How To Get A Software Copyright In India?

I have developed a vb program, how do I protect it? Can I claim a Software Copyright in India?

Answer (1)

Arshi Noor

  • Sector-1, Noida

To be eligible for Software Copyright, the software must be original and, the creator must have used his/her skills and knowledge to create a unique software. A programme that can only create multiplication tables or algorithms is not eligible for Software Copyright in India. Any programme that has a technical effect cannot be copyrighted in India. Another eligibility criterion for obtaining Software Copyright in India is that the software must be filed published in India. If the work is first published anywhere outside India, the author must be an Indian citizen.

The Copyright Act, 1957 grants Software Copyright and deals with the registration, infringement and rights under Software Copyright. However, if the software has a technical effect, a Patent can be obtained for the same under the Indian Patent Act, 1970. Rights Given To Author By Software Copyright In India Once the Software Copyright is done for a computer or mobile programme, the author/creator gets the following Intellectual Property Rights:

  1. Right to reproduce the work in any form and store it in any electronic form.
  2. Right to issue copies to the public.
  3. Right to display the software in public.
  4. Right to translate the work.
  5. Right to create any adaptation of the work.
  6. Right to sell or give on hire, or offer for sale or hire a copy of the computer program.

However, the rights given under Software Copyright in India are limited in case the copy or adaption of the programme is done by an authorised person to utilise the software for the purpose it was created for, or to make backup copies to protect the software from loss or damage. A person who has written an original programme becomes the author of the software and the owner of Software Copyright. When the software is created by a team of individuals, all the creators become the owners of Software Copyright.

Process Of Software Copyright Registration In India

Software Copyright Registration in India is done with the Copyright Office. An application for Software Copyright must be filed with 3 copies of the published or unpublished work. The Software Copyright application is filed along with the prescribed fees. A diary number is allotted to the applicant, after which, the application is kept open for 1 month to receive any objections against the Software Copyright. After one month, the Software Copyright registration is granted and a notice of Copyright can be placed on the copies of such software. The Notice of Copyright can be displayed in the form of the © symbol, the year of first publication and the name of the owner of such Software Copyright.

Answered on 27 Aug 2019

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