What is Copyright?

Copyright is nothing but an exclusive right given to the creator of an original work. T symbolises that the work is unique and is not copied from anywhere else. The creative work could be in the form of literary work, artistic work, cine field, artistic work, educational, music or work in any creative form. Copyright is provided for the period of 60 years. If the owner of the work protects its work under Copyrights Act, then the owner of the work gets an exclusive right to copy, imitate or reproduce its work and no other person is authorised to copy his work without his permission otherwise legal action can be initiated against him. Copyright registration is used to protect the original expression of an idea in the form of some creative work, but not the idea itself. Copyright does not protect ideas, facts, systems or methods of operations, however it may protect the way how these things or emotions are expressed.

Copyright can also be provided as per public law, and in that case, they are called “Territorial rights”. This means that you cannot extend your copyright license which is granted by the law of a certain State. It cannot go beyond that territory of that pacific jurisdiction. Copyright of these types vary from country to country. It should be noted that many countries across the globe and sometimes a large group of companies have made agreements with each other on copyright registration being applicable when works cross” national borders. The public law states that the duration of a copyright expires 60 years after the creator dies, depending on the jurisdiction of the States. 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.

What is a Cinematography copyright?

Audio visual production of moving objects is termed as a cinematographic film. While there are a lot of people associated in the making of a cinematographic film, it is the producer of the cinema who has the copyright over it

Copyright ensures following rights to the producer of the film

  • To make a copy, photograph or produce it in parts.
  • To sell or resell it, to give it on hire
  • It also makes sure that the producer is the only one who has a right over taking the film to the public. However, the sound recordings in the movie are not covered by the copyright of the movie.
  • Also the artists of the movie are not protected by the copyright of the film.

Moving on, we must remember that a cinematographic film can only be an adaptation of a particular literary work provided the copyright holder of the work has given his consent. In case, the film is being shown at a public event without the consent of the copyright holder of the work on which it is based upon, the movie can be taken off.

Here’s another clause pertinent to music and cinematography. Certain law states that once a music creator has decided to share his copyright and given consent for his music to be used in the movie, the producer of the cinema acquires the right to use his music for his film and the music composer cannot bar him from screening the movie. On the other hand, even the producer does not become the sole owner of the music work and the composer can continue to benefit from its public performance of his work.

Talking about censorship and its effects on copyright- There’s no such law which states that the producer will not be protected by the copyright if he fails to abide by the censorship guidelines.

Why should one get their work registered under the Copyright Act?

In India, it is not mandatory to protect thor work under Copyrights Act, 1957, but it is always safe to get one. If you do not protect your work under copyright law, then your ork can easily get copied by any third person, and remember that one who gets their work copyright first is valued and accepted. Copyright for films is done by their Directors and Producers. Non-copyrighted movies can appear anywhere and the owner cannot have control over it. Motion picture copyright is secured automatically when the work is fixed and created in a copy. Movie copyright can also be done along with the copyright registration documentary film which is highly recommended in this world of people wanting a variety of movies. Hence the person should protect his hard work by registering for a copyright license.

Advantages of Copyright for Cinematographic films

Following are the advantages for cinematographic films-

  • There would be prevention of monetary loss when copyright of a cinematographic film is done.
  • Copyright helps for legal protection and legal evidence of your work which you can submit anywhere, anytime, if necessary.
  • It helps in protecting the reputations
  • It provides you prestige
  • A unique approach helps in generating high revenue
  • It makes you and your work stand out in the crowd
  • The public will notice your work as it attracts the crowd
  • Pre-emptive measures can be taken according to the circumstances

Term of Protection for Copyright of a film

Copyright work for cinematographic film is protected for 60 years as per section 26 of copyright act, 1957. The year of the protection starts from the year when it first got published officially.

Documents required for copyright of cinematographic film

  • 2 copies of your work
  • DD/IPO (as applicable) per work
  • NOC from various copyrights holders or copies of the agreement (deed of assignment)
  • NOC from the publisher if the work is published and publisher is different from the applicant
  • A specific power of attorney is required if the application is filed through an attorney
  • In the case of cinematography films, statement of further particulars is not necessary
  • The applicant, who may be author, or owner of the right must sign XIV form and Statement of particulars

Fee Structure

The fee for cinematographic films is Rs. 5000/- per work. Accordingly, the applications for registration of a cinematographic film must be accompanied by the corresponding fee along with the records.

Documents should also be submitted by hand/ or through post along with the application form and acknowledgement receipt.

Examples of Publication of a Cinematographic films

The regional jurisdiction for trademark application and hearing is divided into five zones under which several States and Union territories have been classified, which are as follows-

  • A TV show or a DTH channel showcasing a cinematograph film
  • Releasing of cinematograph film in the market
  • Release of the film in the theaters, cinema halls or multiplexes.

Release of the film in the theaters, cinema halls or multiplexes.

Process for registration of Cinematographic film

The copyright registration for a cinematographic film is a lengthy one, and it requires a lot of legal requirements. However all of that can be compressed in the following points-

  • Perform a copyright registration search to see whether the work is available or not.
  • File the application for the copyright registration along with the copy of work.
  • Wait for the copyrighted material to be published
  • It shall stay in the journal for a while

After submitting all the documents and forms, you will get the registration certificate.


An author is the person who writes, scripts and owns the story.
Owner is the person who owns or by an agreement, is entitled to own the copyright in a work
Publisher is the one who makes the work available to the public by any preferred medium.
No, Names and Titles are not subject to copyright.

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