Understanding Copyright: Law & Office

Understanding Copyright

Copyrights: An Introduction

Copyright serves as a vital legal instrument granting creators of various art forms or informational content the authority to govern the usage of their work. Its fundamental purpose is to propel knowledge progression by offering authors economic incentives to produce new works.

What Does Copyright Encompass?

Copyright covers a spectrum of creative expressions, including:

Literary Works

Literary works span an array such as books, magazines, journals, lectures, dramas, novels, computer programs/software, and compilations of data.

Artistic Works

This category includes paintings, maps, photographs, drawings, charts, calligraphies, sculptures, architectural works, label designs, logos, monograms, and similar creative endeavors.

Cinematographic Works

Encompassing movies, audio-visual works, documentaries, and related visual media.

Record Works

This category involves sound recordings and musical compositions.

Evolution of Copyright Laws in Pakistan

In Pakistan’s journey since independence, the evolution of copyright laws stands as follows:

  • Adoption of the British Copyright Act, 1911, post-independence in 1947.
  • Replacement of the British Copyright Act, 1911 with the Copyright Ordinance, 1962.
  • Establishment of the Copyright Office in Karachi in 1963.
  • Implementation of the Copyright Rules of 1967 (amended in 2002).
  • Initiation of registration procedures in 1967.
  • Introduction of the International Copyright Order in 1968.
  • Implementation of the Copyright Board (Procedure) Regulations in 1981.
  • Establishment of a branch office in Lahore in 1984.
  • Integration into IPO-Pakistan since 2005.

Services Offered by the Copyright Office

The Copyright Office delivers essential services, primarily focused on the registration of copyright works. While registration is voluntary, it is advisable since a certificate from the Copyright Office acts as strong evidence of ownership before legal authorities.

Steps for Copyright Registration

The process involves:

  1. Filing an application.
  2. Examination of the submission.
  3. Publication in a newspaper (for Artistic Works only).
  4. Addressing opposition, if any.
  5. Issuance of the Certificate by the Registrar (Registration).

Noteworthy Achievements

IPO-Pakistan, through its concerted efforts in the copyright domain, has achieved several milestones in recent years:

  • Installation of Wireless LAN (Local Area Network).
  • Availability of copyright application forms on the IPO website.
  • Development of software for reception and accounting systems.
  • Establishment of an enhanced IT infrastructure, including a new IT Section and server room in 2009.
  • Implementation of a system to issue Computerized Acknowledgment Receipts for Copyright Applications.
  • Ongoing digitization and scanning of copyright files and data, with over 52,306 Copyright Files and 42,130 Artistic Works scanned through the Copyright Administration System (CAS).
  • Interconnection of IPO-Pakistan regional offices with Copyright Office Karachi through VPN technology for seamless access to the Copyright Automation System (CAS).

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