The objective of this guide is to lay down comprehensive and definitive guidelines for examination and registration of works falling under the category of cinematograph film. Firstly, before laying down the procedure for registration of cinematograph films we need to understand as to what constitutes a cinematograph film.

  • Definitions

Section 2(f) gives us the clear meaning of a cinematograph film. A cinematograph film means “any work of visual recording and includes a sound recording accompanying such visual recording and “cinematograph” shall be construed as including any work produced by any process analogous to cinematography including video films.” By definition, every recorded work with moving visuals/images will be considered a cinematograph film. Here we would also need to define visual recording as it comes under the purview of cinematograph film.

Visual recording means “means the recording in any medium, by any method including the storing of it by any electronic means, of moving images or of the representations thereof, from which they can be perceived, reproduced or communicated by any method as defined under section 2(xxa) of the Act.

  • Term of protection

Section 26 deals with the term of protection for cinematograph films. The term of protection for cinematograph films is 60 years. The term of protection starts from the year which follows the year in which the work was published first.

  • Documents required for application
  1. Form XIV (
  2. Statement of Particulars [SoP]
  3. 2 copies of the work (1 copy if work is published)
  4. Power of Attorney (if filing through an advocate or an individual other than the applicant)
  5. No Objection Certificate [NOC] or an agreement from various other persons involved.

In case of cinematograph films, Statement of Further Particulars is not necessary.

Both Form XIV and SoP must be signed by the applicant who may be the author/owner of the right.

Fee for cinematograph films is INR 5,000 per work. Accordingly, the applications for registration of cinematograph films must be accompanied by the corresponding fee.

Process of registration and examination                                                    

  • Formalities check

Upon the receipt of an application, the Copyright Office conducts formalities check to ensure the above documents have been duly attached to the application, failing which a letter detailing the necessary documents is sent to the Applicant.

  • Advertisement for objections

Once an Application has passed the formalities check, it is advertised for a period of one month to invite objections from persons who claim to have an interest in the subject matter of the copyright, or who dispute the right of the applicant to register the work. If an objection is received, both parties will be invited to reply in writing, and then will be heard by the Registrar. If the objection is sustained, the application will be rejected.

  • Examination

If an objection is not raised or if the objection is not sustained the copyright office examines the work based on the prerequisites and passes it for registration if there appear to be no discrepancies and in the case of discrepancies the applicant is given a chance for correction and upon such corrections being of satisfactory nature the application proceeds for registration.

  • Registration

Upon registration, a Registration Certificate, as well as extracts from the entry made in the Registry will be sent to the Applicant.