SIMPLE GUIDE TO INDIAN COPYRIGHT LAW FOR BOOKS
Today we are going to talk about copyright law but more specifically book copyright law and how it works in India.
We are going to help you understand what is copyright protection and how can it help an author with author rights.
So, what is the book copyright law in India?
BOOK COPYRIGHT LAW IN INDIA
Books fall into the category of original literary work. It falls into the category of creative works that enjoy legal protection under the Copyright Act of 1957.
The Copyright Act not only protects books but anything creative such as artistic works and musical works as well as cinematograph films.
We would highly encourage you to read this document, A Handbook of Copyright Law by the government of India. This document will give you an idea of how copyright works in India.
SO, HOW DOES COPYRIGHTING WORK IN REALITY?
Your book falls under copyright protection the moment it is created. This is applicable to every kind of artistic creation in India whether it is physical or digital.
Under the copyright act of 1957, the author or the publisher gets full and exclusive rights to the book. The author is the natural copyright holder but if they sign a copyright transfer agreement with the publisher then they are granting the rights of the book to the publisher.
You do not need copyright registration as the book automatically falls under copyright protection the moment it is created. However, we highly recommend you register your work in the copyright office as a formality.
This is very important since it will be a legal record of ownership which will help you claim copyright easily whenever there is copyright infringement of your book.
If you are self-publishing your book then we would suggest you get hold of a good lawyer so that they can help you understand how things work.
Of course, if you are publishing your book with us then we will take care of copyright registration for you.
WHAT IS THE DURATION OF A COPYRIGHT FOR A BOOK?
Copyright duration is limited in India. The exclusive work will only have a copyright for a limited period of time in India.
The copyright of a book will last for the entire lifetime of the author as the author will have exclusive copyright ownership as long as they are alive.
The copyright will keep on staying active for 60 years after the death of the author. The copyright will get transferred to the heirs and legal successors of the author after their death.
During this time, their legal successors can claim the benefits and profits that are generated from the commercial exploitation of the work, i.e., sales, licenses, licenced works etc.
Now that we know a little bit about copyright, let us understand the difference between copyright and trademarks as well as patents.
COPYRIGHT VS TRADEMARKS VS PATENTS, ARE THEY DIFFERENT?
The primary difference between a copyright, trademark and a patent is that copyrights are exclusive to creative works and original works such as books and movies as well as music, paintings, software code, photographs etc.
Trademarks on the other hand do not protect original works but they primarily protect brands and brand names as well as brand identity such as logos and slogans. Trademarks can protect any distinctive sign of the brand such as certain colour codes used by the brand.
Patents on the other hand protect inventions and unique manufacturing techniques and processes as well as machines.
Patents usually protect innovations in manufacturing where some new kind of technology needs to be protected so that others do not profit from the invention of someone else.
SCOPE OF PROTECTION
The scope of protection of copyright is to provide exclusive rights to the owner of the creation to reproduce or display as well as distribute their original work and its derivatives.
The scope of protection in the case of trademarks is to prevent other brands and companies from using the trademark and brand name and logos of a certain brand for their own gain.
This is so that it does not create confusion among customers and so that other brands do not make a profit on the existing market presence of a certain brand.
Patents are there to help the inventor have the exclusive right to manufacture and sell their invention and their products and even licence their manufacturing techniques to others.
DURATION OF THE RIGHT
We already know the duration of copyright in India which usually lasts the entire lifetime of the author or the original creator and additionally 60 more years after their death.
Trademark validity in India is 10 years. After 10 years, the brand or the company needs to renew their registration. Renewal petitions in India need to be filed at least 6 months before the expiration date of the trademark.
When it comes to patents, the inventor and the owner of the patent are granted 20 years to have exclusive rights to the patent from the date of the patent filing application.
Copyright enforcement as well as trademark and patent enforcement are very strict in India and we recommend you always have a good lawyer in case your rights are infringed.
DO YOU NEED TO REGISTER A COPYRIGHT FOR YOUR BOOK?
You do not need to register your book for copyright protection. Copyright protection is automatic as soon as you create the book in a written form whether it is digital or paper.
However, there are several benefits of registering your copyright in the copyright office in India.
One of the greatest advantages of registering your creation in the copyright office is simply to put a creation date on your work.
It will be much easy for you to claim damages if your copyright is infringed if you have your work registered. Your copyright notice will be easy and have a better claim.
Registering your work will make it a lot easier for you to have legal protection in the case that your book rights are being violated by someone.
When you have your work registered in the copyright office, you can find lawyers who will be very willing to work for you to ensure that you can take it up in court.
GLOBAL LEGAL PROTECTION
One of the other things you should keep in mind is that your book is not only being sold in India but all over the world. That is usually the case when you publish your book on international platforms.
Countries outside India have different jurisdictions but if you have your book already registered in India then it will make it much is here to get global legal protection for your book.
If you have a registered copyright of your book then it will make it much easier and legally much more simple for you to licence your creation to different publishing houses.
It will also make it easier for you to licence your work to moviemakers and other creative people who want to collaborate with you.
So, you should definitely register your book at the copyright office. It does not cost a lot to register your book.
You can take a look at this link by the Department for Promotion of Trade and Internal Trade to check out the current fee structure.
Let us now look at a few popular questions regarding copyrights.
FAQs ON COPYRIGHT
What is the purpose of copyright?
Ans: The purpose of copyright is to simply encourage creative expression in a country and to ensure that the rights of creators are maintained.
Copyright laws are there to provide peace of mind to creators so that they can engage in creativity without the fear of people stealing their creative work.
Copyright laws ensure that creators can earn a living from the reproduction and distribution of their artistic work and that they can monetize the creative efforts properly.
It is also about preserving cultural heritage because artists and authors are responsible for the advancement of a particular culture and copyright laws make sure that their hard work is protected.
Who owns the copyright?
Ans: The ownership of a copyright can depend on a lot of factors. When we are talking about books, the author is the person who owns the copyright.
The author can sign off the copyright of their book and transfer the copyright to the publisher or to someone else as well.
There is also the scenario where multiple people have worked on a single book and in that case, there is a joint copyright. There is joint ownership or multiple ownership for that piece of work.
If the book has been written by a ghostwriting agency, then the owner of the work or the employer is the owner.
If the work is done by a company and then the company is the owner of the copyright rather than the employees because this is something that the employees agreed to.
It all depends on the contract but traditionally an author is the original copyright holder of a book they have authored.
What are the positive effects of copyright laws?
Ans: There are several positive effects and benefits of copyright laws. We can talk about the protection of intellectual property or we can talk about the safeguard of economic value.
We can also talk about the encouragement of cultural diversity and better access to knowledge and learning.
However, if we want to sum up the benefits of copyright laws it is that copyright laws encourage creators and artistic people to pursue their artistic endeavours.
They can be sure that there are specific laws there to protect them and their work so that they can monetize their work and earn a living.
We hope this blog has been helpful for you to understand the importance of copyright laws and we hope you understand how important copyright is to a book.
That is why you should always register your book at the Copyright Office so that it is easier for you to claim copyright infringement damages whenever someone violates those rights.
However, registering a copyright can be difficult if you have never done it before and since you are a writer you should not have to worry about all those legalities because we are here to help you.
We are Orange Publishers and we are the fastest-growing and most popular book publishing company in India. We do everything in-house from the printing to the publishing as well as copyright registration along with the marketing.
Yes, you heard that right, we are among the few publishing companies in India that also do the copyright filing for you so that you do not have to worry about all those legalities.
We do everything in-house at Orange Publishers and we welcome you to publish your masterpiece with us.