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Copyright arises automatically upon creation of a work that falls within the scope of the Copyright Act, and is independent of registration or any formal notification of the existence of Copyright. However, registering a Copyright provides evidence that Copyright subsists in the work and that the person named in the registration is the owner of the Copyright. Registration also constitutes sufficient notice of the existence of Copyright to support entitlement to a claim to damages for Copyright infringement.

Copyright means the exclusive right given to authors, artists, composers etc to do or authorise others to do certain acts in relation to: (i) literary, dramatic or musical works, not being a computer programme. (ii) artistic work (iii) computer programmes (iv) cinematograph film and (v) sound recording. The main intent behind a Copyright is to encourage the creation of new works by giving authors control of their works and to enable them to profit from such work.

The duration of Copyright in unpublished work is perpetual. Copyright protection in published works is for the life of the author and continues for sixty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the author dies. In case of joint authors, the term is 60 years after the death of the author who dies last. For other categories of work such as records, photographs, the period of protection is 60 years from the date of first publication of the work. In case of cinematograph films 60 years are computed from the date of the first public exhibition.