Copyright

Copyright Registration for Music Notation- An Overview

calendar10 Jan, 2023
timeReading Time: 5 Minutes
Copyright Registration for Music Notation- An Overview

IP or the intellectual property is referred to the product of human intellect, for, e.g. technical, literary, artistic, or scientific work. When the legal rights are granted to the creators of these works, they are known as the intellectual property rights, often called as IPR. These rights grants the creator an ownership and the exclusive authority to control and make the full use of their creation or invention. Some of the primary forms of intellectual property rights are, patents, geographical indications, integrated circuit layout design, and industrial designs, new species of plants and animals, and copyright. This article will help you understand the concept of copyright registration and other provisions related to that and how to apply for Copyright Registration for Music Notation.

Copyright Act of 1957 – An Overview

  • Definition of Copyright

The term copyright has been defined under Section 14 of the Copyright Act of 1957. Chapter four of the act talks about ownership of copyrights and the rights available to the copyright owner.  Section 17 states that author or creator of the work is the first owner of the copyright. 

  • Historical Perspective

The historical path related to copyright law in India can be traced back to its colonial era. The first ever copyright Act in India was enacted during the reign of East India Company. The Copyright Act of 1847 only provided the fundamental rights related to copyright. The act of 1847 got replaced by the Copyright Act of 1914. It was the first modern copyright law in India because, for the very first time, all the works related to art and literature were included under the ambit of copyright law. The act of 1914 was then replaced by the Copyright Act of 1957, and it was the first post-independence copyright legislation in India. The act has been amended many times since then. The most recent amendment was done in the year 2012.

India is also a member of India, the Berne Convention of 1886 (as amended in Paris in 1971), the Universal Copyright Convention of 1951, the Rome Convention of 1961 & the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

  • Works That Are Protected By The Copyright Law

As we all know that creativity is the keystone for any society to grow and develop; hence no civilised society can afford to ignore providing basic requirements for encouraging creativity. The state has the duty to provide legal protection to the owners of the creative work. With an increase in trade in the modern world, we are witnessing more companies are focusing on protecting their products or their brand from the potential competitors in every way possible.

But still, there needs to be more awareness related to copyright and other related rights among the academic communities and stakeholders.

As already been discussed, copyright is a bundle of rights given to the owners of the following works:

  • Literary work as per Section 2(o)
  • Dramatic work as per Section 2(h)
  • Work of architecture as per Section 2(b)
  • Work of Adoption as per Section 2(a)
  • Artistic work as per Section 2(c)
  • Author as per Section 2(d)
  • Musical work as per Section 2(p)

The Copyright Act of 1957[1] governs the subject of copyright law in India. Section 13, in particular, talks about the scope of the act and as well as the work that is included in the act.  It is very important to protect your creative work by registering it under the copyright law. The registration will protect the owner’s work from being copied or used by a third party for commercial purposes. Therefore copyright registration is essential in order to obtain the legal right over your creative work.

  • Rights Of A Copyright Holder

Registering your creative work under copyright law will grant the project to its owner as well as his representative from such work being copied or duplicated by any other third party. The creator of the work has all the rights to prohibit or to authorise anyone:

  1. To translate the work of the owner into some other language.
  2. To allow the third party to use the work for public performance.
  3. To make copies or record the work via making cassettes, discs, etc.
  • Term of Grant of Copyright

The validity of the copyright is the lifetime of the author plus 60 years thereafter. Chapter 10 of the Copyright Act discusses the term of different copyrighted works. These are as follows:

  • Section 22 of the act talks about the term of copyright in the case of published literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works.
  • Section 23 of the act talks about the term of copyright in the case of anonymous and pseudonymous work.
  • Section 24 of the act talks about the term of copyright in case of posthumous work.
  • Section 26 of the act talks about the term of copyright in the case of cinematograph films.
  • Section 27 of the act talks about the term of copyright in case of sound recording.
  • Section 28 of the act talks about the term of copyright in case of government works.
  • Section 28A of the act talks about the term of copyright in case of public undertakings.
  • Section 29 of the act talks about the term of copyright in the case of works of an international organisation.

Documents Required for Copyright Registration for Music Notation

To copyright a song in India, an application needs to submit to the copyright office along with the following documents required for copyright registration for Music Notation in India:

  • Two copies of your original work (graphical notes)
  • Name and address and identity proof of the owner, incorporation certificate (if the owner is the entity)
  • If the application is filed through an attorney, a specific Power of Attorney is original, duly signed by the applicant, and accepted by the attorney.
  • A NOC, i.e. a no objection certificate from the publisher, if the applicant is other than the publisher.
  • A NOC from the author if the applicant is other than the author.

Procedure for Copyright Registration for Music Notation

In the case of music or song, Copyright Registration for Music Notation is essential; also, it is very advisable since, in this industry, plagiarism and violation of the author’s rights are very common. Therefore all the music composers must register under copyright law, which will provide them with a legal blanket to use, reuse and transform their work, and it will also offer royalties to them.   

Mentioned below are the steps involved in the process of copyright registration for Music Notation;

  • The first step involves the search for copyright registration: The applicant has to perform a search, in order to find if music notation of the same name or content or of the same nature is already registered or not. 
  • The second step involves filling out the copyright application : An applicant is required to file Form XIV with the registrar of the copyrights along with the prescribed fee
  • The third step involves the publication of the copyright in the journal.
  • Fourth and final step involves the grant of copyright registration for Music Notation to the owner.

Why Copyright Protection Is Needed?

Here are some of the important reasons as to why an owner of a creative work needs copyright registration:

  • First and foremost is, copyright registration establishes a public record of all copyrighted work. So as soon you complete the process of registration, your work will also be put out in the public, letting everyone in the world know you have claimed copyright protection for that work.
  • Copyright registration allows the owner to sue anyone for copyright infringement.
  • Copyright registration, if done within five years of the creation of the work, it will be considered as prima facie evidence in the court of law.

Conclusion

The concept of intellectual property rights (IPR) has grown massively in India over the last two decades. It has grown so rapidly that they now account for a significant portion of the economy. In the modern business world, IPR protection plays an important role in any trade or a business. Laws related to intellectual property have existed in India since pre-independence, but all those laws were from the British point of view and for their benefit only. This scenario got changed after India got its independence by enacting the Copyright Act of 1914. It was the first modern copyright law in India because, for the very first time, all the works related to art and literature were included under the ambit of copyright law. The act has been amended many times since then to improve the regulatory structure of copyright laws in India. 

The registration of your literary work, dramatic work, work of architecture, work of adoption, artistic work and musical work under copyright law will provide the owner with protection from unlawful use or duplication by any third party. It also allows the copyright owner to maximize the value of the work by licensing it, assigning it, and raising capital from it.

Read Our Article: How To Obtain Copyright Registration In India?

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