How to Copyright a Soundtrack in India?

calendar14 Sep, 2021
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
Copyright a Soundtrack in India

Creativity is a valuable gift to human beings. Artists, musicians, and artisans worldwide often strive to create something that resonates strongly among the target audiences. At times, the commercialization of such creations churns out massive revenue for the creator. And that’s where the possibility of being infringed becomes more prominent, which could further translate into compromised revenue and even the loss of ownership. If you are a song creator, then you must be concerned about securing its ownership rights. Copyright protection is something that can give you that leverage and keeps the infringer out of the equation. This write-up will serve as a comprehensive guide to copyright a soundtrack in India.

Copyright a soundtrack: Potential Benefits

An artist put his heart out to create a melodic soundtrack for the audience. And the moment it gets aired without any protection, it becomes prone to infringement.

After being infringed, the original creator of the soundtrack cannot even sue the accused owing to the absence of legal grounds. That’s where copyright comes into play. It protects the soundtrack from all sorts of infringement activities and enables the creator to penalize the defaulting party in the dispute. Copyright is perhaps the only way to ensure comprehensive legal fencing for your creativity.

Read our article:Copyright Registration in India – Process, Requirements and Duration

Apart from that, Copyright protection ensures peace of mind for the creator and allows him/her to;

  • Perform their composition at any place at any time
  • Reproduce that composition or soundtrack and commercialize it to earn money
  • Transfer rights to another party for monetization.

In general, to copyright a soundtrack in India[1], the creators have to undergo series of complex legal procedures.

How does Copyright registration protect artistic work?

Copyright Protection refers to intellectual property rights (aka IPRs) provided by the laws to the creators of musical, literary, soundtracks, etc. In general, copyright registration comes with several rights for the creator, including communication to the public, rights of reproduction, & translation of the work. The copyright protection aims to vest owners with legal rights to keeps the infringer at bay. Copyright a soundtrack is indeed a prudent choice for creators who intend to keep their valuable work isolated from the infringers.

Copyright is made of two terms: Copy & right. It means right to copy. By availing of the copyright protection for your artistic work, you get the exclusive right to copy it as many times as possible.

While you secure the right to copy as soon as you record your soundtrack, you cannot enforce it in the absence of copyright protection.

Key Points to consider prior to copyright protection

  • Before you rush to the concerned authority to avail copyright protection, make sure to enlist the following elements of your soundtracks:
Key Points to consider prior to copyright protection

Taking these elements into account is vital for the creators to avail comprehensive legal protection under copyright registration.

  • The protection seekers need to submit a word file of the lyrics while applying for copyright protection.
  • Similarly, the artist needs to furnish the scan copy of the music sheet for copyrighting the music part.
  • For copyrighting the song’s recording and instrumental, the artist needs to furnish the wav file of the same individually.

Step by Step Guide to Copyright a Soundtrack in India

Following is the typical process used to copyright a soundtrack in India. Make sure to follow the process aptly to ensure a seamless grant of the copyright registration. 

Step-1 Application Filing

The application filing is the first step in the copyrighting process which can be via the web portal of the copyright attorney. The filing formalities shall be handled by the applicant himself or an authorized individual. The copyright application must entail all the requested details accompanied by the amount of the standard fee. Once the application is submitted, the portal will generate the diary number.

Step -2 Formality check fail

Upon receiving the application, the concerned authority will make some legal checks for the same. Remember that the application is incomplete without the two copies of work & the duly filed FORM-XIV power of attorney. Thus, failing to provide the said documents would unnecessarily extend the processing time. Furthermore, any errors in the application form would be duly communicated with the application via notification. The notification also entails directions for the resolution of the errors identified by the authority.  

Step-3 Waiting Period

If the application receives the authority’s approval, it will be routed to the next stage, where it would stay open for the public for 30 days to invite any objection. If the application bypasses this timeframe without inviting any objection, it will be forwarded to the next stage on a first-come, first basis.

Step-4 Hearing

On the contrary, if the application receives any objection, the authority will notify either party to present their part in writing. In response to the reply forwarded by the parties, the registrar will schedule the hearing accordingly. During the legal proceeding, both parties will get an equal chance to present their case. After this process, the application will undergo a second phase of scrutiny conducted by the examiner.

Step-5 Grant of Copyright registration

This is the final stage of the copyrighting process in which the registrar stamps his/her approval on the application. In case of any error, the registrar can cancel the application. If that possibility comes into existence, then the information for the same will be duly shared with the concerned applicants via a notice. Likewise, if everything goes in the right direction, the registrar will stamp his/her approval on the application and notify the applicant accordingly.


It is evident from the above that copyrighting an artistic work is a complicated task, and it consumes a lot of time. In general, a typical copyright procedure takes around 2.5 years to complete. So being patient is the key here.  

Copyright protection comes under the ambit of the Copyright Act, 1957, and it is way too complicated to understand. This is where you need a professional backup who can provide the required expertise to ease out the copyrighting process with minimal paperwork and hassle.

CorpBiz has an unparalleled footprint in the IPR domain with years of experience under the belt. The professionals at this firm will make the copyrighting process seamless and error-free by mitigating possible legal hurdles. If you wish to copyright a soundtrack with peace of mind, then look no further than CorpBiz’s professional.

Read our article:How To Obtain Copyright Registration in India?

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