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New initiatives from the copyright office for registration of copyrights in India

Digital technology is drastically changing our ways of life, whether it’s home or office and the Copyright office is no exception to it. In its attempt to use the technology and to enhance transparency in Copyright prosecution in India, the Copyright Office recently issued a Public Notice wherein stating that the Copyright Office going forward shall publish on its website a list of all applications received by it for copyright registration. The said list shall be published on the first Friday of every month.

Recently, the Government of India has shifted the Copyright Office under the control of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) which operates under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. Now, DIPP has control over Copyright Office in addition to the Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks Offices. Over the years, the Trade Marks and Patents Offices have been publishing the accepted applications in weekly Journals respectively and on similar lines, the Copyright Office has now initiated the monthly publication of copyright applications.

Under Indian Law, copyright comes into existence the moment a work is created. However, the copyright registration provides you with the statutory right to have the work protected under law and it constitutes prima facie evidence in case of a copyright infringement. In order to have a copyright registered, the Applicant has to follow the procedure laid down in the Copyright Act and Rules thereunder.

As per Rule 70 (9) of the Copyright Rules 2013, the person applying for registration of a copyright shall give notice of his application to every person who claims or has any interest in the subject matter of the copyright or disputes the rights of the applicant.

In lieu of the said provision, this publication of a list of applications by the Copyright Office would be treated as a notice. Post-publication, the copyright applications shall be open to objections from third parties for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of availability of the said list to the public and in the absence of any such objection being raised within the prescribed time, the copyright applications shall proceed towards examination.

However, in the event an objection is raised by the third party, the Applicant would be required to submit the corresponding documents/response with respect to his copyright application, failing which the application will be treated as abandoned.

This initiative regarding the publication of copyright applications is a significant step forward towards bringing in, the digital technology in intellectual property registrations. The Copyright Office has taken the attempt in order to ease the procedure of Copyright registration in India and consequently, it also paved way for speedier disposal of the applications. The innovative approach of following the procedure of giving notice under the said rule would definitely give relief to the Applicants of Copyright registration.

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