It is important for you to get the registration for copyright the moment you create something that you will use for commercial purposes. In the absence of registration, a third party can claim that the third party created a particular work that a business is using, much earlier. More so, the legal system will not accept any suit of copyright infringement if a copyright is not registered.

Indian law provides copyright over photographs, paintings and illustrations (artistic works), books and essays (literary works), graphical notations (musical works), software (technical works), choreographed performances or recitals (dramatic works), sound recording, videos and even entire movies (cinematographic films).


The entire process of the registration of a copyright is simple and takes close to a year to complete. Before a copyright is granted the Registrar of Copyrights needs to ensure that your work is original.

You will need to file an application containing all the details of work along with the relevant fees. Post the submission of the application an examiner inspects the applications submitted for copyright. There are three different things that could happen at this stage i.e. there is no objection, no discrepancy or there is a discrepancy or there is an objection raised.

If there is no discrepancy, no objection then the application is processed for the next step, which is registration. In case of a discrepancy, the examiner seeks further details and it is only after the examiner is satisfied with the explanation, the application can proceed to the next level. In case there is an objection raised by another party, then the examiner calls both the parties and a hearing is conducted. It is only after the examiner hears both the parties, the application is accepted or rejected.

Once the examiner grants the approval, the copyright becomes valid.

Copyright is not a right in eternity but is limited in time. The period of protection varies from country to country. However, as per the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the minimum term of protection, which every country is obliged to provide, is life term of the author plus fifty years. In India this period is life term of the author plus sixty years. After expiry of this period the work comes into what is referred to as ‘public domain’, i.e., when any person can exploit the work without either an authorization from the right owner or any mandatory payment to such owner. In other words, it becomes a common heritage of the society.