The Copyright is a kind of intellectual property that provides exclusive rights to the author(s) or is a right given by the law to the creator(s). This concept was originally concerned with literature and arts. But in recent times Copyright protection has been expanded. Copyright Law has extended protection not only to literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works but also sound recordings, films, broadcast and cable programmes.

In India, the law relating to Copyright is governed by the Copyright Act, 1957. This law has been expanded many times. The first amendment took place in 1983, then in 1984, 1985, 1991, 1992, 1999 and 2012 to meet the national and international requirements. The amendment was introduced in 1984 and includes computer programs within the definition of literary work. 

The justification for adding computer program in literary work is that computer programs are also the product of intellectual skill like any other literary work. It means the sole right to produce or reproduce the work. Kartar Singh giani v. ladha Singh case Section 14 of the Act defines the term Copyright under the Copyright Act, 1957.

What is Copyright Registration?

It is the registration of the original work of the author(s) or creator(s). It gives rights to the author to have the Copyright of their original work. The work can be literary, dramatic, musical artistic, sound recordings, films, cable programmes, or computer programmes. The Registration of Copyright comes under Chapter X of the Act containing Sections 44 to 50 A. 

The mechanism for registration of Copyright has been contemplated under Section 44 of the Act. There is no Section in the Copyright Act 1957 that the author has no right or remedy unless the work has been registered. Section 44 and 45 of the Act is only an enabling provision. And therein do not affect the common law that is right to sue for infringement of the Copyright, therefore registration of the work under the Act is not compulsory and is not a condition for maintaining a suit for damages for infringement of Copyright R. Madhavan v. S.K Nayar.

The registration of the Copyright is to be maintained by the Copyright Office by entering the details of the author(s), publisher(s) and owner(s) of the Copyright.

Parts of Registration

The registration is to be kept in six parts:

  • Part 1 literary works other than computer programmes
  • Part 2 musical works,
  • Part 3 artistic works,
  • Part 4 cinematographic films,
  • Part 5 sound recording, and
  • Part 6 computer programmes. 

Procedure for Copyright Registration

The Procedure for registration is as follows:

  • Application is to be made on Form IV 
  • Separate applications should be there for registration of each work.
  • Each application should be accompanied by some fee as there is in the 2nd Schedule to the rules.
  • The applications should be signed by the applicant or the advocate in whose favour the power of attorney has been executed. 
  • The power of attorney signed by the party and accepted by the advocate should be enclosed. 

Both published and unpublished works can be registered. 

If the work to be registered is unpublished, a copy of the manuscript has to be sent along with the application for affixing the stamp of the Copyright Office as proof of the work has been registered. In case two copies of the manuscript are sent one copy of the same duly stamped will be returned while the other one will be kept in the office for records.

When a work has been registered as unpublished and after it has been published then, in that case, the applicant may apply for some changes in the register of Copyright in Form V with the prescribed fee. 

Infringement of Copyright 

  • Copyright protection provides exclusive rights to the owners of the work. If any person without authorisation from the owner exercises the rights of the work which has Copyright protection would be the result of the infringement of the Copyright.
  • If there is an exercise of the work after the expiry of the Copyright term it will not amount to an infringement. Copyright is a property right. Throughout the world, it is regarded as a property. The law gives protection to the authors and owners of their work as broadly as possible. It is the right of the owner on their property and that right is protected under the Copyrights Act, 1957.
  • Section 51 of the Act defines the situation where the Copyright in a work is infringed by a person without a license granted by an owner of the Copyright does for the profit any place to be used for the communication of the work where such communication constitutes an infringement of the Copyright in the work unless he was not aware and had no reasonable ground for believing that such communication would be an infringement of Copyright.
  • If a person makes for sale or hire for the purpose of trade affecting the owner of the Copyright would be an infringement of the Copyright. However, one copy is allowed for private and domestic use.
  • Explanation to Section 51 clarifies that the reproduction of the any work in the form of a cinematographic film shall be deemed to be an infringing copy.

Remedies against Infringement of Copyright 

The protection of rights under the Copyright law, which is basically a negative right, is as much a problem complying with the mandatory provisions of the procedural law as the effective exercise by enforcing the courts. Section 54 to Section 62 of the Copyright provides for civil remedies under the Act. Section 55 provides that where Copyright in any works has been infringed.

If the defendant proves that at the date of the infringement he was not aware and had no reasonable ground to believe that Copyright subsisted in the work. The plaintiff will not be entitled to any remedy other than an injunction in respect of the infringement and a decree for the whole or part of the profits made by the defendant by the sale of the infringing copies as the court may, in the circumstances, deem reasonable.  


  1. (Kartar singh giani v. ladha singh and others , 1934);
  2. (R.Madhavan v. SK nayar, 1988)

Disclaimer: The present article intends to provide general guidance on the subject, and you can also consult us in your specific case.