A Complete Overview on Copyright Protection for Software

calendar22 Sep, 2020
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
Copyright Protection for Software

Patent, trademark, and copyright are the typical terms that we often come across while buying any product or availing any services. Often, people confuse these terms because they all sound quite similar. Truth be told, all these terms bear almost no resemblance to each other since they serve different purposes.

The patent, trademark, and copyright protect the tangible and intangible assets that are more likely to attract commercial value for the organization or an individual. This article will shed some light on the Copyright Protection for Software and explain why it holds significant value for an organization or an individual.

Copyright Protection for Software

Overview on Copyright Protection

In layman terms, the copyright is referred to as the legal right for the “Work of authorship”. The copyright protects the creative and literary works available in a tangible form. Typically, a copyright registration in India serves the validity period of 50 years.

The patent provides the right to protect the invention and unique idea. Unlike copyright, which provides coverage to the expression of work, patent safeguards the innovation idea. The patent typically remains valid for 20 years. The government only grants a patent to a tangible asset that adheres to the uniqueness and manifest innovation. Obtaining a patent is a time-consuming and costly process.

An individual typically avails trademark registration for protecting the logo, symbol, and sign that distinguish the specific brand from its counterpart. Keep in mind that the trademark doesn’t provide any protection to expression or idea, unlike copyright or patent. It serves the validity period i.e. ten years. After expiration, the applicant can renew it via the trademark register. On the contrary, the patents and copyright are non-renewal in nature i.e. they cannot be renewed once expired.

Read our article:8 Incredible Benefits of Copyright Registration in India

Copyright Protection for Software

Software is classified under literary work as per copyright law. Software is a set of instructions used to perform a specific task. The copyright protection for software prevents unauthorized access to the software by any of the third-party entities. Moreover, if you plan to develop software, you probably want to secure it against the possible infringement act Copyright registration.

Since it relatively stiffer to obtain the patent for the software, the copyright is something that you can consider in the first place. It will secure your work and keep the infringer at bay until it remains valid.

Advantages of Software Copyright Registration

The following is the list of advantages offered by the copyright registration.

Inexpensive registration

The applicant needs to pay nominal charges for copyright registration in India. To avail the registration, the applicant needs to furnish the following elements to the authority.

  • Application form along with registration fee,
  • Copy of source code of the software.

It renders the security to the sequence of the software by granting significant rights in case of infringement. This empowers the individual to take legal action against the defaulters accused of replicating the software. Moreover, the copyright grants the legal right to the owner for their original work.

Copyright notice

If you want to ensure comprehensive protection for your work against infringement, then look no further than copyright registration. Though it is not compulsory, copyright registration is a viable option for securing the product from possible infringement acts. Furthermore, copyright registration is a declaration regarding the ownership of the work. The copyright notice must enclose the following information:

  • Author name
  • Copyright symbol
  • Date
  • Statement of right

How software infringement is done?

There are instances when people steal ideas and even the program without the owner’s consent. This is referred to as software piracy. The following list encloses the forms of software piracy. 

Hard-disk loading

Hard-disk loading is referred to as a pre-installation of unlicensed copies on the computer prior to the sale. Such PCs are being sold without legit documentation.

End-user piracy

End-user piracy takes place when a person reproduces the unlicensed copies of the computer’s program for its operation.

Software counterfeiting

Software counterfeiting means the unlawful replication of the computer’s program. They bear an uncanny resemblance to the original ones.

Internet piracy

Internet piracy occurs when the defaulters place the computer’s program over a website with a lower price tag or for free.

Important Note

Copyright is something that you can’t afford to ignore if your software is unique and productive in nature. The frequent infringement[1] act has forced many companies to invest heavily in the encryption part to secure their software. Since it’s been cutting off the profit margin, they left no other option than legally securing their software against replication.

Also, these efforts can’t ensure full-proof protection of the computer program. This is where copyright comes into the picture. Copyright empowers the individual to legally protect their product against duplication and other malpractices. All in all, copyright is must-have requirement of those who transform innovative ideas into the tangible form or for those who develop unique ideas on consistent basis.


In the current scenario, copyright is the most sorted alternative to safeguard the original work from unauthorized access. It also provides a legal ground for the owner to prepare a response against the defaulters accused of contravention of the law. It is imperative to note that copyright doesn’t provide any protection to the idea, unlike patent application.

Since duplicacy is quite common in India, the chances are that your product won’t remain safe for long from possible infringement, and that’s where copyright comes into the picture. Besides, protecting your product from possible replication, it also improvises its brand presence of product over the course of time.

Read our article:Check out the Documents Required For the Copyright Registration

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