Copyright Office

Copyright Office and Registrar of Copyright

To administer certain provisions of the Copyright Act an office called the Copyright Office has been created. The Copyright Office will have a seal of its own. This office will be under the immediate control of the Registrar of Copyright who will act under the superintendence and direction of the Central Government.
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    To administer certain provisions of the Copyright Act an office called the Copyright Office has been created. The Copyright Office will have a seal of its own. This office will be under the immediate control of the Registrar of Copyright who will act under the superintendence and direction of the Central Government. He will be assisted by Deputy Registrar of Copyright, other officers and staff. The Deputy Registrar will discharge such functions of the Registrar as he may assign from time to time under the superintendence and direction of the Registrar.

    Register of copyright:

    The copyright office will maintain a Register of Copyrights containing the names or titles of works and the names and addresses of authors, publishers and owners of copyright and other particulars as may be prescribed. a The Register of Copyright will be kept in six parts as follows:

    Part I - - Literary works other than computer programmes, tables and compilations including computer databases and dramatic works.
    Part II - Musical works
    Part III - Artistic works
    Part IV - Cinematograph films.
    Part V - Sound recordings.
    Part VI - computer programmes, tables and compilations including computer databases.

    It will contain the particulars specified in Form III. Every entry made in The Register of copyright should be published in the official r in such manner as the Registrar may deem fit.

    Registration of copyright:

    Registration of copyright is not compulsory either for acquiring copyright or for enforcing the copyright by infringement suit. Registration is not a prerequisite condition for copyright.

    Procedure for registration:

    Section. 45 An application for registration of copyright should be on Form XIV accompanied by the prescribed fee. Persons who are permitted to make applications include the authors, publisher, owner or any other person interested in the copyright in any work. Rule 16(3) of the copyright Rules 1958 requires that the person applying for registration of a copyright shall simultaneously send a copy of the application to every other person interested in the copyright of the work. If this is not done the registration is liable to be cancelled on this ground. On receipt of an application the Registrar of Copyright may after holding such enquiry as he may deem fit enter the particulars of the work in the Register. The particulars entered in the register are those contained in the prescribed Form III.

    Artistic work used as trade mark:

    In the case of an artistic work which is used or capable or being used as a trade mark the application should be accompanied by a certificate from the Registrar of Trade Marks to the effect that no trade mark identical with or deceptively similar to such artistic work has been registered or applied for under the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act 1958 in the name of another person. This will prevent unscrupulous persons from copying well-known trade mark labels for the purpose of passing off of goods by taking shelter under a false claim of ownership of copyright in the label.

    Registration of an artistic work as a trade mark is evidence of adoption of the work on the date of registration.

    Label for Bidis was registered under copyright Act. Interim injunction was granted against defendant who copied the label for his trade mark. Lokhara & Co. v Shiiakumar Bhanuarlal Kila (1995) IPLR 138 (Raj)'

    An application by the petitioners for removal of an artistic work used for trademark from the Copyright register was allowed. The work registered was similar to the get-up and Colour scheme of the petitioner's-label. Hindustan pencils v Universalt Trading Co. (1999) PTC 379 (Copyright Board at New Delhi).

    The copyright office will also maintain the following indexes arranged alphabetically in the form of cards:
    (i) a general Author Index;
    (ii) a general Title Index;
    (iii) an Author Index of works in each language; and
    (iv) a Title Index of works in each language

    The register and indexes are open to public for inspection at all reasonable times. Copies of extracts from the register or indexes may be taken by any person on payment of the prescribed fee. Certified copies of any entries made in the register may be obtained by any person on an application accompanied by the prescribed fee.

    Copyright India

    Evidential value of the Register:

    The Registrar of Copyrights will be Prima facie evidence of the particulars entered therein. copies of any entries made in the register or extracts there from certified by the Registrar of Copyright and sealed with the seal of the Copyright Office will be admissible in evidence in all courts without further proof or production of the original.

    In HMT Ltd. v Girnar Knitwear (1994) IPLR 217 (Copyright Board) the plaintiffs were the registered proprietors of the trade mark (logo) HMT written in an artistic style since 1965 and had used the mark extensively for various goods' The defendants registered an identical logo under the copyright Act in 1981 and were using it for hosiery goods. on a petition by the plaintiffs before the copyright Board the registration as copyright of the defendants' logo was expunged. It was held that the trademark registration certificate was acceptable as evidence of prior adoption and use.

    Correction of entries in the Register

    The Registrar of Copyright may in the prescribed cases and subject to the prescribed conditions amend or alter the Register of copyright by:
    (a) correcting any error in any name, address or particulars, or
    (b) correcting any other error which may have arisen therein by accidental slip or omission.

    The Registrar may amend or alter the entries in the register as above on his own motion or on an application by any interested person' The application should be on Form V accompanied by the prescribed fee.

    Before making the amendment or alteration an opportunity to show cause against such amendment or alteration will be given the person affected by such amendment or alteration. The Registrar will also communicate such alteration made to the person so affected. Any order of the Registrar in this respect is subject to appeal to the copyright Board. Entries of correction made in the Register will be published in the official Gazette or in some other manner.

    Rectification of the Register:

    The Registrar of copyright or any person aggrieved may make an application to the copyright Board for Rectification of the Register of copyright. There is no prescribed form for application nor any fee prescribed. Rectification may be by:
    (a) the making of any entry wrongly omitted to be made in the register;
    (b) the expunging of an entry wrongly made; or
    (c) the correction of any error or defect in the register.

    There is no procedure laid down in the Act or rules for rectification proceedings before the Copyright Board. However, under s. l2(7) all proceedings before the Board are deemed to be judicial proceedings, and under Section 12(1) it has power to regulate its own procedure. The Board will have the powers of a civil court when trying a suit under the civil procedure code in respect of procedural matters, Section 74. The copyright Board may, therefore follow generally the CPC. An appeal against the decision of the copyright Boar in respect of application for rectification lies to the High Court having Jurisdiction.

    Every order of rectification made will be published in the official Gazette or in some other manner.

    The copyright Board in its discretion may permit a petitioner to file rectification proceedings in respect of a number of registrations in one application provided the different registrations are in the name of the same person or persons.

    Person aggrieved:
    A person who is not the owner of copyright in the artistic work (trade mark) sought to be expunged from the register is not a person aggrieved. Kappy Plastic Industries v capital plastic industries (1998) PTC 351 (Copyright Board at Delhi).

    In general the principles applied under the trade mark law in deciding who is a person aggrieved is applicable with suitable modifications. see Ganga Vishnu Raheja Trustee v swami satyanand Dharmarth trust (2000) PTC 228 Copyright Board at New Delhi). (persons aggrieved discussed).

    1. In a petition for cancellation of an artistic work on the basis of similarity in the writing of the trade mark PRESTIGE the Respondents' name was prestige Estate and properties. It was held that there was no similarity with the artistic work and that cancellation of the registration not called for. Defendants/respondents were registered proprietors of the artistic work in the word prestige.

    Prestige Houseware v prestige Estates & properties (1999) PTC 585 (Copyright Board at Bangalore).

    2. Registration of respondents' alleged artistic work was rectified on the ground of suppression of material facts before the Registrar and that they were not true owners of the copyright in the work.

    Hindustan pencils Pvt. Ltd. v Universal Trading company (1999) PTC 379 (Copyright Board).

    3. Rectification of drawing of a horsehead Rookie coin was refused on the ground that it was different from the coin and that the author had utilized labour and skill to bring out a new work. Herrington construction & Finance Ltd. v Eicher Goodearth Ltd. (1997) PTC 72 (Copyright Board at Thiruvananthapuram).

    In the absence of evidence of assignment or explanation how respondent claims to be an owner of copyright the entry in the register in his favour cannot be maintained. Kickapoo Co. v perry Bottling Co. (2000) PTC 427 (Before the Copyright Board at New Delhi).

    Registration of copyright obtained fraudulently. Register rectified by removal of entry. Marley Cooling Tower co. v Paharpir cooling Pvt Ltd PTC 647 (Copyright Board Calcutta).

    where the registered proprietor of a copyright work has abandoned the copyright and he has been injuncted in a suit for infringement of copyright rectification under s. 50 will be allowed. Peerlite Liners Pvt. Ltd Singh Mago (2001) PTC 150 (Goa) (DB).


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