How to copyright a song in india | Registering a song

  • July 07, 2018
  • Dushyant Sharma
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Just creating a song is not enough rather protecting it from infringement is equally important. To protect your song from being exploited by any of your competitors don’t wait to get a copyright for it. With this blog, we will take a complete understanding of the procedure involved in copyright registration.


When an original rhythm and just the right lyrics hit, you can’t wait to create a song. As soon as you’re done creating, you can’t wait get it out there to let the world hear it. Hold on. Just wait and ask yourself one question: “Do you need to copyright your song?

The good and the simple answer is no, you do not. As soon as you’ve written the lyrics, and recorded your song, you get the right to copy it. In simple terms, you get the copyright of your song as soon as you record it. But here is the catch, the right is not absolute. Even with the recording, there is no way to prove that it’s you who came up with that song.

That’s when copyright registration comes to your rescue. By registering the copyright of your song, you get the ability to:

  1. Perform that song at any place at any time
  2. Reproduce that song and sell it to earn money
  3. Monetize the use of that song if someone else uses it.

So how to copyright a song in India? Well, contrary to what you’ve read at other places, copyrighting a song is lot more complex.

Innovation deserves recognition!  Innovation is the major key to the success of any country. Thus, ignoring the novel creations cannot be afforded by any country. Now suppose you have created a beautiful song but don’t know how to protect it? Copyright registration is the best way to protect your unique creation.

Copyright Registration in India is an intellectual property right provided by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings.  With copyright registration come the multiple rights including the rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation, and translation of the work.  The main aim of this registration is to provide a reward to the author over their creation in the form of minimum safeguarding rights.

The good news for all the song creators is that now they can obtain protection for their song’s music and lyrics. Now the question that arises here is how to Copyright a Song in India? There is a complete step by step procedure that is required to be followed by every person who is looking for getting his copyright registered in India. Before moving forward to the process involved in copyright registration let us take a brief glance at the documents required for copyright registration.

What is Copyright registration?

Copyright is made up of two words: copy and right. Reverse their order and you get the term “right to copy”. By getting the copyright of your literary or artistic work, you get exclusive right to copy it. While you get the right to copy as soon as you record your song, you can’t enforce it without copyright registration.

Copyrighting all the elements of the song

Before you decide to copyright your song, list the elements of the song:

  1. The lyrics: It’s the words that came to your mind that you decide to turn into the song
  2. The music: It’s the rhythm behind those words that finally gave voice to your lyrics.
  3. The recording: It’s the record of you singing that song.
  4. the background instrumental: It’s the recording of the background instruments that you implemented into that song.

When we said that song copyrighting is complex, it’s because you can’t only just copyright one element of it: the recording. To get complete control over your song, you need to copyright its individual elements.

Documents required to copyright the lyrics:

To copyright your song’s lyric, you need to put it in the word file.

Documents required to copyright the music:

To copyright your song’s music, you need to write a music sheet and then scan it.

Documents required to copyright recording:

To copyright your song’s recording, you need to record it in the wav file.

Documents required to copyright instrumental:

  1. To copyright your song’s instrumental; you need to submit the wav file, the recording of the instrumental.

The Procedure of Songs Copyright in India

Step-1 Filing the application

The first step in the process of copyright registration is to file an application online through the portal of a copyright attorney. The application shall be filed by the applicant himself or the person authorized by him. In the application filed the details of the copyright and its description is filed in appropriate form along with the prescribed amount of fees. After the successful submission of the application, a diary number is generated.

Step -2 Formality check fail

On the receipt of an application to the department, it will be sent for formality check. This check will be carried out to ensure that the basic requirements of 2 copies of work and the complete FORM-XIV power of attorney are completed. If the application fails on formality check a letter asking for furnishing the necessary requirements is issued to the applicant at his/her communication address. 

Step-3 Waiting Period

If the application is passed from the second stage without any objection it will be kept open or receiving any kind of objection from the person who claims or has any interest in the subject matter of the copyright for the period of 30 days. In case no objection is received the application will be processed further on first come first basis.

Step-4 Hearing

In case an objection is received on the copyright applied a letter will be issued to both the parties. After receiving the reply a hearing will be scheduled by the registrar. In the hearing, both the parties will be given a chance to present their part. If the application is accepted it will be further passed to the scrutiny by the examiner.

Step-5 Registration Granted

Finally, the application will be passed to the registrar. If he is not satisfied the application will be a rejection and the notice will be issued to the applicant. On the contrary, if the registrar is satisfied by the application made he will grant the approval for the same and send extracts of the same to the applicant. Now you are ready to enjoy the advantages of copyright registration in India.


While filing the application, you have to remember one thing; it’s going to take time. From furnishing your document to getting the certification, it can take around 2.5 years. So, if you don’t possess the virtue of patience, better start practicing.

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Dushyant Sharma
Author: Dushyant Sharma

Hey there, I'm Dushyant Sharma. With the extensive knowledge I've gained in past 8 years, I have been creating content on various subjects such as banking, insurance, telecom, and all the important registration and licensing processes for various companies. I'm here to help everyone with my expertise in these areas through my articles.

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