Copyright Registration refers to the process of getting your “work” registered with the National Copyright Office. Upon completion of this process, the relevant copyright office grants you a Registration Certificate which is a prima facie proof of the validity of your ownership over your work. Both literary as well as artistic works can be registered as copyright. Literary work includes books, research articles, journals, etc. while Artistic works include images, photographs, three dimensional artworks, etc.
Mere registration of an Intellectual Property right like a patent, copyright or a trademark only vests you with the right to stop others from using your IP without right-holder’s consent.
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No, a work which is already in public domain cannot be copyrighted. Anything which is in public domain, no exclusivity can be claimed over can be used by everybody.
Copyright protects the original work of authorship be it literary or artistic work, while a patent protects the inventions. Idea and discoveries are not protected by Copyright, but the manner in which they are expressed can be protected. Trademark protects symbols, words, phrases shape of goods or designs identifying the source of the goods and services of one party distinguishing the same from another.
Copyright is a unique kind of intellectual property right that vests its author an exclusive right over the copyrighted work. It basically protects literary and artistic works like books and images. It protects the form and not the idea. It is an exclusive right to do or authorize other to do certain acts in relation to;
Literary, dramatic or musical works;
Cinematography films; and
Works commonly protected by copyright throughout the world include:
literary works such as novels, poems, plays, reference works, newspaper articles;
computer programs, databases;
films, musical compositions, and choreography;
artistic works such as paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculpture;
Advertisements, maps, and technical drawings.
This list is not exhaustive. Copyright protection only extends to expression and not the idea, procedure, methods of operations or mathematical concepts as such. Copyright may or may not be available for a number of objects such as titles, slogans, or logos, depending on whether they contain sufficient authorship.
Copyright registration is a legal protection afforded to the work of the author. It is to place a verified date and content of the work on the Government record so that in the case of a dispute relating to the original author, copyright infringement or plagiarism, the true author can produce the original work records and prove the claim.
Every country has its own regulations and systems for registering a copyright, but normally an application for registration is filed in a prescribed form with a prescribed fees, where each work should have a separate application to get registered and it should be duly signed by the author or any other appointed person by showing relevant documents.
The Copyright owner can reproduce the literary, dramatic or artistic work, issue copy of the work to the public, perform the work in public, make any cinematograph film or sound recording, make any translation, make adaptation and also can sell or give the work on hire. The author can stop others from exploiting the work of the author without the consent or the license. He can also exploit the work himself or license others to exploit any one or more rights for a consideration which may be in the form of a royalty, a lump-sum payment. These and other benefits are conferred upon the author by way of the registration.
Every country has their own Copyright offices. The application can be filed either by sending the documents by post to that office or by filing the same online in the prescribed form and followed by prescribed fee.
Normally Copyright comes into existence as soon as the work is created. Countries may be part of some or the other International Organizations and according to the provisions of that Organization, the work also gets protection in other member countries. However, it is beneficial to register your work and obtain a Certificate for any further proof in case of legal claim pertaining to authorship.
The process varies from country to country but usually, an appropriate application is filed online or by post to the respective Registry and then the Registrar checks the Application. Your application might also get objected which being examined in light of originality. After relevant evidence have been produced, the Registrar may decide and go with the Application process. This may take up to 3 or 4 months. However, proper submissions of documents from the author is a key for the smooth registration process.
The duration for Copyrighted work depends upon the nature of the subject matter and jurisdiction in which the work is published. Countries which are the member of Berne Convention usually provide protection equal to or longer than 50 years after the creator’s death. A longer period of protection, however, can be granted by the national offices.
No, that depends upon the specific relations of your country with other countries. If your country is a member of any international treaty, then your work will automatically be protected in those member countries as well.
Any individual who is the true author or rights holder can file an Application in the prescribed manner. Any assignee or legal heir can file an Application for Copyright.
Computer programs and software programs are considered as ‘literary work’ and thus, normally are protected under the same heading in all countries. As they are ‘literary work’ they automatically get registration without getting them registered. However, the registration process may vary according to nations.
US copyright office provides for a completely paper free copyright filing. Proper submission of the work along with the requisite nominal fee can fetch you ownership over your work very easily.
Procuring a copyright registration from the National Copyright Registry can increase the chances of a successful DMCA Takedown by up to 50% depending upon the strength of your case.
A copyright on a literary work remains for a period of life of its author plus fifty years after his death as per the Berne Convention, which is the International Treaty on Copyright ratified by almost all the nations of the world.