Copyright Registration is a formal registration of work with the Copyright office of a country. It can be transferred or assigned from one party to another creating a license to use. For example, a musician records an album for a record company and transfer all copyrights to the record company in exchange of Royalties.

A Copyright Licensing Agreement is a legal contract wherein the creator permits another (be it an individual or a company) to utilize the copyrighted works in the following manners:

  • For the purposes of re-print.
  • Distribution and
  • For a separate amount of time.


1. Voluntary License - A copyright owner may grant any interest in the right by way of licence. However, in case of a copyright licence, such a licence will take effect only when the work comes into existence. If a person to whom a copyright licence is given in any future work, dies before the work comes into reality, his/her legal representative shall be entitled to the benefit of the licence.

A Licence Agreement ¬¬¬¬¬should have the following characteristics::

  • Duration of the licence.
  • The condition relating to reconsideration, extension/termination of the licence.
  • Identification of work and licenced rights.

2. Compulsory Licensing

Compulsory license is statutory license to do an act covered by an exclusive right without the prior authorization of the right owner. The Central Government in public interest, when a work is unpublished, or published but the author is dead or unknown or not traceable, direct the author or his legal representative to publish the work.