As per Section 14 of the Copyright Act, the Copyright means an exclusive right given to the creators or owners of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings to do or authorize the reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work for which the copyright has been vested in them.
As per Section 13 of the Copyright Act, 1957, all original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, cinematograph films, sound recordings and software can be registered under the Act. A copyright is provided to an original work which is capable of being reproduced or communicated in a tangible medium of expression.
The copyright in a work is acquired at the moment when the work comes into existence. However, the registration of a copyright is a proof of the first ownership in the work and serves as a prima facie evidence in a court of law in disputes relating to ownership of copyright. Copyright registration of original and creative works helps in so that they can be disseminated among the public without the fear of unauthorized copying or piracy.
Titles, names, short word combinations, slogans, short phrases, methods, plots or factual information may or may not be granted copyright protection. Such categories of work are not ordinarily protected unless the work can be considered to be an original expression of the author.
According to Section 17 of the Act, the author of a work is the first owner of the copyright unless there is a written agreement by which the author assigns the copyright to another person or entity. For works made in the course of an author's employment under a contract of service, the employer is the first owner of the copyright. Over the years, Section 17 has been a centre of dispute as it is believed that it enables the producers to defeat the rights of music composers and lyricists. In Indian Performing Right Society vs. Eastern India Motion Picture Association AIR 1977 SC 1443, it was held that the producer can defeat the rights of the music composers and lyricists in the manner laid down in provisos (b) and (c). However, subsequent to the latest amendment, there are certain clauses added in the Act to safeguard the rights of the authors of creative works.
According to Section 2(z) of the Act, work of Joint Authorship is a work which is prepared by more than one author. The authors of the joint work are co-authors of the copyright in that work. Each co-author owns an equal ownership share in the work with the contribution of each author considered to be inseparable and undivided from each other.
Copyright of foreign works are protected in India as if they are an Indian work, if such works are created in the countries which are a signatory to the following international conventions included in the International Copyright Order:

Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic works

Universal Copyright Convention

Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement

Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorized Duplication of their Phonograms.

Multilateral Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation of Copyright Royalties.
Yes, unpublished works can be registered. If a work to be registered is unpublished, a copy of the manuscript has to be sent along with the application for affixing the stamp of the Copyright Office. It is also open to the Applicant to send only extracts from the unpublished work instead of the whole manuscript and ask for the return of the extracts after being stamped with the seal of the Copyright Office. Where the work is registered as unpublished and is subsequently published, the owner may apply for changes in the Register of Copyrights in the requisite form and with the prescribed fee.
The procedure for registration of a work under the Copyright Act, 1957 is as under:

Upon filing the application for registration along with the copies of the work and the requisite fee, an application number (diary number) with the date of filing is issued by the Copyright Office.
The Applicant is required to give notice of his application to every person who has an interest in the subject matter
The application is then examined and if any objections are raised, the response to the same has to be filed within 30 days.
If the Registrar is satisfied of the submissions made in the response and no further objections are raised, the Registration Certificate is issued by the Copyright Office.
The term of protection of copyright depends on the type of work.

In case of Literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work (other than photographs)– the copyright subsists during the lifetime of author and until sixty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the author dies.
In case of Photographs, cinematograph films, sound recordings, works of government, public undertakings, international organizations, anonymous, pseudonymous and posthumous works – the copyright subsists until sixty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the work is first published.
The authors of work protected by copyright have the exclusive right to use the work and authorize or prohibit its use by any third party. In particular, such rights include:

Right to reproduce the work
Right to make an adaptation of the work
Right to make a translation of the work
Right to perform the work in public
Right to communicate the work to the public
Right to make any cinematograph film or sound recording in respect of the work
Right to assign or license the copyright to third party.
The abovementioned rights relate to the economic rights of the copyright owner.

Apart from the above rights, Section 57 of the Copyrights act provides the following rights:
Right of Paternity: i.e. to claim ownership of the work and to prevent others from claiming ownership
Right of integrity: i.e. author's right to prevent distortion and mutilation of the work. After the latest amendment, the scope of the said section has become wider.
In addition to the above, Section 21 further gives the right to the author to relinquish the copyright.
The owner of the copyright in an existing work or the prospective owner of the copyright in a future work may assign the copyright by execution of a written assignment. The assignment must specify the work, the period of assignment and the territory in which the assignment is applicable. In case of assignment of copyright in a future work, the assignment shall take effect only when the work comes into existence.
The most common types of licenses are:

Voluntary License: The copyright owner of the existing work may grant any interests in the right by way of License. Any prospective owner can also grant any interest in the future work by way of license. However, the license shall become effective only when the work comes into existence.
Compulsory License: As provided under Section 31 of the Copyrights Act, 1957, the copyright board of India may grant compulsory license to any person under certain specific circumstances.
Copyright infringement is the violation of the exclusive right to use a work or any other right conferred under the Copyright Act, 1957. The following acts involve infringement of copyright:

Making infringing copies for sale or hire or letting them or selling them for hire
Distributing the infringing copies for the purpose of trade or to such an extent so as to prejudicially affect the interest of the owner of the copyright
Permitting any place for the performance of works in public where such performance constitutes infringement of copyright
Importing infringing copies of the work in India
Public exhibition of infringing copies by way of trade
In case of an infringement of a copyright, there are two remedies available to the owner of the copyright:

CIVIL REMEDY: Section 55 of the Act provides the civil remedies available to the owner of copyright. It states that the owner of the copyright is entitled to various civil remedies including injunction, damages and accounts.
CRIMINAL REMEDY: The Act further empowers the courts to punish the offender. Sections 63 – 70 of the Act lay down the offences, punishments in case of infringement of copyright.
A copyright society is a registered collective administration society. Such a society is formed by copyright owners. A copyright society can issue or grant licences in respect of any work in which copyright subsists or in respect of any other right given by the Copyright Act.
Collective administration of copyright is a concept where management and protection of copyright in works are undertook by a society of owners of such works. It becomes difficult for the owners of the copyrights to keep an eye on all the uses of his work, made by others. The copyright society, because of its organisational facilities and strength, is able to keep a better vigil over the uses made of that work throughout the country and collect due royalties from the users of those works.
The following are the registered copyright societies in India: Society for Copyright Regulation of Indian Producers for Film and Television (SCRIPT) The Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRS) Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL)
A Section 21 of the Act empowers the copyright owner to relinquish his copyright by giving a notice to the Registrar of Copyrights. On the receipt of such notice, the Registrar will publish the same in the Official Gazette.

Disclaimer : The sole purpose of this article is for information only; and not to be construed for any legal advice.