The protection of copyright in respect of cinematographic or video films, sound recordings, architectural, literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works is governed by the Copyright Act, 1957 as amended by the Copyright (Amendment) Acts, 1994, 1999 and 2012. Importantly, copyright is the only form of protection available in India for computer software which does not come under the purview of patents. Hence, the definition of the term ‘literary work’ includes “computer programmes, tables and compilations including computer databases”.
Copyright in any of the stated works is a proprietary right that comes into existence and subsists as soon as the work in question is created. The law does not require the formality of registration to be completed before copyright is acquired and it is an established fact that an action for infringement of copyright can be brought even if the compilation is not registered. Nevertheless, it goes without saying that the official registration of copyright presents several advantages, not the least of which is the ability easily to identify the work in question and establish the identity of the owners of the copyright, for instance when instituting an action for infringement.”