In this age of digitalization where AI is taking over and deep fakes are almost realistic now, the need to protect original creations of the mind is more than ever. Especially when you put out your unique literary work out there for the world to read and share. This blog is for those budding as well as accomplished writers, authors, poets, academicians, lyricists, script writers and everyone else who creates unique literary content on a regular basis.

Copyright is a type of Intellectual Property (IP) that protects all literary works. In this blog, we will focus on the importance of Copyright protection in the world of Literature to help artists protect their unique literary creations.

Literary works and copyright protection

The term literary works in Intellectual Property (IP) includes:

  • Books/ e-books
  • New editions of Books (adaptations and translations included)
  • Storybooks
  • Concept notes
  • Lectures/ sermons and speeches
  • Judicial Pronouncements
  • Comic-books
  • Thesis
  • Website Content
  • Textbooks
  • Poems
  • Magazines
  • Question papers
  • Panchang
  • Catalogues
  • Novels
  • Letters  
  • Dissertations
  • Lyrics of song  
  • Computer Programmes
  • Tables and compilations including computer databases
  • And more…  

Copyrights automatically protect all original works of literature. Copyright in its literal sense means the ‘right to copy’. For any kind of dramatic, artistic, musical, photographic or literary work copyright plays the role of saviour against unauthorised usage and piracy.

What is the importance of copyright protection for literary works?

Copyright subsists in all original works of authorship. However, with the ease of access to the internet, there has been an obvious increase in books piracy and plagiarism in literature. This makes it important to put your literary work in copyright protection, especially for authors today. Registered copyright gives you the option of fighting someone who is infringing your original work;

  • It creates goodwill of your literature in the market;
  • Registered Copyright is your Legal proof of ownership;
  • In India, registration of copyright lasts up to 60 years from the death of the Author. This means no one can infringe your work even after your death!
  • Multiple remedies are available in case of Infringement of registered copyrights:
    1. Firstly, you can seek an injunction against the publishing, distribution of infringing copies;
    2. Criminal Remedies are also available;
    3. Further, you can also claim damages to make up for the loss caused by the infringing copies!

Do I really need to go for literary work copyright?

To answer that question, let us narrate two fascinating incidents of copyright infringement in the realm of literature. We’re sure these are reasons enough to help you understand the importance of copyright protection.

1. Harry Potter Kolkataye

In 2003, an Indian author wrote a book named “Harry Potter Kolkataye” and sent the copies to the booksellers on College Street in Kolkata. This book was written in Bengali and told the story of a Kolkata boy named Jhontu who failed to get tickets to a Harry Potter film. Further, this led to him dreaming that the entire story was being narrated to him.

Some 15,000 copies of the book were sold before Warner Bros. threatened booksellers with legal action. After this incident, distribution was ceased. 

2. The Catcher in the Rye Sequel

J. D. Salinger, the author of this classic, filed an infringement suit 60 years after the publishing of his book against a Swedish author for releasing the book “60 Years Later: Coming through the Rye”. This book was sort of a sequel to The Catcher in the Rye. The similarities were such that even the characters of the sequel were exact copies of the original book. The Court held that the aim of writing the sequel was not to criticize the book but to gain profits. Thus, the sequel was an infringing copy of the original book “The Catcher in the Rye.”

If people can be brave enough to steal from such famous books, we can only wonder how easy it will be to copy from books that have just been published or released! 

Now that you understand the importance of copyright protection for literary works, here’s how you can bring your literary work in copyright protection.

Process of Copyright registration for literary works  

1. Filing the Application

An application for Copyright can be made by both online and offline modes. List of Documents necessary for filing the Application:

  1. Form XIV;
  2. 2 copies of work;
  3. No Objection Certificate (of the author, in case anyone else except him/ her is the applicant)
  4. Power of Attorney (if the application is being filed by an Attorney or other person on behalf of the Applicant)

2. Waiting Period

As soon as the application is received by the Registry, a 30-days waiting period is initiated. The aim behind this waiting period is to allow persons with an interest in the application/ work, to object to registration of the work. If no objection is raised, the application is then taken into consideration.

3. Objection

If an objection is raised within the said waiting period, letters are sent to both the parties involved, and they are given an opportunity of being heard. After the hearing, the Registrar might pass any of the following orders:

  1. Accept the Application, or
  2. Refuse the Application

4. Examination

All applications for literary work copyright that have been not objected or Accepted after the objection, are open to Examination by the registry. The registry examines the submitted documents, to find any discrepancies. Then, the registrar issues a ‘Discrepancy Letter’ to the applicant if they find any discrepancies in the application upon examination. The applicant has to file a reply to this discrepancy within a period of one month of issuance of the discrepancy letter.

5. Hearing

After the applicant files reply to Discrepancy Letter, the registrar issues a Hearing Notice to resolve the discrepancies. Thereafter, registrar accepts the Application if all discrepancies are resolved at the Hearing. However, if the registrar feels the discrepancies were not resolved, they will reject the application, and send a Refusal Letter to the applicant.

6. Registration

After acceptance, the registry might ask for more clarifications and/ or submissions by the applicant. Once the registrar finds the claim of applicant to be satisfactory, they will make an entry of the application in the register of copyrights and issue the Certificate of Registration.

At the end…

Upon registration, you get the exclusive right to use, publish, and license your literary work. With the right knowledge of the importance of copyright protection, you can choose to make the process easy and hassle-free with the experts at LegalWiz.in. Our ever-growing team of experts have served over 6000 clients while maintaining an unfiltered satisfaction rating of 9.6/10. Let us help you protect your unique literary work in an expert way.