Copyrights – Introduction

Copyright is a legal instrument that provides the creator of a work of art or literature, or a work that conveys information or ideas, the right to control how the work is used. The intent of copyright is to advance the progress of knowledge by giving an author of a work an economic incentive to create new works.

Copyright includes the following creative works:

  1. Literary works which includes Books, Magazines, Journals, Lectures, Dramas, Novels, Computer programmes/Software and compilation of data etc.
  2. Artistic works like paintings, Maps, photographs, drawings, Charts, Calligraphies, Sculptures, Architectural Works, Label Designs, Logos, Monograms and other works alike.
  3. Cinematographic works which includes movies, audio-visual works, documentaries etc; and
  4. Record works which include sound recordings, musical works etc.

Copyright Office and Governing Legislation since Independence:

  1. After independence in 1947, Pakistan adopted the British Copyright Act, 1911;
  2. The British Copyright Act, 1911 was replaced by the Copyright Ordinance, 1962;
  3. The Copyright Office, at Karachi in 1963;
  4. The Copyright Rules of, 1967 as amended in 2002;
  5. Registration started in 1967;
  6. The International Copyright Order, 1968;
  7. The Copyright Board (Procedure) Regulations 1981;
  8. Branch office in 1984 at Lahore;
  9. Part of IPO-Pakistan since 2005.

Copyright Office Provides:

Copyright Office provides services for registration of a copyright work. The registration of copyright work is voluntary and granted only if an owner files an application as per prescribed method. However, registration of copyright work is recommended, as a certificate issued by the Copyright Office serves as prima-facie evidence to prove the ownership of copyright before the court of law or any authority. (

Steps for Registration of Copyright:

  1. Filing of application
  2. Examination
  3. Publication in newspaper (Artistic Work only)
  4. Opposition, if any
  5. Issuance of Certificate by Registrar (Registration)


IPO-Pakistan( has achieved the following milestones in the field of Copyright during the last few years:

  • Installation of Wireless LAN (Local Area Network).
  • Availability of copyright application forms on IPO website.
  • Development of software for reception and account system.
  • Establishment of new IT-Section and server room with improved IT-infrastructure during 2009.
  • Started issuing Computerized Acknowledgment Receipt for Copyright Application and issuing File No. to the Applicant at Reception.
  • Issuing Computerized acknowledgment receipt for Copyright Application and issuing File No. to the Applicant at reception
  • 96% of Copyright Data since its establishment in 1967 has been captured and completed.
  • Since 2008, the Copyright Office is in process to digitize and scan the copyright files and data and so far 52,306 Copyright Files has been digitized and 42,130 Copyright artistic works have been scanned through the Copyright Administration System (CAS) software prepared and installed by Copyright Office.
  • IPO-Pakistan regional office Lahore and Head office Islamabad has been interconnected with Copyright Office Karachi by VPN technology to access Copyright Automation System (CAS) for data entry. The system will be made operational very soon.