Copyright, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is "The exclusive right given by law for a certain term of years to an author, composer etc. (or his assignee) to print, publish and sell copies of his original work"

Copyright is the exclusive economic right which is given by the government to the owner of the original work. It is a legal concept and normally given for a period of lifetime of the author plus sixty years after the author's death. The basic purpose of giving such kind of rights to the creator is to compensate the creator for his intellectual wealth. Copyright may apply to a wide range of creative, intellectual, or artistic forms. Specifics vary in each country but these can include motion pictures, songs, drawings, sculptures, photographs, computer software, television programs, etc. Copyright itself does not cover the idea or information, rather it protects the way such idea or information is expressed. For example, the copyright of a movie on superheroes does not restrict others from making movies on superheroes; rather it only prohibits the creation of movies based on those superheroes alone. If the movie may feature different heroes which cannot be judged to be related to the original, then there is no claim for copyright.

Where a mere idea is not copyrightable, the expression of an idea or information is protected under laws of copyrights. Laws and applicable rules related to the Copyright under the India are governed under the Copyright Act, 1957.

Registration of work to claim copyright is not mandatory, acquisition of copyright is automatic and it does not require any formality. However, certificate of registration of copyright and the entries made therein serve as prima facie evidence in a court of law with reference to dispute relating to ownership of copyright.

Subject to certain conditions, fair use of the copyrighted work for research, study, criticism, review and news reporting, as well as use of works in library and schools and in the legislatures, is permitted without specific permission of the copyright owners.

The definition of “infringing copy” is given in Section 2(m) of the Copyright Act, 1957. The definition talks about infringing copies with relation to a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work which would be reproduced in a cinematographic film. Copyright infringement occurs most commonly with music, software, film, etc. Infringement with books and other text works is also quite common, but is mostly done for educational purposes. Section 13 of the Copyright Act enlists works in which a copyright should either subsist or not. Copying or reproduction of origin work is a criminal offence and any person who knowingly infringes or abets the infringement of the copyright in any work commits criminal offence under Section 63 of the Copyright Act. The minimum punishment for infringement of copyright is imprisonment for six months with the minimum fine of Rs. 50,000/-. In the case of a second and subsequent conviction the minimum punishment is imprisonment for one year and fine of Rs. 1,00,000. Most copyright claims are handled out of court by a direct approach between the copyright owner and the infringer to save on time & money avoid unnecessary expenses by settling the matter out of court.