How To Copyright A Website In India

Copyright is a right that is given to the creator of an original literary, dramatic, artistic, or musical work. This right is vested upon the creator as soon as the work has been created. Copyright registration would aid your claim in the case of any infringement of your copyright. This ensures that an author or creator could claim copyright over that item ranging from software programs and poems to cartoons, movies, and in some cases, even performances. In older articles we have seen how copyrights work, In this article well will see what are the uses of website copyrights.

Copyrighting a website

A website is actually combinations of the several copyrightable works like design, graphic art, logo, program, and content, etc. For example, the content you write for it, and the original software that gives back up to the development of the website would come under literary works. The pictures you have posted on your website would be protected under artistic works. Sound clips and videos are also copyrightable by law. This means that you could not possess a blanket of copyrights over the entire website. Instead, your own copyright only over the individual components of the website. It should be kept in mind that it would not be necessary to obtain a copyright registration.

Your intellectual property rights over the website which will exist regardless of any certificate it has obtained. But Obtaining a copyright certificate will be very useful for your website for moving into the future. The phenomenal growth of e-commerce in India has also lead to a huge growth of fraud in e-commerce sites as well. Some websites do not have contents of their own but copy contents from other competitors. In a matter of seconds, content from a website can be copied and posted on another website. What can you do about it? In this article, we explore the concept of copyright and the legal remedies available to a victim. The law governing copyrights in India is the Indian Copyright Act, 1957, as amended (Copyright Act) along with the international treaties to which India is a signatory.

For an e-commerce website, this would generally mean that the compilation of these deals on their website which would be copyrightable work and given legal protection under the law. However, certain specific limitations to the legal protections given to the holders of the copyright. If copyrights protection has no limitations, it would be impossible for someone to reproduce the work or to review it on their own original work until the terms of existing copyrights. In this context, it comes from the defense of “fair use”.

What is fair use?

Fair use is one concept in the copyrights act that actually originates from the law or feature developed by the United States, which gives high priority and key considerations for determining whether there has been any sort of fair use through a four-factor test module, which includes:

(a) the quantity and value of materials used

(b) the degree in which the use would prejudice the sale or diminish the profits, supersede the objects of the original work In common law countries, such as India and the United Kingdom there is a concept of “fair dealing” similar to the concept of “fair use”. In India, Section 52 of the Copyright Act provides evidence for the fair dealing defense, such as dealing with a literary work for the purpose of professional criticism or review which technically would be fair dealing and therefore not actually infringing the original copyrighted work done by the author.

There are judgments of courts in India dealing with this question of “fair dealing”, which actually stated that fair dealing, only protects those whose work does not have an intention to compete with the work of the holders of the copyright and whose work does not derive profits from such competition, which is as such is not improper. If the content on your website is copyrightable under the provisions of the Copyright Act, then it could be copyrighted and if it gets copied or hosted on to any other website with the intention of making any sort profits or otherwise to compete with your actual work, then it is under the law that one could consider taking hard legal action.

The Copyright Act provides for dual legal machinery for the enforcement of rights

(a) the Copyright Board

(b) the courts  Remedies granted in India for copyright infringement include imprisonment and/ or monetary fines depending on the gravity of the crime.


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