Copyright Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a copyright?

A copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of “original works of authorship” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished. The law generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work, to perform the copyrighted work publicly, or to display the copyrighted work publicly. A copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the writing.

2. Who Can Claim Copyright

Only the author or those deriving their rights through the author can rightfully claim copyright. In the case of a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; the employer and not the employee is considered to be the author

3. Who May File Copyright Application

  • The author
  • The copyright claimant
  • The owner of exclusive right
  • The duly authorized agent of such author

4. Do I need an Attorney for filing application?

There is no requirement that applications be prepared or filed by an attorney.

5. What Works Are Protected under Copyright Law in Pakistan?

1. Literary works;
2. Musical works, including any accompanying words
3. Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
4. Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works\
5. Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
6. Sound recordings
7. Architectural works

These categories should be viewed broadly. For example, computer programs and most “compilations” may be registered as “literary works”.

There are times when you may desire a combination of copyright, patent, and trademark protection for your work. You should consult an attorney to determine what forms of intellectual property protection are best suited to your needs.

6. What Is Not Protected by Copyright in Pakistan?

  • There are a few categories of work which are not eligible for copyright protection. Among these are:
    Works without original authorship
  • Works consisting entirely of information that is common property
  • Contents of Public documents

7. As an owner of a Copyright what rights do I have?

The owner of copyright has the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

  1. To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords
  2. To prepare derivative works based upon the work
  3. To distribute , sell, transfer, rent, lease, or lend
  4. To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
  5. To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works and in the case of sound recordings to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.
  6. It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright law to the owner of copyright.

8. Why Copyright Registration is better choice?

In general, copyright registration is a legal formality. However, registration is not a condition of copyright protection, but it establishes prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate.

9. What are the Steps of Registration of Copyright?

  1. Filing of application
  2. Examination
  3. Publication in newspaper (Artistic Work only)
  4. Opposition, if any
  5. Issuance of Certificate by Registrar (Registration)

10. What are the categories of copyright registration?

Copyright work/Copyright registration can categorized by following Parts

  • Literary works (Books, Magazines, Journals, Lectures, Sermons, Dramas, Novels, and also including Computer Programs and Compilation of Data)
  • Artistic works (Paintings, Photographs, Maps, Charts, Calligraphies, Sculptures, Architectural Works, Drawings, Label Designs, Logos, Monograms etc).
  • Cinematographic works (Motion Pictures, Video Cassettes, VCD’s, DVD’s etc.).
  • Records Works (Audio Cassettes and CD’s).

11. How to Secure a Copyright?

The copyright registration is the legal way to secure your work in order to stop others from using or exploiting it in their favour.

12. What is the period for which I shall be granted Copyright Protection?

A work that was created (fixed in tangible form for the first time) protected from the moment of its creation and is ordinarily given a term enduring for the author’s life plus an additional 50 years after the author’s death. In the case of “a joint work prepared by two or more authors who did not work for hire,” the term lasts for 50 years after the last surviving author’s death. For works made for hire, and for anonymous and pseudonymous works he duration of copyright will be 50 years from publication.

13. Can I Transfer the Copyright?

Yes. But a written agreement is required for the transfer of these rights.

14. How Copyright is Regulated in Pakistan?

The Copyright Office under the Provision of Copyright Ordinance, 1962 a part of IPO Pakistan headed by the Registrar of Copyrights is the regulatory authority in Pakistan.

Copyright office provides

  • A system of voluntary registration.
  • To grant registration of various copyrighted works.
  • Facilitate any interested person who makes an application to the Registrar.
  • To provide primafacie evidence to prove the ownership of copyright before the court of law or any authority.

15. What is Copyright Law in Pakistan?

  1. British Copyright Act, 1911 adapted.
  2. Replaced by the Copyright Ordinance, 1962.
  3. The Copyright Rules of, 1967 as amended in 2002.
  4. The International Copyright Order, 1968.
  5. The Copyright Board (Procedure) Regulations 1981.

16. What International Treaties/Conventions on Copyright are followed in Pakistan?

  1. Berne Convention , 1886 for The Protection of Library and Artistic
  2. Universal Copyright Convention, 1952
  3. WTO , 1995
  4. WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT),1996
  5. WIPO Performances
  6. Phonograms Treaty (WPPT),1996

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