Work.

Documents required for Cinematograph Films

  • 2 Copies of work;

  • Demand Draft (DD) in favor of ‘Registrar of Copyrights’;

  • No objection certificate from various copyright holders or copy of agreement;

  • No objection certificate from the publisher if contender is different from the publisher;

  • If the application is being filed by any attorney, an original duly signed specific Power of Attorney by the applicant and accepted by the attorney.

Documents required for Musical Work

  • 2 Copies of Graphical Notes;

  • Demand Draft (DD) in favor of ‘Registrar of Copyrights’;

  • No objection certificate from the publisher if contender is different from the publisher;

  • If the application is being filed by any attorney, an original duly signed specific Power of Attorney by the applicant and accepted by the attorney.

Documents required for Literary or Dramatic works

  • 2 Copies of Work.

  • Demand Draft (DD) in favor of ‘Registrar of Copyrights’;

  • If the application is being filed by any attorney, an original duly signed specific Power of Attorney by the applicant and accepted by the attorney;

  • No objection certificate from person whose photograph appears on the work;

  • No objection certificate from the publisher if contender is different from the publisher;

  • No objection certificate from the author if applicant is different from author;

Documents required for Sound Recording

  • 2 Copies of work;

  • Demand Draft (DD) in favor of ‘Registrar of Copyrights’;

  • No objection certificate from various copyright holders or copy of agreement;

  • No objection certificate from the publisher if contender is different from the publisher;

  • If the application is being filed by any attorney, an original duly signed specific Power of Attorney by the applicant and accepted by the attorney.

Documents required for Software

  • 2 copies of work

  • Demand Draft (DD) in favor of ‘Registrar of Copyrights’;

  • Object code and Source code of work for verification;

  • No objection certificate from various copyright holders or copy of agreement;

  • No objection certificate from the publisher if contender is different from the publisher;

  • If the application is being filed by any attorney, an original duly signed specific Power of Attorney by the applicant and accepted by the attorney.