Copyright Registration for Cinematograph Film

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a legitimate idea that awards select freedoms to the makers of unique works of creation. It gives the creators the right to control the use and distribution of their works, and to receive compensation for those uses.

Copyright protects a wide range of creative works, including literature, music, art, film, software, and other original works of authorship. It applies automatically to any work that is fixed in a tangible medium of expression, such as a book, painting, or digital file.

The duration of copyright protection varies depending on the country, but in India, it lasts a period of 60 years During this time, the creator or their authorized representatives have the exclusive right to exploit the work in various ways, such as making copies, creating adaptations, and licensing its use to others.

infringement on someone's copyright without permission can result in legal action and penalties.

In cases where copyright is granted by public law, such rights are referred to as "territorial rights." This implies that you are unable to renew the copyright license that a certain State's law has granted you.It can't go past that area of that pacific purview. Copyright of these types varies from country to country. It should be noted that several nations have reached agreements regarding copyright registration being applicable when works cross national borders, and occasionally a sizable group of businesses as well. Public law states that the duration of a copyright expires 60 years after the creator dies, depending on the jurisdiction of the State.

Copyright registration can be considered for the following works-

  • Music
  • Drama
  • Manuscripts
  • Digital Forms
  • Books
  • Films
  • Paintings
  • Performances
  • Fashion Designs
  • Sound recording
  • Software
  • Literary work
  • Mechanical
  • Training manual etc.

Cinematograph Film

A cinematograph film, also known as a motion picture or movie, is a series of still images that, when projected onto a screen at a high speed, create the illusion of motion. It is a form of visual storytelling that combines images, sound, and other elements to convey a narrative or tell a story.

A cinematograph film typically consists of multiple elements, including a screenplay, actors, a director, a cinematographer, sound engineers, and post-production editors. These elements are combined to create a final product that can be distributed to audiences through various channels, such as theaters, television, streaming platforms, or DVD/Blu-ray releases.

Cinematograph films can encompass a wide range of genres, such as drama, action, comedy, horror, and documentary. They can also be produced in various formats, such as feature-length films, short films, TV shows, or web series.

The creation and distribution of cinematograph films are often subject to copyright laws, which protect the creators' rights to their work and govern the use and distribution of the films.

Copyright Registration for Cinematography

Copyright registration for cinematography involves registering the copyright for a motion picture or a Cinematograph film with the relevant copyright office in a particular country. This can provide additional legal protection and benefits for the copyright holder.

When a cinematographer creates a film, they automatically hold the copyright to their work. However, register copyright provides certain advantages, such as:

  • Legal evidence: Registration creates a public record of the ownership of the copyright, which can be useful as evidence in court if a copyright dispute arises.
  • Enforcement: Registration makes it easier for a copyright owner to enforce their rights and take legal action against infringers.
  • Statutory damages: In some countries, registering the copyright before any infringement occurs may make the copyright owner eligible for statutory damages in a lawsuit. This means that the court may award a set amount of damages per infringement, without requiring the owner to prove the actual damages suffered.

To register a copyright for a motion picture or a Cinematograph film, the creator or copyright owner must usually complete a Copyright form and pay a registration fee to the relevant copyright office. The application will typically require information about the work, such as the title, year of creation, and names of the creators. When the application is supported, a declaration of Copyright registration will be given.

Benefits of Copyright Filing for Cinematograph Film

Filing for copyright registration for a cinematograph film offers several benefits, including:

  • Legal Protection: Copyright registration provides legal protection to the copyright owner against any unauthorized copying, distribution, or adaptation of their work.
  • Evidence of Ownership: Copyright registration creates a legal record of the ownership of the cinematograph film, which can be used as evidence in case of any disputes.
  • Exclusive Rights: The copyright owner has exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, display, and adapt their cinematograph film, giving them control over how their work is used.
  • Remedies in Case of Infringement: Copyright registration provides the copyright owner with remedies and damages in case of any infringement of their rights.
  • Statutory Damages: Registered copyright owners in India are eligible for statutory damages if their work is infringed upon, which means that they can receive a predetermined amount of damages without having to prove actual damages.
  • Licensing and Revenue Generation: Copyright registration makes it easier for the owner to license their work to others, which can generate revenue through licensing fees.
  • The public will notice your work as it attracts the crowd
  • International Protection: Copyright registration in India can also protect the copyright owner in other countries through international agreements and treaties.

Overall, copyright filing provides legal recognition and protection to the owner's creative work, creating a safer and more secure environment for creative expression and intellectual property in the film industry.

Documents Required to Register Copyright for Cinematograph Film

To register a copyright for a cinematograph film, the following documents are required:

  • Copyright form: The copyright form should be completed and signed by the copyright owner or their authorized representative.
  • The applicant, who may be the creator or owner of the right, must sign Form XIV and the Statement of Particulars (SoP).
  • Statement of particulars: This is a statement providing details about the author, title of the film, date, and place of publication, and other relevant information.
  • Script or screenplay: A copy of the script or screenplay of the film should be included with the application.
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC): If the film is based on a pre-existing work, such as a book or play, a NOC from the original copyright owner should be included.
  • Copyright owner’s identity proof: A copy of the identity proof of the copyright owner, such as a PAN card, passport, or Aadhaar card, should be submitted.
  • Documentary proof of ownership: This includes documents that prove the ownership of the copyright, such as a license agreement or assignment deed.
  • Two copies of the film: Two copies of the film should be submitted along with the application. One copy will be kept by the copyright office and the other will be returned to the copyright owner after registration.

After submitting the application and required documents, the copyright office will process the application and issue a copyright registration certificate to the copyright owner. The processing time for copyright registration in India can vary depending on the workload of the copyright office.

Process of Copyright Registration for Cinematograph Film

The process of copyright registration for a cinematograph film involves the following steps:

Observe formalities

The Copyright Officer does a formality check after the applicant applies to make sure the given documents have been properly attached to the application. However, if this is not done, a letter outlining the required paperwork is issued to the applicant.

Promotion of objections

After the Copyright Officer has completed the formalities check, it is published for one month to solicit objections from those who claim to have an interest in the subject matter of the copyright or who disagree with the applicant's right to register the work. If a party objects, the Registrar will hear from both the applicant and the objector before inviting both parties to respond in writing. The application will be turned down if the objection is present.


If there were any disputes or complaints about the work, the copyright officer will investigate. The application process will be refused if concerns are voiced. But, if the objection period has expired and no objections are voiced, further action will be taken.

If there are any errors, the applicant will have a chance to make the necessary corrections before submitting the work for registration. Also, the registrar will complete the application for the issuing of a certificate of Registration if the errors are remedied.


Following the completion of the examination process, the applicant will receive a Registration Certificate and excerpts from the Copyright Registration.

Duration of Copyright Protection

Copyright Protection Duration that cinematograph films are protected is specified in Section 26 of the Copyright Act, and it is 60 years. Protection lasts for some time starting with the year the work was first published.

Benefits of Choosing Biatlegal for Copyright Registration for Cinematograph Film

Major Benefits of Choosing Biatlegal as Copyright Registration for Cinematograph Film

  • Expertise in Multiple fields Like intellectual Property rights including Trademarks, Copyright, and Many More
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Some of the FAQ Related to Copyright Protection for Cinematograph Film

For cinematograph films, the copyright Fee is Rs. 5000 per work. As a result, the required copyright fees must be submitted with the application for copyright registration of a cinematograph film.
Together with the Copyright form and acknowledgment receipt, documents must also be sent in person, via mail, or both.

Publishing a cinematograph film in India can occur through various channels, such as:

  • Theatrical Release: The most common way of publishing a cinematograph film in India is through a theatrical release. Films are released in cinemas across the country and can be viewed by audiences on the big screen.
  • Digital Platforms: With the rise of streaming services and online platforms, publishing a cinematograph film digitally has become more popular. Films can be released on platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hotstar.
  • Television Broadcast: Cinematograph films can also be published through television broadcasts, either on free-to-air channels or on paid channels. This can include satellite or cable TV.
  • DVD/Blu-ray Release: Cinematograph films can also be released on physical media such as DVDs or Blu-rays. This format is becoming less popular due to the rise of digital platforms, but it is still used in some cases.
  • Film Festivals: Film festivals provide a platform for filmmakers to showcase their work to a wider audience. Cinematograph films can be submitted to film festivals, and if selected, can be screened at the festival.
  • Online Premieres: With the pandemic causing disruptions in theatrical releases, online premieres have become a popular way to release cinematograph films. Filmmakers can organize online screenings of their films and invite audiences to view them online.

These are some of the instances of publishing a cinematograph film in India. The method of publishing may vary depending on the budget, target audience, and other factors of the film.


If a copyright owner suspects that their cinematograph film has been infringed upon in India, they can take the following steps to deal with the infringement:

  • Cease and Desist Letter: The copyright owner or their authorized agent can send a cease and desist letter to the alleged infringer, demanding that they stop the infringing activity immediately.
  • Negotiation: If the alleged infringer is willing to negotiate, the copyright owner can try to reach a settlement agreement that compensates them for the infringement and allows them to retain control over their work.
  • File a Lawsuit: If the infringement continues despite the cease and desist letter, the copyright owner can file a lawsuit in a civil court. The court may issue an injunction to stop the infringing activity and award damages to the copyright owner.
  • Criminal Action: In severe cases of copyright infringement, the copyright owner can file a criminal complaint with the police. If the complaint is found to be valid, the alleged infringer may be prosecuted and punished under the Indian Copyright Act.

Copyright owners need to take steps to protect their rights and deal with copyright infringement in a timely and effective manner. Taking action against infringement not only protects the copyright owner's work but also sends a message to potential infringers that copyright infringement will not be tolerated.


Copyright law provides the following exclusive rights to the creators of cinematography films:

  • Reproduction Right: The right to make copies of the cinematography film, whether in physical or digital form.
  • Distribution Right: The right to distribute copies of the film to the public, whether through physical or digital means.
  • Public Performance Right: The right to show the film in public, whether through a theatrical release, television broadcast, or other means.
  • Adaptation Right: The right to create derivative works based on the original film, such as sequels, prequels, or spin-offs.
  • Moral Rights: These include the right of attribution, the right to maintain the integrity of the work, and the right to prevent distortion or modification of the work that could be prejudicial to the creator's reputation.

These exclusive rights give the creators of cinematography films control over how their works are used and distributed and allow them to benefit financially from their creations. The term of copyright protection for cinematography films varies by country but is typically for a certain number of years after the death of the creator or the date of publication or creation of the work.

In the case of a cinematograph film, the owner of the copyright is the producer of the film. According to the Indian Copyright Act, of 1957, the producer of the film is considered to be the first owner of the copyright in the film.
In India, the copyright for cinematography is valid for 60 years from the year of the film's first publication. This period of 60 years is calculated from the beginning of the calendar year following the year in which the film was first published or made available to the public.
In some cases, film names or titles can be protected under trademark law rather than copyright law. Trademarks are used to protect names, logos, and other distinctive symbols that are used to identify and distinguish the products or services of one business from those of another.

Copyright law protects original creative works of authorship, including cinematography films. In the case of cinematography films, the following elements can be protected using copyright:

  • The screenplay or script: The written words and dialogue that make up the story of the film.
  • The music: The original music compositions and sound recordings created for the film, including the background score and any songs or lyrics written specifically for the film.
  • The visuals: The original visual elements of the film include cinematography, set design, costumes, and special effects.
  • The sound effects: Original sound effects created for the film, such as explosions, gunshots, and other ambient sounds.
  • The editing: The creative decisions made in post-production, including the arrangement of scenes, pacing, and overall tone of the film.

These elements are protected by copyright law as soon as they are created, without the need for registration. However, registration of copyright for cinematography films in India is recommended as it provides additional legal protection and evidence of ownership in case of any legal disputes.


Advantages f Copyright Registration for Cinematography are:

  • When a cinematograph film copyright is established, financial loss is prevented.
  • Copyright offers legal defense and allows you to submit your work anywhere, at any time, if necessary.
  • It assists in preserving reputations.
  • A novel strategy contributes to significant revenue.
  • It helps you stand out from the crowd and your job.
  • Your work will be seen by the public because it draws attention.
  • Depending on the situation, preventative steps may be performed.