It is important for aspiring musicians and songwriters in India to protect their creative work.

Copyrighting your song grants legal ownership and exclusive rights, thereby preventing unlawful use by others.

This article will walk you through the process of “how to copyright a song in India.”

From understanding what copyright is to the step-by-step registration procedure, we’ll cover it all.

Learn about the required documents, fees, and the online application process.

Whether you’re a seasoned artist or just starting your musical journey, this comprehensive guide will empower you to safeguard your artistic endeavors and foster a thriving musical career in India.

Validity of Copyright

Copyright is a form of intellectual property protection that grants the creator exclusive rights to use and distribute their original work.

In India, copyright protection is provided under the Copyright Act of 1957 which applies to literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works. This includes songs composed by an individual or a group of individuals.

In order to obtain copyright protection for a song in India, it must be registered with the Indian Copyright Office.

The copyright registration process requires the submission of an application and related documents, along with a fee. Once registered, the copyright is valid for 60 years from the date of publication.

Elements of Copyright for Your Song

Before proceeding to copyright your song, identify its key elements:

  1. The Lyrics: These are the words that originated in your mind and form the core of your song’s message.
  2. The Music: It’s the rhythm and melody that bring life to your lyrics and complete your song.
  3. The Recording: This is the actual recording of you singing and performing the song.
  4. The Background Instrumental: It encompasses the recording of the accompanying background instruments that enrich your song’s overall sound.

By recognising and securing these elements, you can effectively protect your song under copyright law, ensuring your creative work remains safe from unauthorised use or infringement.

The Importance of Copyright Registration

Copyright registration plays a crucial role in safeguarding the creators and their creative works, such as music, books, software, films, and more.

By obtaining copyright protection, creators prevent unauthorised copying and commercial use of their creations without permission, which could result in significant financial losses.

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Copyright laws are designed to control the unlawful taking of someone else’s work without appropriate compensation.

It’s a statutory creation, emphasising that no one can claim copyright or similar rights over any work, whether published or unpublished, without adhering to the provisions outlined in the Copyright Act.

By adhering to copyright registration, creators ensure their work’s legal protection and retain control over its usage and distribution.

Role and Purpose of the Copyright Registrar

The Copyright Registrar primarily functions as a certification office, facilitating the registration of copyright claims and maintaining records related to copyrights.

Its main objectives include:

  1. Providing Information: The Copyright Registrar offers valuable information about copyright law requirements and the registration process, helping individuals understand the necessary procedures.
  2. Understanding Copyright Office Operations: The Registrar aims to comprehend and manage the practices and operations of the Copyright Office efficiently.
  3. Documenting Public Records: It is responsible for documenting and maintaining accurate facts from the public records of the Copyright Office.

By fulfilling these objectives, the Copyright Registrar plays a crucial role in ensuring proper copyright protection and management of creative works.

Essential Documents for Copyrighting a Song

When applying for a copyright for your song, certain documents are crucial to include in your submission. These documents are as follows:

  1. NOC (No Objection Certificate): Obtained from the publisher, producer, author, and music composer, as well as any other individuals involved in creating the song.
  2. Two Identical Samples or Copies: You will need to provide two original and identical samples or copies of the work. This can be in the form of a recorded version of the song and its corresponding music notes, which are necessary for the registration of copyrighted music.

How to Copyright a Song in India: Step-by-Step Procedure

Copyrighting your song in India involves a systematic process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you understand the entire procedure:

Step 1: Filing the Application Form: Begin by filling out the copyright application with accurate details through a copyright attorney’s portal.

You can apply personally or through an authorised representative.

Submit all the required documents along with the application, and you’ll receive a diary number to track your application.

Step 2: Formality Check: Your application will undergo a formality examination to ensure it meets the necessary copyright requirements.

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If any deficiencies are found, you’ll be notified to provide additional details or justifications.

Step 3: Waiting Period: After passing the formality check, your application moves to the publication stage, where third parties have 30 days to raise objections.

If no objections arise, your application proceeds to scrutiny by an auditor.

Step 4: Hearing (If Required): If objections are raised, a report will be issued, and both parties will present their cases.

Following this, the Registrar may call for a hearing. If the hearing favors your claim, your application advances to auditor scrutiny.

Step 5: Registration Granted: Upon successful scrutiny, the Registrar will decide whether to grant you the copyright registration.

If approved, you’ll be informed, and your song will receive complete legal protection and recognition.


In India, protecting your song as intellectual property through copyright is vital.

By obtaining a copyright registration certificate, song authors, composers, and music creators secure their claims to copyright.

Understanding the copyright law and following the copyright registration process safeguards the existence of copyright and ensures strong copyright protection.

This process helps prevent copyright infringement and unauthorised copying of original compositions.

As copyright holders, artists benefit from exclusive rights over their song creation.

With the creation of statutes in the field of copyrights, the impact on copyright owners becomes significant, discouraging any copyright violation.

So, remember, copyright is a powerful tool in the field of music and song creation against copying.


What is the impact on copyright owner?

Copyright infringement can harm the copyright owner financially and harm their reputation, as their work may be used without proper credit or compensation.

How do I obtain a copyright certificate?

After successful registration, you will receive a certificate of registration from the copyright office, providing official proof of your copyright ownership.

What happens in case of infringement of copyright?

If someone uses your copyrighted song without permission, you can take legal action to enforce your rights and seek damages for the infringement.

How to copyright songs in India?

Registering copyright for a song may seem daunting, but here’s a simplified version of the process:

Copyright Registration Search: Begin with a copyright search to ensure there are no existing copyrights for a song with the same name, content, and nature.

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File Copyright Application: Submit the application for copyright registration, including a copy of the song you want to copyright.

Publish Copyright in the Journal: The copyrighted material will be published in the Journal for a period. Once you receive the copyright registration, you’ll start enjoying its benefits.¬†Please be aware that the entire process may take a considerable amount of time to finish.

Should I consider a copyright law firm for help?

A copyright law firm can provide expert guidance and legal assistance throughout the copyright registration process, ensuring your rights are well-protected.

What is a copyright notice, and should I use it for my song?

A Copyright notice is a statement that informs others about your song’s copyright status. While not mandatory, it adds an extra layer of protection.