RNI stands for The Office of Registrar of Newspapers for India. It comes under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It is the authority that issues license and consent for publishing newspapers, journals or any form of a printed publication. It came in force on 1st July 1956 on the recommendation of the First Press Commission in 1953. RNI amended the Press and Registration of Books Act 1867; the rules regarding RNI are governed under this legislation.
It is essential to obtain the RNI Title Registration to start a business in the publishing sector; therefore, it is necessary to understand the Requirements and Procedure for RNI Title Registration.
Functions of RNI
The functions of RNI are enlisted below –
- Maintenance and Compilation of the Register of Newspapers
- Grant of Registration Certificate to the company that applied for the Registration
- Scrutiny of the annual Filings and Statements filed by the newspaper publishers at the end of each financial year under section 19 –D under the PRB Act 1867 and verification of the same under Section 19 F of the said legislation.
- Ensuring that the publisher is complying with the Requirements and Procedure for RNI Title Registration and the newspapers are being published as per rules prescribed by the PRB Act 1867.
- Informing the District Magistrates about the availability of titles for the publishers who intend to file the declaration
- Preparation of reports containing information and statistics about the press in India with special emphasis on the emerging trends related to circulation and in the direction of common ownership units and submitting the report on the 31st day of December to the Government of India.
Benefits of RNI Title Registration
The benefits of RNI Title Registration are given below –
- Protection of Title
It helps the publisher to protect the title of his publication as the title is assigned only after ensuring that it is unique and not similar to any other title.
RNI Registration helps in the proper compliance with the laws related to publishing, i.e. the Press and Registration of Books Act 1867.
It provides recognition to the publication as it is distant from other forms of publication.
- Protection From Third-Party Claims
The RNI registration prevents all kinds of intellectual property rights issues which prevent any third-party claims.
Who can apply for RNI Title Registration?
Any individual or entity aspiring to pursue a business in the publishing sector needs to obtain a license issued by RNI by fulfilling the Requirements and Procedure for RNI Title Registration. The Registration is also required for publishing the following –
- Indian Newspapers
- Foreign Newspapers
List of Documents Required for RNI Title Registration
- Letter of Verification
- Declaration in Form -1, which is validated by District Magistrate/Additional District Magistrate etc.,
- A duly signed and notarized affidavit by the publisher affirming about No Foreign Tie-up
- copy of the first issue of the newspaper publication Printer Agreement along with the copy of the printing press
- Details of Directors, Incorporation Certificate, MOA & AOA and a copy of the Board Resolution in case the applicant is a Company, along with their identity proofs and address proofs
- In case of the Partnership Firm the details of the directors, along with their PAN Card.
Procedure for RNI Title Registration
Step 1: Verification of Title: The first step of the RNI Title Registration is the verification of the title. The main purpose of the verification of title is to ensure that there is the availability of title, which can help avoid issues related to intellectual property rights or any other issues. The title verification is done by obtaining the letter of verification from the concerned authority.
The process for obtaining the verification letter is given below –
The applicant requires filing an application for the verification of title; the application should consist the details such as –
- Name of the newspaper ( maximum 5 suggestions)
- Name of the owner of the newspaper
- The language in which the newspaper will be circulated
- Area of publication
Certain words shouldn’t be the title or part of the title, which are:
- Abbreviation of words
- Religious overtones
- Obscene language
- Head of government functionaries
- The applicant needs to submit the application along with the above-mentioned details to the District Magistrate
- The DM will verify the details and after successful verification, he shall forward the application to the RNI.
- RNI will issue the letter of verification to notify about the availability of the name to both the District Magistrate and the applicant.
- After this, the applicant shall file a declaration with the District magistrate to start the publication.
Step 2: Authentication of the Declaration: The next step is to file the Declaration in Form -1 and submit it along with the verification letter to the concerned authority for authentication. If the printer and publisher are two separate individuals, then there is a need to file two separate declarations for the same. If the place of publication and place of printing are different, then two separate declarations need to be filed for both places. The publisher has to file the declaration for the place of publishing, and the printer needs to file the declaration for the place of the printing press.
Step 3: Publication: According to the Press and Registration of Books Act 1867, the first issue should be published within 42 days from the date of receiving the authentication of declaration in case the periodicity of the the publication is weekly.
If the periodicity of the issue is 15 days, then it should be released within 90 days from the date of receiving the declaration.
If the place of publication and place of printing are two different places, then the date of issue will be calculated from the date of authentication of declaration of the place of publication. In case of delay in the release of the first issue, the applicant would need to file a fresh declaration.
- Printing Guidelines for Masthead
- The title of the publication should be unique and not similar to any other publication
- The title of the newspaper should be properly displayed for the view of the masthead, and the font size should not be more than 25 % either in horizontal or vertical context.
- If the publication is multilingual or bilingual, then the title should be displayed in any one of the languages.
- If the title is not in Hindi / English it is mandatory to mention it in Hindi or English and the title should be verified and not merely translated
- The masthead should contain the information of the date, volume number, number of publication, the language of publication and any other relevant information.
- Each publication page should have a page no. and volume no.
- Imprint Line Guidelines: The imprint guidelines are explained below:
- The format that should be followed is- [Printed by___ published by___ on behalf of ___ (name of owner) __ and Printed at ___ (name and complete address of printing press) ___ and published from ___ complete address of the place of publication___ Editor ___].
- The imprint line should be printed in the language the publisher has opted for during registration.
- The imprint line should contain the same name of the editor as mentioned in the registration and the sub-editor or editor-in-chief shall not be mentioned in the imprinting line
- The imprint line should be printed on the bottom of Page 3 or the last page of the publication, and it should be legible and visible to the general public.
Step 4: Submission of the Documents: The next step of RNI Title Registration is submitting all the relevant documents to the RNI for Registration.
Step 5: Certificate: Once all the above steps are completed, then the authority will issue a RNI Title Registration Certificate.
It can be concluded from the above discussion that RNI Title registration is very important for any person who intends to start a business in publishing. Hence it is essential to be vigilant about the Requirement and Procedure for RNI Title Registration.