License to Use Copyright in India

Updated on: Jun 17th, 2024


2 min read

In this article, we will discuss about the license to use copyright in India in detail.

What is copyright?

Creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings can obtain rights over their original work by taking copyright license on their work.

Copyright prevents unauthorised use of the original work and thus protects and rewards the creativity. A bundle of rights is given to the creators of giving rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation, and translation of the work.

Copyright is different from a patent. While in a patent, ideas are protected, copyright protects the expression and not the ideas. Hence, while there can be more than one idea, copyright ensures that the final outcome from such idea isn’t copied unless authorised.

What is covered under work?

Work covers artistic, dramatic, literary, musical work or cinematograph film or work of sculpture. For the entire list, one can refer to Section 2 of the Indian copyright act,1957.


How to file an application for copyright?

An application is to be submitted to the Copyright Office situated in New Delhi. The application can be submitted at the counter in the Copyright Office or can be sent by post. Applications can also be filed electronically by visiting Copyright Office website.(

A separate application has to be filed for registering each work. The application should be signed by the applicant or a person holding the power of attorney.

Registration fees can be paid online or by submitting a demand draft or Indian Postal Order in favour of ‘Registrar of Copyrights’ payable at ‘New Delhi’.

After filing the application, if an objection is not filed within 30 days, it is deemed that the work created is original, after which it goes to examiners for validation. Generally, 2-3 months are taken for claiming copyright.

If an objection is filed against work, Copyright Office gives an opportunity to both the parties to defend their case and then decide whether the work can be registered or not.


For an application for COMPULSORY LICENSE:

1For a license to republish a Literary, Dramatic, Musical or Artistic work (Sections 31, 31A,31B* and 32A)Rs. 5,000/- per work
2For a license to communicate any work to the public by Broadcast(Section 31(1)(b))Rs. 40,000/- per applicant/per station
3For a license to republish a Cinematograph Film (Section 31)Rs. 15,000/- per work
4For a license to republish a sound recording (Section 31)Rs. 10,000/- per work
5For a license to perform any work in public (Section 31)Rs. 5,000/- per work
6For a license to publish or communicate to the public the work or translation (Section 31A)Rs. 5,000/- per work
7For a license to publish any work in any format useful for a person with disability (Section 31 B)
Rs. 2,000/- per work
8For an application for a license to produce and publish a translation of a Literary or Dramatic work in any Language  (Section 32 & 32-A )Rs. 5,000/- per work
9For an application for registration or copyright in a: 
(a)Literary, Dramatic, Musical or Artistic workRs. 500/- per work 
(b)Provided that in respect of a Literary or Artistic work which is used or is capable of being used in relation to any goods (Section 45)Rs. 2,000/- per work 
10For an application for change in particulars of copyright entered in the Register of Copyrights in respect of a: 
(a)Literary, Dramatic, Musical or Artistic workRs. 200/- per work 
(b)Provided that in respect of a literary or Artistic work which is used or is capable of being used in relation to any goods (Section 45)Rs. 1,000/- per work 
11For an application for registration of Copyright in a Cinematograph Film (Section 45)Rs. 5,000/- per work
12For an application for registration of change in particulars of copyright entered in the Register of Copyrights in respect of Cinematograph film (Section 45)Rs. 2,000/- per work
13For an application for registration of copyright in a Sound Recording (Section 45)Rs. 2,000/- per work
14For an application for registration of changes in particulars of copyright entered in the Register of Copyrights in respect of Sound Recording (Section 45)Rs. 1,000/- per work
15For taking extracts from the indexes (Section 47)Rs. 500/- per work
16For taking extracts from the Register of Copyrights (Section 47).Rs. 500/- per work
17For a certified copy of an extract from the Register of Copyrights of the indexes (Section 47)Rs. 500/- per copy
18For a certified copy of any other public document in the custody of the Register of Copyright or Secretary of the Copyright BoardRs. 500/- per Copy
19For an application for prevention of importation of infringing copies (Section 53) per place of entryRs. 1,200/- per work

Can unregistered/ unpublished work be claimed for copyright?

Copyright automatically becomes effective as soon as a work is created. There isn’t any formality to be completed for claiming copyright.

Unpublished work can also be registered for copyright, but for registering unpublishing work, a copy of the manuscript is also required to be sent with the application.

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