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What is Copyright?

Copyrights can be granted by public law and are in that case considered "territorial rights". This means that copyrights granted by the law of a certain state, do not extend beyond the territory of that specific jurisdiction. Copyrights of this type vary by country; many countries, and sometimes a large group of countries, have made agreements with other countries on procedures applicable when works national borders or national rights are inconsistent. A copyright protects the original way an idea is expressed, not the idea itself. It includes artistic, literary, dramatic or musical works presented in a tangible medium, such as a book, photograph or movie. Software can also be protected by copyright. This protection is given to works to prevent unauthorized copying. Copyrights have a fixed term but do not require registration and can be valid internationally.

Copyright laws grant authors, artists and other creators protection for their literary and artistic creations, generally referred to as “works”.

What can be copyright?

Works covered by copyright include, but are not limited to:

  • novels, poems, plays, newspapers, advertisements,

    computer programs, databases,




    musical compositions,


    paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, architecture, maps and technical drawings.

Benefit of copyright Registration

The creators of works protected by copyright, and their heirs and successors (generally referred to as “right holders”), have certain basic rights under copyright law. They hold the exclusive right to use or authorize others to use the work on agreed terms. The right holder(s) of a work can authorize or prohibit:

its reproduction in all forms, including print form and sound recording;

its public performance and communication to the public;

its broadcasting;

its translation into other languages;  and

its adaptation, such as from a novel to a screenplay for a film.

Copyright validity in India

The term of copyright protection varies on different parameters and is not the same for all classes or types of the trademark which is based on the publication of the original work.

  1. Published Work of Literature (Literary Work) or music work or artistic work other than photographs are protected for a term of copyright the lifetime of the author of the original work and 60 years after that. In other words, the copyright subsists for a period up to 60 years from the death of the author of the work.
  2. Work of Literature (Literary Work) or music work or artistic work other than photographs which has not been published, performed or offered for sale or for broadcast during the lifetime of the author, shall have a validity of the copyright on the original work for a period of 60 years after of the death of the author from the end of the year in which the work was first published or performed or offered for sale.
  3. Cinematograph Film, Photographs and computer programmes have the protection of copyright for a period of 60 Years beginning the end of the year in which the work is published or made available to the public with the specific consent of the author or creator of the work.
  4. However in the case of unpublished Cinematograph Film, Photographs and computer programmes the copyright in the original work subsites up to 60 Years from the of the year in which the original work was for the first time created.
  5. The sound recordings have a validity of its copyright for 60 years from the end of the year in which such a sound recording is published for the first time.