Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of “original works” and includes such things as literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual creations, both published and unpublished. Copyright does not protect ideas. It only protects the specific and original expression of the idea. A good example of this is that there are many films and books based on the classic boy meets girl theme in which the girl’s parents disapprove of boy and after many tears, true love finally triumphs. This theme cannot be monopolized, but original works to it can be. The same can be said of all other works.

So what does copyright afford the owner? Copyright is an exclusive right and gives its creator, or owner if the rights are sold, the sole right to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute and sell any copies of the copyrighted work, to perform or display the copyrighted work publicly. In many countries it will also give the creator of the work special privileges to determine how the work is to be displayed.

Copyright is Automatic – but still needs to be asserted.

Copyright protection is automatic. The act of creating the work also creates the Copyright. There is no requirement to Register for Copyright, although in the US and most other countries it is important to show (assert) that copyright is claimed in a particular work. This is easily enough done by clearly marking any original work with the symbol © followed by the date from which copyright is claimed and the owner of the copyright.

Infringement Proceedings

The US also has special requirements concerning the infringement of any Copyright and it is advisable to Contact an IP expert about these. The most important thing to be aware of is that before an infringement suit may be filed in court it is necessary to Register the works of Indian origin.

Term of Copyright

In the India and in general, lasts until 60 years after the death of the creator. There are however, different rules for created works that are industrially applied, such as Patent and Design drawings.

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