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I was in my office, and a phone rang, the person over the phone wanted a trademark for his company, he landed to the best place for this purpose. But he needs something more he wanted to copyright his trademark, yes you read it right, he was insisting on doing an impossible task in which even Modi can’t help him.

And my colleague took more than half an hour to solve out his dilemma he was suffering from.

What is the dilemma?

The dilemma he and I guess most of us are suffering from is that we don’t know that there is a huge difference between a trademark and a copyright. One is used to represent company’s name or its products whereas on another hand copyright provides you with the exclusive and legal right to control and production of your work.

Work includes literary, musical, artistic, film work, computer programme or software and photographic so yes copyrights protect your tangible work only whereas trademark secures your brand name and is located on the label, voucher and on the product itself.

Who needs a copyright?

It’s an old saying “trademark is for companies and copyrights is for artists”.  Yes, its true in some or other way but companies also can copyright its work or programme. The people who are legally allowed to submit the copyright application are:

  1. If you are an author, you can copyright your work.
  2. If you are a claimant, and you have obtained the ownership of the right from the author.
  3. If you are an authorized agent and you are given the duly responsibility to act on the behalf of the author and other copyright claimant.

How to apply for a copyright?

So how would you feel if you discover that your work which you have carried out by applying your mind, heart and by spending your whole time diligently is being plagiarised by different persons, I know you want to stab those people.

But don’t worry my artist friends, you don’t have to be a criminal, there is a way to protect your work. But let me tell you it’s not as easy as it sounds, you have to follow the steps to copyright your all hard work:

a) Application for registration is to be made on Form IV and has to be submitted to the Registrar of Copyrights.

b) You have to make separate applications for registration of each work. Different categories have been made by the copyrights office for different work. 

c) Your application should be accompanied by the requisite fee. Fee varies from Rs500 to Rs10000, depending upon your work. 

d) Your applications should be signed by you or the advocate in whose favour a Vakalatnama or Power of Attorney has been executed. The Power of Attorney signed by you should also be enclosed.

e) You can pay the copyrights fee either in the form of Demand Draft, Indian Postal Order favouring "Registrar of Copyright Payable at New Delhi" or through E-payment.

Just let me remind you, it takes a lot of time to get your work registered by the Copyrights Office. Here is the Justification provided by the Registrar Office of Copyrights to make you wait for a long period of time:

After you file your application and receive diary number, you have to wait for a mandatory period of 30 days so that no objection is filed in the Copyright Office against your claim that particular work is created by you. If such objection is filed, it may take another one month time to decide as to whether the work could be registered by the Registrar of Copyrights after giving an opportunity of hearing the matter from both the parties.

If no objection is filed, the application goes for scrutiny from the examiners. If any discrepancy is found, the applicant is given 30 days time to remove the same. Therefore, it may take 2 to 3 months time for registration of any work in the normal course. The cooperation of the you in providing necessary information is the key for speedy disposal the matter.

But there is a worth of keeping wait because copyright comes with a long validity and the following are the guidelines for this:

  • if a corporation owns and publishes the work, then the copyright expires 95 years from the date of publication or 120 years from the date of creation, whichever comes first.
  • Copyright in the case of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work = Lifetime + 60 years after the death of the author.
  • In the case of joint ownership, the period of 60 yrs would be calculated from the death of the last of the last surviving author.
  • Cinematograph films, photographs, computer programs are protected for 60 years from the end of the year in which the work is made public with the consent of the copyright owner.
  • Work no longer protected under copyright or created by any government office for civil use is considered in the "public domain" and may be used freely.

So carry your work with all your passion and hard work and don’t worry about the copyrights because we at Quick Company takes all your burden and provide a copyright for your work.

About the Author

Lokesh Sharma is Marketing Manager at a leading website registering Companies and Trademarks in India.


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Lokesh Sharma
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