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How to copyright a book in India: Quick Guide

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

source : DiggyPod

If you plan on using your self-published book or e-book commercially, it’s recommended that you get the copyright for the same registered. A copyright registration for your book creates a strong legal base of your paternity and moral rights, would act as evidence in court in a situation of infringement and would look more professional

The boom of the internet has created a real surge in the creation of self-published works and user-generated content. This has led to a lot of quoting, borrowing and stealing of the works of other authors, some intentionally and others unintentionally. Piracy and infringement could lead an author to lose millions.

This has led to the creation of fortified national and international laws to help protect the rights of authors around the world.

The process of copyright a book in India may be easy but the nature of protection of the copyright is complex. In this article, we will let you know about how to copyright a book in India and how a book can be protected by copyright

When Does a Copyright Come Into Existence?

In most countries around the world, copyright protection is automatic. There is no formality required, other than just creating the original work. Also, copyright registration is not mandatory for protection.

Usually, the copyright kicks in immediately when the work is finished and is expressed in any form of tangible medium. The creator of the work is automatically the owner of the right.

So, books are automatically copyrighted immediately upon completion of the work.

How a book can be protected By Copyright

It means how copyright protects a book. By the copyright, an author is too safe & protect a work. Copyright stops the bookstores, making copies and then selling them to consumers without the permission of its author. Because the customers are not only buying the book, they also purchased the author’s intellectual property, the story of that book, the characters mentioned in it and all the setting related to it.

On the nature of the book has depends on the nature of copyright. For example, in a phonebook has very little copyright material. In it is a simple list of facts. While in a romance novel has many numbers of copyright material like additional pages of the book, copyright can extend to the order of the Plot, characters of that specific story in it or elements of the broader world that it creates.

Why Should Authors Register Their Copyright?

While copyright registration is not mandatory, it gives the creator an extra layer of protection. Registration can create substantial benefits for the author, especially when the book is going to be used commercially, and for monetary gain.

Despite getting a copyright protection on simply writing your book, a registration will actually give you actual proof of paternity and act as evidence about the year of creation. Think of it as insurance for your book.

Benefits of Copyright Registration for your Book

Copyright registration is seen as a public record and proof of the authenticity and paternity of your work.

Here are some of the benefits of registration:

  • Copyright registration is mandatory for suing for damages on infringement of a published book.

  • Registration of unpublished allows the author to claim statutory damages upon infringement.

  • Copyright registration when done with five years of publishing is treated as Prima Facie evidence. This means that registration is sufficient to show ownership of the work.

  • Indian is part of the Berne convention, amongst other copyright treaties. A registration in India will be recognized in over 180 countries.

When Can You Avoid Registration?

You can rethink registering your copyright for your literary works in instances where you don’t seek monetary gain or commercial use of the work. While you can copyright your blog or website, it can seem impractical in certain situations.

How to Register the Copyright for a Book

The first step to ensuring that the rights of your book are protected is to register the copyright with the Indian Copyright Office.

Step 1:

To register your book, an online application can be made to the Indian Copyright Office, along with the fees of Rs. 500.

Step 2:

Your application should include copies of your final ‘best work’, identity proof and an information sheet containing details of the work.

Step 3:

After your application is successfully submitted, a diary number is generated to track your application. The application will be examined after a mandatory 30 day waiting period to ascertain if the work can be rejected or approved.

A. In case of no objection against the copyright application:-

The application goes ahead for scrutinization by an examiner of authority. The scrutiny gives rise to two options :

  • In case of disagreement found during scrutiny, a letter of disagreement is sent to the applicant. On the basis of reply from the applicant, the registrar conducts a hearing of the stated disagreement row. Once the disagreement is sorted during the hearing, the extracts of the some are sent to the applicant for him/ her to register the copyright.

  • In the case of zero disagreements, the copyright application fulfills all essential criterion required for the copyright. The application is then given the nod to go ahead with the registration of the same. (If the application is not approved, then the applicant received a letter of rejection.)

B. In case of an objection filed:-

In case, when an applicant faced with an objection, the following procedures take place:

  • Authorities send out two letters to these concerned parties, trying to convince them to take back the objection. After requisite replies from the third party, the registrar conducts a hearing. It depends on whether the registrar accepts the reply, the procedure will take shape.

  • If the application is accepted means that the objection has been rejected. The application will go ahead for scrutinization by an examiner of authority. This security gives rise to two options like above of disagreement.

  • If the application is rejected It is the end of copyright procedure if the applicant receives any rejection letter regarding the application.

Required information for the registration of copyright

  1. Personal Information:- Name, address, and nationality of the applicant. Nature of the applicant whether he is owner and representative of that particular application.

  2. Nature of work:- Class & description, the title of the work. The language of the work should be mention in the application.

  3. Date of Publication:- If possible date of publication in interval magazines should be mention.

When Should You File a Copyright Registration?

You can file your copyright registration before you submit your final draft to the editor. A premature submission of registration is not advisable because your initial draft might go through various changes.

Any changes after copyright registration will not be protected. That is why it’s best to get the registration done when you are ready with the final draft.

Including a Copyright Notice in Your Book

Once you have registered your copyright, you can include the notice of the same in your book. A notice is usually mentioned on the second page of the book.

International Copyright protection

India being a Signatory member of Bern Convention, your Copyright Protection is covered in 166 countries you may check the list of Bern Convention member Countries

  • Evidence available time after time Whenever you need proof of the content of your work, the evidence submitted by you will, be verifiable by the Copyright Office in India from Time to Time whenever required.

  • Secure, managed back-ups Copyright Registrations are backed-up electronically, and stored in geographically separate locations. This means that your work will never be lost through data corruption, fire, or other problem. All back-ups are also encrypted, to ensure strict confidentiality and security.

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