How to Copyright a Song in India?

How to Copyright a Song in India Procedure

The copyright protection begins at the time any work is created or invented, registration of the work solely depends upon the owner and is optional. Whereas, it is recommended to obtain a registration for the better recognition and protection of the work. It will act as prima facie evidence in the courts and in any verification by investigating authorities.

  • The application shall be submitted before the Registrar of Copyrights in the nearest office on Form XIV under rule 70 of the Copyright Rule, 2012 requesting the Registrar to consider the application for registering the copyright.
  • In the application form, applicants should enclose the statement of particulars describing the work.
  •  The application shall include names and addresses of the parties involved with the date of filing.
  • The applicant has to pay the prescribed fee for the application through Demand draft or IPO and provide details for the same.
  • Communication of any information and future correspondence, the applicant should provide name and complete address with pin code.
  • The applicant should give a self-declaration addressing the validity and truthfulness of the application. Also, if any dispute arises after a false statement given by the applicant shall be held liable.
  • The lists of Statements of particulars, Statements of further particulars, payment receipt, self-declaration shall be enclosed with the application.

Introduction to Copyright Law in India

How to Copyright a Song

Copyright is a dimension of intellectual property for which protection is allowed under Indian law. The Copyright Act, 1957 laid down huge importance on term ‘work’ which contains an artistic work comprising of a sculpture, painting, drawing, an vignette, a photograph any work of the craftsmanship and architecture, musical work (composition, song, music) and sound recording and cinematography and so on. 

What are Statements of Particulars under Form XIV?

The Statement of Particulars is a prescribed format given under the Copyright Rules 2013 and is one of the documents that need to be filled by the applicant to register song copyright in India. This includes the following particulars:

  • Registration number— It has to be duly filled by the copyright office
  • Name address and Nationality of the Applicant
  • Nature of the interest of the applicant in the work of a copyright
  • Short description of the work with the class
  • Title of the work
  • Language of the work
  • In the case, where the author is deceased, his date of deceased with name and address
  • If the work is published before or not
  • Details of the persons having any rights in copyright and work other than owner
  • In the form of ‘artistic work’, the place of office comprising of name, address of the person having the possession of the work
  • Any other details and formalities in respect of ‘artistic work’ shall be duly disclosed in the particulars.

What are the Statements of Further Particulars?

Under this, the details are required only for Dramatic, Musical, literary and artistic works in a more descriptive manner. This is also given under the Copyright Rules 2013 under Form XIV for registration of copyright. It includes the following details:

  • The work which has to be registered is-
    • The original work,
    • Translation of work in the public interest,
    • Whether the work is already subsisting,
    • An adaption of the work in copyright subsists,
  • Whether the work is an interpretation of work which already exists:
    • Heading of the original work,
    • Language of the original work,
    • The authorization for a translation with name, address and etc.

What are the Documents required while song copyright protection?

The following list suggest you pre-requisites while applying for the song copyright and essential documents required during it:

  • The Copyright Rules, 2013 provides Rules 70(3) that the application should be duly signed and attested by the applicant(owner) only if Form XIV does not give the attorney to sign the application and same with Statement of Particulars(SoP) and Statement of Further Particulars(SoFP).
  • The format of Form XIV and Particulars shall be prescribed in accordance with a Copyright Office that is only one copy of each is required at the time of submission.
  • The identity of the applicant with a photograph, name, and address of the person shall be clearly mentioned. If the applicant is other than the owner, the No Objection Certificate(NOC) shall be obtained from the applicant.
  • The work should be indistinguishable in terms of size, color, and design.
  • The copy of the agreement shall be attached in the case of sound recording and cinematograph classification. If no agreement is present the NOC can be attached from copyright holders.
  • Two copies of the work like graphical representation and notes.
  • The power of attorney shall be duly accepted by the attorney on stamp paper and also signed by the applicant. Failure to incomplete the application will be rejected. 

What are the Singer’s Rights?

In the Copyright law, section 38 recognizes the performer’s right in which shall subsist fifty years from the beginning of every calendar year and upcoming following year from the performance made. During this tenure, the performance by any other singer/performer cannot be recorded without the prior permission of the original performer.

The first performer has the right to receive a royalty in case if the performance of another person has done commercial business and when a singer gives his consent to another person than royalty cannot be claimed. Every person has to take prior permission and pay a royalty to the actual performer or owner of the music.

Infringement of Copyright

The owner of the copyright can take legal action against any person who has at any time infringes on the work of the copyright owner. The person can take a remedy by filing a civil suit in the court having jurisdiction. The relief could be given in the form of injunctions, compensation for damages. The Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate of the first class may hear the offence for infringement of copyright.

The minimum punishment shall be imprisonment for six months with a fine of Rs 50,000, where in some cases imprisonment can extend up to one year with a fine Rs 1,00,000.


The main motive and goal behind copyright is to avoid the duplication of invention and entrusting the owner with exclusive and absolute right over his work. Due to this, originality has vested significance in the industry and the owner gets a brilliance recognition of his work by obtaining a copyright. 

In order to keep pace with the global requirement, the copyright laws have played a vital role in monitoring the infringement of the original work. Hence, the copyrights of songs and musical work have become more successful in the last 7-8 years.

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