How to Get Copyright for Blogs, Website and Books in India

“Hello Sir, how to get copyright in India for my poems?”, asked a Facebook friend.

“Hi, is it important to copyright protect my blog?”, asked another friend.

“How can I stop copying of posts from my blog?”, yet another friend queried.

Many people who run their own blogs and websites often ask me if they need to protect their content by getting copyright registration. And if yes, then how to apply for copyright in India. It is an important question because the content creator (i.e. a blogger or writer) invests time and other resources to create something of value. Many people are professional blogger and they make money from their blogs. So, their work should not be copied and misused by others. Let’s try to understand what copyright means for bloggers and writers. And also how to get copyright for blogs, websites and books.

What is copyright?

First thing first, let’s know what exactly is copyright. Well, copyright is the ownership of a creative work. This right has been provided to the creators by the Constitution of India. It ensures that no one else lay claim on the work and/or make profit out of your own work.

Does a blogger need copyright?

Yes and no. If you’re publishing some creative work (like stories, novels, poems, photographs, drawings, sketches, digital art etc.) on your blog —it is recommended that you apply for copyright because this is really your intellectual property which could not have existed without your skills.

You can also get copyright if you’re writing things like tutorials on your blog. Actually you can get copyright for any work of art that you can prove you have produced.

But does a blogger publishing tutorials really need to take trouble to file for copyright?

Copyright and bloggers. Do you need to get copyright for your blog posts?
Copyright and bloggers. Do you need to get copyright for your blog posts?

I don’t think so. If you publish something, that material is automatically copyrighted to you. As a blogger or writer, you do not need to explicitly assert your copyright. When you publish a post or book, it automatically gets covered by the copyright law and you become the copyright holder of the posted material. However, in court, if someone can prove that you had copied the posted material, you’ll lose the copyright and you may be punished.

More importantly, especially for professional bloggers, you should not copy material from other blogs for another very simple reason.

The reason is that Google heavily penalizes copied content. If someone copies your content and publish on their own blog, they are actually making the biggest mistake a blogger can make! So, you don’t really need to worry if you’re concerned in this regard.

Nothing stops you from getting copyright on your blog posts —but you would need to see if the trouble is worth it. Later in the article, I will explain how to get copyright for a website or blog.

Is it must to get copyright certificate?

No. As per the law, copyright is automatic. As soon as you create an original work, you’ll immediately become the copyright holder of that work. However, if you want to have a prima facie physical evidence of being the owner of that work, you can apply for copyright certificate.

Therefore, copyright registration is totally optional and your should consider getting a certificate only if you’ve some really pressing reasons.

How about Displaying Copyright Symbol?

Many people believe that if a blog is not displaying the standard copyright symbol then it is alright to copy the material without any problem. Well, such people are wrong! Your blog post is copyrighted to you even if you’re not displaying copyright symbol or the standard sentences like “all rights reserved”.

However, it is recommended that you add the copyright symbol on your blog. It may deter above-mentioned folks to some extent. It’s easy to add copyright sign with HTML.

What does copyright cover?

Copyright covers your original expression. It does not cover facts. For example, if you write “the sun rises in the east” —it is a fact and anyone else is free to say the same thing on their own blogs. But if you express this fact in a special artistic way, for example using a peculiar combination of words and sentences, then you will have copyright on that original expression of yours. The fact will still be copyright-free but you’ll be the owner of that unique way-of-expression for the fact.

Is it OK to copy a few lines and use them as a quote?

In most cases, such a practice is legal. If you’re quoting the source and/or giving link to the source blog or website, the owner of those lines would not really mind. And even if someone does mind, you can always remove such a quote upon receiving a complaint. Quoting few lines is considered fair use in the court of law.

How to get copyright in India?

In India, copyright is governed by the Copyright Act, 1957 and the Copyright Rules. The Government of India has recently setup the Copyright Office as a nodal agency to look after all the copyright related matters. You can e-file your copyright registration request. While applying, you’ll have to pay a fee to get the registration done.

How to get copyright for a website?

A website may contain a number of elements that are literary or artistic in nature. For example, words, graphics, videos, software and photos etc. As per the Copyright Office, you will have to file copyright registration request for each of these elements separately.

Basically it means that you can get copyright on specific material but not on a complete website or blog. It is, therefore, a clumsy process to get copyright for a whole website or blog.

How to Apply for Copyright in India?

Following work flow diagram gives you a visual idea of how the process works. This diagram is courtesy of the Copyright Office.

Process of copyright application in India.
Process of copyright application in India.

Well, I hope this information on copyright was useful for you. Please feel free to ask questions and I request you to try to answer existing questions by commenting on this article. Thank you for using TechWelkin!

56 thoughts on “How to Get Copyright for Blogs, Website and Books in India”

  1. Hi Lalit,
    Thanks. It’s a very well written piece of information. I have a couple of questions: I run an education institute. There are lot of copyrighted study material available in the market. I am referring to all those material and doing minor changes in questions so that it becomes unique content.
    1. How can i check whether the material developed by me is unique ? Bcz free tools are not genuine.
    2. As you said, once the material is developed, it automatically gets copyrighted to us, unless someone can prove that it was developed by him. In case we maintain sufficient evidences, then we don’t need to spend on Copyrights ?

  2. Hi, thanks for this succinct, clear knowledge pack. One follow up question:
    If I have a blog and post to it every-day, would I be required to apply for a fresh copyright every time I post new content?

    Is there some way to get a copyright for everything you post on a platform (say your blog)?

    Thanks again

  3. Can a person reposting my content on social media platform (specially Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter) be held for copyright infringement? Do I hold rights for that content or the social media company holds the rights?

    1. No, I don’t think sharing a link of your content could be treated as a copyright violation. It’s not violation, it’s called sharing and that’s what social media is for! You do hold the copyright on your content but it can be shared on social media. Just sharing a link to your content on social media is no violation.

  4. If I’m using someone’s copyrighted images on my website, is there any problem? If it’s problematic, then how can I survive that?

  5. Hi Lalit, Great Article Indeed! I was looking for genuine info on this topic and found it on your website! Thanks for that.

    Just a question though, I recently published my ebook on amazon kindle as “public domain work” just because I didn’t apply for copyrights for that ebook on Copy Right Office, India. But as per your post, “When you publish a post or book, it automatically gets covered by the copyright law and you become the copyright holder of the posted material.”, Am I eligible to upload my ebook on amazon as “Copyright material”??

    Also, just FYI I have already sent free copy of same ebook to my Blog subscribers few days back.

    Another question – If I apply for copyright at Copy Right Office Website, still I need to send my work as hard copy to their office by post? And also let me know the fees of this.

    1. As long as you can prove that your are creator of the said work – it will be under your copyright. If you want to apply for copyright, you can do so online at copyright.gov.in

  6. I want to copyright the e-content which includes interactive animations, cartoons, videos, audios. I have to copyright all of them separately or i can get the entire content copyright and automatically my cartoons, videos, audios will be covered?

  7. i have a social network website where each user will post their photos and some of the literary work as a post. I want to protect their data from copoyright infringement means the time the post will get created i want it should belong to my user…what i have to do for this..??? which copyright should i apply for to protect the website and all of its content(users post) from being infringed…Please reply??
    Any help will be appreciated.
    Thanks

  8. Hi,
    I have written a novel, which i want to copyright before publish. So, can I upload whole novel online after payment on .

  9. Hello, very informative; I have narrated a story to one of the movie directors; now I am worried that he will use my story without my involvement in the movie. How can I protect my story?
    Your help is much appreciated,
    Biju

    1. Well, you should send the story by email so that there is a record that it was you who sent the story to the directors. Verbally narrating a story to someone has its own hazards.

  10. Hi,
    Can I use photographs from Indian government websites? I want to however be protected within copyright laws.

  11. What should I do to get copyright of my poem?? Should I publish these poem or directly get certificate from copyright office? Also how can I publish that??

  12. Jyotindra Nath Choudhary

    Thanks Lalit, it’s good information for me because I suffered from copyright issues of my written content. Good work has been done by you buddy.

    1. Just send a synopsis and a sample chapter to publishing houses. If any of them would be interested, they will take the talks forward. Then make an agreement whomever you want to publish with. Once a book is published, it automatically gets copyrighted.

  13. I want to start a Blog for giving interactive training to aspiring I.T. professional. It will contain series of Blogposts which might exceed 100. Is it automatically copyrighted. What if somebody copies part or whole of it in his own Blog. How will I know of violation of copyright Act. What action can be taken against the person who copies it

    1. If you believe that somebody is copying your posts, you can warn that person and if he still does not comply, you can take legal action against him.

  14. I want to learn about creating a website. I have some innovative ideas to explore on it and I want to learn about website soon. Tell me some tips on how could I create my own website, launch it and have copyright of it .

  15. I like to write and I have been writing poems since long time. I want to show these to everyone but I don’t want to post them without getting copyright. What should I do??

    1. Publish your poems in a book or in newspapers and magazines. That you way your poems automatically become copyrighted.

    1. I have not tried this website. But if you’re publishing your eBook through an established eBook publisher -it will automatically get copyrighted.

  16. What if an author post his story on others’ website like WattPad or any other site? Will the copyright still goes to her work?

    1. It depends on the policy of the website where you are posting your story. If you are concerned about your copyright, you should read the policies of the website before posting your content there.

  17. I am creating a website to showcase my designs. These will be my original designs. Please guide me if I need to get copyright for these designs? If not, then if someone claims in future that these designs are not original how will I prove it?

  18. I had idea about an e commerce web site for last 2 years but finally when I started building my website i found a site with same concept. And that site have all rights reserved. So i want to ask that is it fine to continue building my site because i’m not copying anything from that web page but the concept is same for example quikr and olx or amazon and flipcart

  19. Hi, We are developing content for schools, which includes using information from other sources on the web, books, etc but eventually we create lesson plans that may contain images, maps from some of these places. What acknowledgements, precauttions should I take when doing this?

    1. Hi Sujay, you should provide the image source in the caption. If you’re making use of these images / text information for profit purpose, it is better to seeks permission from the author of the work. In non-profit use, giving credit should suffice.

  20. Hi Lalit, Thanks for sharing such important information. Does it require to register my online financial services with copyright as It is the first online business of such type in India. It is based on online Payment transactions.

    1. Copyright does not cover such registration. What you are asking for is Patent. So, you should contact the patents department.

  21. Hi Lalit , Thank you to provide very needful Information.

    Can you give me some Information about , How to Copyright A Logo ?

  22. Can Business plan be copyrighted ? I have ideas and I turned them into business plans and now need to showcase to investors, How can I protect my idea ?

    Thanks
    gaurav

    1. I think, business plans need to be patented. You should contact the patent office and see if they can register your ideas as patents.

  23. Utkarsh Garhwal

    A website is being created for the budding writers. Its a service where writers could post and sell their original work. We wish that the content posted by these writers shall be copyrighted and no one can use their use these works without buying them and express permission. The copyright must be held by the service providers. However, the writers may use it. Is this possible ?

    1. Your question is not clear, Utkarsh. When you publish something original on your website, you automatically become copyright holder of that material. The trick is not to file registration forms etc. The trick is how strongly you will defend your copyright.

  24. Dear Lalit, Hi thanks for providing such important information. I want to ask that is it possible online to copyright my website?

    1. Hi Pramit, I am not sure about the online application. But I don’t think it is worth it to get into the hassle of copyrighting a website as such. A website is just a medium of showcasing products. You need to actually think about copyrighting or trademarking your products.

  25. If i create my website to make money from ads should i register with Govt. of India. If so please enlighten me on this as to how i can be safe legally.

  26. Can a logo also be covered under copyright act? If not then what is the procedure of getting the logo registered in an NGO’s name?

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