Copyright is an exclusive Intellectual Property Right (IPR) granted to the creators of original works of authorship in the field of music, art, literature, entertainment, etc. It is essential to make a point of the fact that Copyright Protection begins as soon as the work is created; however, legally registering for copyright protection doesn’t happen automatically. Companies, organizations, or business firms, who are engaged in the creation of artistic works or products, designing computer software or programs to name a few, must protect their original works through Copyright Registration the moment they have created them. In India, the Copyright Act defines the kind of work that can be copyrighted and further governs the process of its filing, issuance, and registration to protect it from Copyright Infringement, copying, imitation, or plagiarism. Nowadays, there are a lot of start-ups, coming up with more and more creative ideas and innovations; therefore, they must copyright their work under the Act.
What is the need for a Start-Up to Apply for Copyright?
Copyright extends protection to everything that falls under the purview of the expression of an idea, which can include promotional advertisements, website designs, product snapshots, graphics for an app, interface for a game, software programs, etc. It is necessary to keep in mind that ideas by themselves are not subject to copyright protection, which also applies to principles, concepts, modes of operation, and processes. For instance, if a company’s employee writes articles on some of the best practices for organizations operating in a specific industry and publishes on the company’s official website, then someone else can’t use that content without permission but can surely write a new article in his or her own words on the same concepts. Copyright registration is evaluated or assessed on several different factors and ensures protection for over 60 years. Registration of copyright proves that it is the owner’s Intellectual Property (IP), and he is legally authorized to sue anyone who copies, uses, distributes, sells, or modifies his work without consent.
In the present highly competitive business environment, start-up companies that are involved in trading or rendering services through web channels and platforms do invest some amount of money in developing and designing an attractive website capable of showcasing their products or services innovatively. In such scenarios, opting for copyright registration of the website design is a terrific idea to protect its exclusivity. Besides, the start-ups who are into coding computer software or programs must also go ahead with copyright protection to not let the competitors take undue advantage of their creative input. Even promotional advertisements or a brand new logo can formulate a part of the expression of ideas. In general, a start-up can seek copyright protection for various aspects of their new venture, provided the works are novel and original. The start-ups also need to assess whether their work is susceptible to copyright infringement, or not, and for how long the work requires protection. After seeking answers to these questions, a start-up can decide whether it is worth obtaining copyright registration or not. Obtaining a certificate for copyright registration is not a costly affair and will successfully keep away the threat of commercial misuse of original work for a substantial period. Furthermore, through copyright registration, start-ups have the exclusive right to reissue copies of their works to the public or reproduce the work. They shall also own the right to make any translation of the copyrighted work or make any adaptations. So, all you start-ups out there, it is time to utilize your creativity and start looking for the ‘expressions’ that can obtain copyright protection.