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Rajesh   21 November 2023

I have few poems/songs which need to be checked for existing copyrights

Seeking a skilled lawyer to assist in verifying the copyright status of a collection of poems and songs. 
In my unique situation, I possess a collection of heartfelt poems and songs that hold significant sentimental value. However, uncertainty looms over their copyright status, raising concerns about potential infringement risks and the need for due diligence.

The task at hand involves conducting a thorough examination to determine whether these poetic creations, cherished for their cultural and personal significance, are already protected by existing copyrights in India. Given that these compositions span several decades(my memory takes me 42 years back as my mom would sing them to me), the challenge lies in ensuring that no prior copyright claims exist.


 3 Replies

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     22 November 2023

Copyright in India is regulated by the Copyright Act of 1957 (applicable from 21 January 1958) as amended recently by the Copyright Amendment Act 2012. The duration of protection under the Copyright Act is of 60 years after the death of the author, counting from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the author dies.

Assuming that the hymn (a) is around 200 years old and (b) is not otherwise protected by a specific state or regional law (sometimes national anthems are so) , it is therefore in the public domain.

Do your research if (i) the hymn in question is actually 200 years old and (ii) for sure the last living author died more than 60 years ago and (iii) you are not using any new version composed or arranged or edited by an author that is still under protection (living or dead by more than 60 years).

Have a final check at the IPRS (Indian Performing Rights Society) ( if the data in their database match your findings.

Rajesh   22 November 2023

Thank you for your reply Advocate Kalaiselvan

I am sorry I forgot to say that the peoms/songs I am talking about are no where to be found on the internet or youtube etc. They are simply very good and I only heard them from my mom when I was a kid. My mom was a teacher so I thought you might have read/heard them somewhere and therefore was able to sing them to me but now as she is no more I tried to search them online and can't find them. In that case I wish to go with and Advocate who can search our copyright database and let me know if they belong to someelse. Otherwise I would be happy to go on copyrighting them as I cherish them so dearly.

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     22 November 2023

For now, in the absence of the details of the copy rights of the poems and songs you like to preserve, you may better proceed as per your own program, if at all there is any issue arising then you can handle the same as per law or by a compromise based on the circumstaces prevailing at that time. 

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