Is it necessary to register a copyright? If there is an infringement of an unregistered copyright, can action be initiated against the person violating such copyright even though it is unregistered?
Under the provisions of the Copyright Act, 1957, it is not mandatory to register copyright in any work. In fact, a careful reading of Section 13 of this Act shows that copyright may subsist even in an unpublished work in certain situations. Therefore, it is not necessary to register copyright in a work. It is optional.
Thus, if you so wish, you can make an application for registration of your copyright in the Register of Copyrights in accordance with the provisions of Section 45 of the said Act. But, it is optional and not mandatory. If you do such registration, then such registration may be a prima facie evidence of the particulars entered in such Register, i.e., it may be a prima facie evidence of your copyright.
However, if you don’t register your copyright in a work, you’ll have to provide some evidence to substantiate your claim of having copyright in that work if the need arises (such as in case of an infringement or a dispute).
It goes without saying that if your copyright in infringed, even if it be unregistered, you can bring an action in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act against the person who has violated it. Of course, you’ll have to provide evidence of subsisting of your copyright in that work.
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