1

I wanted to ask whether I can use the copyright symbol on my website without actually registering it.

COPYRIGHT © AUTHOR

And is it allowed according to Indian copyright law?

I came to know that India is part of Berne Convention which includes US, Canada etc. so the copyright laws must be similar but still I wanted to confirm it.

2

Yes. Although usually the form of a copyright notice would be:

COPYRIGHT © AUTHOR YEAROFPUBLICATION

Under Section 55(1) and (2) of the Copyright Act of 1957, you must give the notice to receive any protection other than the right to seek an injunction ordering the infringer to cease using the work, and the notice creates a presumption that the statements in the notice regarding authorship are correct which must be overcome by an alleged infringer.

But, even though you are allowed to give that notice without registering the copyright with authorities in India, there are rights related to a copyright that you can secure only by registering the copyright in India under the Copyright Act of 1957, as amended, which is currently in force.

Some of the benefits of registration of a copyright in India are set forth at Section 48 of the Copyright Act of 1957, which provides that the registration of a copyright constitutes presumptive proof of all information contained in the copyright application including the date and authorship of the work, its non-infringement of any valid trademarks, its content, and its status as a copyrighted work. It also puts everyone on constructive notice of the existence of the registrant's rights. Registration will often reduce the amount of litigation costs and uncertainty for someone enforcing a copyright considerably, although unlike U.S. copyright litigation process, registration does not appear to be an absolute prerequisite for bringing an infringement lawsuit in India.

Registration also appears to be required to obtain the proceeds of a statutory license to use a copyrighted work when an individually agreed licensing agreement is not required (e.g. when someone does a cover version of a copyrighted song).

  • So what I understand from your answer is that I can include a copyright notice in my website without registration but it would not provide me complete protection, eg. i cannot sue someone if he/she copies content/code of my website and/or order the infringer to cease using the work. Am i right ? – Raj Mar 8 '18 at 13:29
  • @Raj You can included the notice on your website without registration. It does not provide you complete protection. But, your examples are not good ones - registration in India makes it easier to bring and win an infringement lawsuit, but it does not bar you from any particular remedies except an ability to collect statutory royalties. – ohwilleke Mar 8 '18 at 15:30

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