IndiaFilings » Learn » Copyright » What are the Different types of work under Copyright section? 

What are the Different types of work under Copyright section? 

different types of work under copyright

What are the Different types of work under Copyright section? 

Copyright is a type of intellectual property that provides exclusive rights to the owner of original works. It helps the rightful owner to have control over their work on how it is used, reproduced, distributed, and displayed. Section 13 of the Indian Copyright Act outlines the types of works eligible for copyright protection. It can be any original work, such as literary, musical, artistic, and architectural. While your creation automatically gains rights, registration offers benefits like stronger proof of ownership, easier enforcement, and the potential for statutory damages. This article helps you know about the various types of work under copyright and the registration process.

Copyright registration is made easier with IndiaFilings!!

Register Now!

What is a Copyright?

Section 14 of the Indian Copyright Act defines “copyright” as the exclusive right granted to the creators of original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, as well as cinematograph films and sound recordings. This right allows the creator to reproduce, communicate, adapt, translate, and commercially distribute their work, providing them control over its use. And, protecting them from unauthorized exploitation.

9 Types of Work under the Copyright section

Section 13 of Chapter III within the Copyright Act, 1957 outlines the various types of works eligible for copyright protection in India. Below, you can find a brief overview of each work with copyright status. It helps you to know which category your work falls under, 

1. Literary Works

Copyright protects original written creations in form and expression, not just ideas or facts. This covers novels, poems, scripts, articles, essays, blog posts, website content, and even reference works like dictionaries. However, titles, short phrases, and factual information aren’t protected. The essential factor is originality in the arrangement, selection, or wording of your writing. Protection lasts for the author’s life plus 60 years in India, allowing you to control reproduction, distribution, derivative works, and public display of your creation. Remember, copyright doesn’t prevent others from writing about similar topics but gives you exclusive rights over your unique expression.

2. Artistic Works

Copyright for artistic works safeguards the original expression captured in a tangible form, not the underlying concept. Whether it’s a painting, sculpture, photograph, drawing, graphic design, or diagram, originality in its visual creation is important. The copyright protects your specific artistic choices, not the object itself. You can’t copyright a common object like a chair, but a unique sculpture representing that chair could be protected. Remember, ideas and titles are not protected but unique expressions made by your creativity and labour..

3. Musical Works

Musical works include compositions of melodies, harmonies, and rhythms, whether vocal or instrumental. Under copyright, musical works are protected from unauthorised reproduction, distribution, performance, and adaptation. This includes both the musical notation and any recorded performances. Copyright ensures that composers, songwriters, and music publishers have control over the use of their creations, allowing them to earn royalties for their work and maintain artistic integrity.

4. Cinematographic Works

Cinematographic works involve the creation of audiovisual content, including films, videos, and documentaries. Copyright protection extends to audiovisual presentation, including the screenplay, visuals, sounds, and performances. This grants filmmakers, producers, and distributors exclusive rights to control their films’ reproduction, distribution, public performance, and adaptation. Copyright ensures creators can profit from their creations and maintain creative control over their works.

5. Architectural Works

Architectural works encompass the design and construction of buildings, structures, and architectural plans. Your architectural drawings, plans, and models, as well as the built structures can be protected. This protection allows architects and designers to control their designs’ reproduction, distribution, and adaptation, preventing unauthorized copying or replication. It helps the architects receive recognition for their creative contributions and can benefit financially from their designs.

6. Softwares

Software refers to computer programs and applications, including source and object codes. The protection extends to the underlying code and the software’s user interface and functionality. This protection allows software developers and companies to control their programs’ reproduction, distribution, and modification. With this protection, developers can monetise their software through licensing agreements and protect against unauthorised copying or distribution.

7. Databases

Databases consist of organised collections of data or information, such as directories, catalogues, or compilations. Copyright protection extends to data selection, arrangement, and presentation within a database. This protection prevents unauthorised copying or extraction of substantial parts of the database, ensuring that creators or database owners can control access to and use of their valuable collections of information.

8. Choreographical works

Choreographical works involve the composition and arrangement of dance movements and routines. It includes the sequence of movements, formations, and patterns. This protection allows choreographers and dance companies to control the performance, reproduction, and adaptation of their choreographic works.

9. Performing Arts

Performing arts encompass live performances of music, dance, theatre, and other forms of entertainment. The original scripts, music scores, or choreography also come under protection. Performers, playwrights, composers, and choreographers have control over the use and distribution of their performances, ensuring they receive recognition and compensation for their artistic contributions.

Also read: Difference between Copyright claim and Copyright strike

How to Copyright the Works in India?

The following is the standard procedure to copyright your works in India,

Step 1 – Eligibility: Ensure your work is original and falls under a protected category like literary works, music, software, or artistic creations. Ideas, facts, and common expressions are not protected.

Step 2 – Choose Your Form: Different forms exist for different work types. Visit the Copyright Office website to select the right one based on your creation.

Step 3 – Application Details: Carefully complete the form with accurate information, including title, author/creator name, creation date, and a brief description. Attach copies of your work (e.g., manuscript pages, music score, artwork images) or a description if copying is difficult.

Step 4 – Fee Payment: Fees vary depending on the work type and other factors. Check the website for current details and pay online or through offline methods.

Step 5 – Submit your Application: Submit online through the e-filing portal or by mail to the Copyright Office in Delhi.

Step 6 – Processing and Wait: The office will process your application and may request additional information. Processing time typically takes 2-3 months.

Step 7 – Receive Your Certificate: Upon successful registration, you’ll receive a copyright registration certificate – proof of ownership.

Benefits of Copyright Registration

If you produce an original work, it will be protected automatically. But, having copyright registration provides you with the following benefits,

  • Presumption of Ownership: A registered copyright acts as prima facie evidence of ownership in court, making it easier to prove your rights and seek legal action in case of infringement.
  • Stronger Legal Position: In infringement cases, registration shifts the burden of proof to the infringer, strengthening your legal position and potentially reducing legal costs.
  • Access to Statutory Remedies: Registration allows you to claim enhanced statutory remedies like injunctions, damages, and criminal prosecution against infringers.
  • Licensing: A registered copyright allows you to license your work to others for commercial gain, generating income through royalties or fees.
  • Fundraising and Investment: Registration enhances the value of your work, making it easier to attract investors or secure funding for creative projects.
  • Customs Protection: You can record your registered copyright with Indian Customs to prevent the import of infringing copies.


Copyright safeguards a wide range of creative works in India, from literary masterpieces to architecture. This article provided an overview of various categories like music, software, and performing arts, helping you to identify where your work falls. Remember, registration strengthens your ownership claim, offering legal advantages and potential financial rewards. Simplify the copyright registration process with IndiaFilings experts.

Get exclusive rights for your works with Copyright registration!!

Register Now!