Books and other works of literature that are original creations of an individual are protected under the Copyright Laws of India. They come under the purview of “literary works”, which is eligible to be copyrighted under the Copyright Act of 1957. The Copyright Act of 1957 restricts users from having unauthorised access to reproducing, and recording for using the original work of the authors in any other manner, thus protecting the rights at every level. Protecting original creations is imperative to avoid piracy and unauthorised use of the work by anyone other than the owner of the copyright or anyone duly licensed by the copyright owner. In this blog, we will discuss how to copyright a Book.
What is a Copyright?
Copyright is one of the many intellectual property rights available to the creators of original work. It vests in the owner or creator of an original literary, dramatic, artistic, musical work, sound recordings or cinematograph films. A copyright protects the expression of an idea in a tangible form and is not provided to a statement, no matter how original it might be. Copyright is an IP granted by the government as a bundle of exclusive rights which can be commercially exploited only by the owner of a copyright or by a person who has been granted an official license by the owner of the copyright. It allows a creator or originator of a work to monopolise and protect the rights that are with an original work that can be a subject matter of copyright.
A copyright consists of exclusive rights that instantaneously vest in the author to freely and legally perform, adapt, make translation, reproduce, publish, make, or communicate the work in any other form to the audience, among other things. A copyright comes into existence the very moment the original work has been created and it vests in the author of the original work. Copyright registration is not mandatory and does not create any new rights for the creator. However, it is very strong legal proof of such ownership of the original work. The government provides a plethora of benefits under copyright to acknowledge and reward the hard work of the original creator. It gives due credit where its while also providing a strong defence to prevent unauthorised use, which is done without the license of the author.
The copyright in an original piece of literary work lasts for a term that extends up to the lifetime of the author and an additional period of 60 years.
Including a Copyright Section in a Book
Although attaching a copyright page to one’s work will not give any additional security, it will inform readers that they are protected under copyright law. This page would discourage anyone from trying to copy or reproduce the contents of the book without the consent of the author in the very first instance. This particular section must include the author’s identity, the year of publication, an international standard book number or ISBN for identity purposes, the book version, the reserve of rights, the trademark symbol along with the warning informing the readers of any unauthorised use in any manner of the contents of the book will amount to infringement and would solely be at the risk of the reader.
Is it Necessary to Copyright a Book?
It is not mandatory to obtain a copyright registration for any original work as the copyright is as soon as the original work comes into existence. However, copyright provides additional protections to the contents of a book and the bundle of exclusive rights that were in the copyright owner. For instance, copyright bars bookstores from producing copies and then retail marketing hey the books without the author’s express permission or consent. This is because the buyers are not just purchasing the book but also the author’s effort, the original plot, the settings described in it and other associated things. There are other rights associated with a book under the domain of IP that can provide further protection for the rights of the author. For instance, a trademark prohibits the bookshop from illegally producing and selling a duplicate of an author’s work without her permission. Registrations of rights associated with a book allow the author to take civil and criminal action against those who infringe upon the exclusive rights granted to the author.
The form of copyright is mainly dependent on the type of book. For instance, in a novel, copyright can apply to the narrative. Characters in that specific narrative are the components whole world that is created in the novel.
Information Required to Copyright a Book
Without obtaining registration, it would take comprehensive documentation to prove that the author is the actual holder of the copyright or verify that an individual or organisation is infringing upon the rights of the author, or provide a strong defence in cases of infringement. The below-mentioned information is required to copyright a book:
- Name of the individual, citizenship and residence, along with the nature in which the individual is making the application, that is, the application is being made as a proprietor or an agent.
- The type of work: this shall include a description along with the classification of the book and the title. The language in which the book has been written must also be mentioned.
- Record date: it is prudent to provide the date of publication in periodic publications if feasible.
Steps to Copyright a Book
In order to protect the work of literature in India, hey the applicant is required to file a copyright application to the copyright office of the country. Steps to copyright a book are mentioned below:
- Visit the official website of the copyright office and click on the tab titled registration of copyright. Copyright.gov.in is the website that has been created by the National Library, and it enables the applicant to fill out the application and file the requisite paperwork for registration online through simple steps.
- New users are required to create a new account with a valid username and password, through which the application shall be filled out, and the requisite documents shall be uploaded.
- The applicant is then required to log in to her account by entering a valid username and password.
- The next step is to click on the option titled online copyright registration, and the application form XIV shall be displayed.
- The applicants shall then fill out the application form and upload scanned copies of the requisite documents and statement of particulars.
- The applicant is then required to choose the appropriate category on the type of work from the drop-down menu.
- Once the applicant has filled in all the details required in the application along with the paperwork, the application fee has to be submitted how along with the application as well.
- The next step is to submit the original work to the copyright office in its final form.
Creating a work of literature requires employing immense intellectual labour and hard work and is often symbolic of the talent and creativity of an author. The government grants a copyright to the author of a literary work to acknowledge and reward how creation. The author is given exclusive rights to commercially exploit the book in any manner she pleases and to exclude others from doing the same without the express consent of the author. It is not mandatory to obtain copyright registration for one’s book. However, without such registration, it can become hard to prove ownership and fight during situations of infringement and piracy. Hence, even though a copyright is created the moment the contents of a book are in a tangible form and registration does not make new rights. However, it is prudent to go for copyright registration to provide an extra layer of protection for one’s book against unauthorised use by any infringing party.