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How to Obtain Copyright Protection?

Introduction : -

Copyright protection is obtained without any official procedure. A work is automatically protected as soon as it exists, without any special registration, deposit, payment of fee or any other formal requirement.

Qualifying for copyright protection

To qualify for copyright protection, a work must be original.

An original work is one that is independently created and not copied from the work of another or from materials in the public domain. Originality relates to the form of expression and not to the underlying idea.

Some countries also require that the work be fixed in some material form, for example: written on paper, stored on a disk, painted on canvas or recorded on tape. Choreographic works or improvised speeches or music performances that have not been notated or recorded, are not protected.

 Expert tip

Copyright law does not protect ideas or concepts; it only protects the way these are expressed in a particular work. It does not protect the underlying idea, concept, discovery, method of operation, principle, procedure, process, or system, regardless of the form in which it is described or embodied in a work. Written instructions or sketches explaining or illustrating a concept or method, however, are protected by copyright.

Proof of creation

You can create evidence that you authored a work at a particular point in time through:

  • Registration: Some countries have a national copyright office that provides an option to deposit and/or register your works for a fee. Doing so provides evidence of the existence of a valid claim to copyright protection.
  • Deposit: You may deposit a copy of your work with a bank or lawyer. Alternatively, you could send yourself a copy of your work in a sealed envelope by special delivery post leaving the envelope unopened upon delivery. However, not all countries accept this practice as valid evidence.
  • Marking: Works that are published should be marked with a copyright notice. It is also advisable to mark your work with specific standard identification numbering systems, for example: ISBN for books; ISRC for sound recordings; ISAN for audiovisual works, etc.

 Expert tip

Although a copyright notice is not required for protection in most countries, it is strongly advisable to place a copyright notice on or in relation to your work. The notice reminds people that the work is protected and can in this way deter them from copying it. The notice also identifies you as the copyright owner, making it easier for those who want to use the work to contact you for permission.

Protecting digital works

Due to the ease of copying digital works and transmitting them over the Internet, many businesses employ technological measures to protect their copyright in digital content. Such measures are generally referred to as “Digital Rights Management” (DRM) tools and systems. They are used for defining, tracking and enforcing permissions and conditions through electronic means and throughout the content lifecycle.

There are two ways in which DRM tools and systems can help control copyright in digital works:

Rights management information

Rights management information involves marking the digital works with information about its copyright protection, owner, etc. This can be done through:

Labeling the digital content: for example, with a copyright notice or a warning such as “May be reproduced for non-commercial purposes only.” It is good practice also to include a copyright statement on every page of your business website that spells out the terms and conditions for use of the content on that page.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): a system for identifying copyright works in the digital environment. DOIs are digital tags/names assigned to a work in digital form for use on the Internet. They are used to provide current information, including where the work can be found on the Internet. Information about a digital work may change over time, including where to find it, but its DOI will not change.

Time stamp: a label attached to digital content (works), which can prove what the state of the content was at a given time. Time is a critical element when proving copyright infringement: when a particular e-mail was sent, when a contract was agreed to, when a piece of intellectual property was created or modified, or when digital evidence was taken. A specialized time-stamping service may be involved to certify the time a document was created.

Digital watermarks: use of software to embed copyright information into the digital work itself. The digital watermark may be in a visible form that is readily apparent, much like a copyright notice on the margin of a photograph, or it may be embedded throughout the document, just as documents are printed on watermarked papers. Often, it is embedded so that in normal use it remains undetected. While visible watermarks are useful for deterrence, invisible watermarks are useful for proving theft and on-line tracing of the use of a copyright work.

can computer software be copyrighted?

Methods to Protect Your Work

Copyright protection is automatic as soon as any work in any form of material is created. However, one of the safest and most efficient ways to protect your work is to register it and enjoy all of the benefits that come with being a registered copyright holder. The following are the benefits of getting your work registered:

1. Record of Public Ownership: The author of a work will be able to demonstrate his record of ownership to the public if copyright for the same is registered. This means that the author will be able to demonstrate that he owns the entire work. Because ownership is always a major deciding factor in all infringement cases, having a valid record of ownership will serve as prima facie evidence in infringement lawsuits.

2. Presumption of Ownership: Unless and until the contrary is proven, the person with registered copyright will be deemed the legal owner of the work. Anyone attempting to challenge his ownership must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the owner is not valid.

3. Enforcement in Case of Infringement: Though the Copyright Act does not require registration of the Copyright: https://copyright.gov.in/, it is however required in order to file a claim against an unlawful infringer and legitimately protect the work. If a copyright owner does not have a valid registration, he or she cannot easily win the suit.

Click here to know about:  Benefits of copyright in India

4. Prevention of Monetary Loss: Piracy has become a major issue for certain websites or software and has resulted in financial losses for many businesses. One of the significant advantages of registration is the avoidance of those monetary losses that may occur as a result of piracy of Copyright for Artistic Work.

5. Protects the Reputation of the Owner of the Work: Once work has obtained Copyright Registration, no one can use the work without prior permission of the owner. Furthermore, this is advantageous to the owner of the work, and the person’s reputation can be easily protected.

Let’s Understand the Difference Between Original Work and Work Available in the Public Domain

The term ‘original work ‘is not defined anywhere in the Copyright Act, and we must, hence, rely on judicial pronouncements to define it. To establish the term ‘originality’, the Court  has interpreted Section 13 of the Act and deemed that the following parameters must be taken into account:

  1. Whether the idea and expression are intrinsically connected. (Doctrine of Merger)
  2. Whether the work was created by the skill and labour of the author. (Sweat of the Brow Doctrine)
  3. Further, whether the work possesses a minimum degree of creativity. (Modicum of Creativity Doctrine)
  4. Whether the work is created with mere skill and labour or whether the work possesses skill and judgment. (Sweat of the brow/ Skill and Judgment Test)

Once these parameters are determined, and the answers are in the affirmative, then your work is considered to be original in nature and copyrightable.

On the contrary, public domain works are those that can be used by the public without any restrictions and are not protected by copyright law. When work is said to be in the public domain, the general public is considered to be the owner of that work, and using that work does not constitute infringement. Under such conditions, anyone can use the work for personal gain.

As a result, any work in the public domain cannot be infringed upon, and hence no remedies are available in such cases.

How Auriga Accounting Help's you to claiming copyright for you Original work?

Auriga Accounting handle the process of claiming copyright for your original work. Copyright registration involves legal procedures that are usually managed by copyright offices, intellectual property attorneys, or specialized agencies. However, some services role in the process provided by Auriga Accounting are:

  1. Financial Management: Auriga Accounting can assist you in managing the financial aspects associated with copyright registration, such as filing fees and related expenses. They can help you create a budget and allocate resources for the registration process.

  2. Record-Keeping: Proper record-keeping is crucial in copyright registration. Auriga Accountants can help you maintain organized financial records, receipts, and other documentation related to the creation and registration of your original work. This documentation may be useful for legal purposes.

  3. Tax Implications: Copyrights can have tax implications, especially if your creative work generates income. Our Accountants can help you understand the tax implications of your copyright, such as how royalties or earnings from your copyrighted work are taxed, and assist in tax filings accordingly.

  4. Business Structure: Auriga Accounting have best experts Accountants that they can advise you on the appropriate business structure (such as sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation) based on your copyright-related activities. The choice of business structure can have legal and financial implications, and accountants can guide you in making informed decisions.

  5. Financial Planning: Auriga Accounting can assist in financial planning related to your creative work, including budgeting for copyright registration, managing income from royalties or licensing, and planning for future investments or projects.

Auriga Accounting can provide valuable financial advice and the actual process of claiming copyright involves submitting the necessary application and materials to the relevant copyright office. Our professionals can guide you through the legal requirements and help you complete the necessary paperwork to claim copyright for your creative work.