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Malayalam Film and Television Chamber of Commerce

Malayalam Film and Television Chamber of Commerce

Frequently Asked Question on Online Script Registration

A.  Registering your literary and dramatic works like story, screenplay, script, lyrics, play, story one line and novel etc. with the Malayalam Film and Television Chamber of Commerce (MFTC) means creating a public record of the date of the creation of your work. That means, the registration is prima facie evidence in the case of the dispute related to first date of creation of work.

For example, if two people have registered the identical story on different dates. Subsequently, a dispute arises regarding the real author of this story. The adjudicating authority shall first look into the date of the registration. The person who has registered first shall be considered as prima facie author and, the burden of proof shall shift to another party who denies the same.

Let’s assume another scenario to understand the benefit of the registration. Mr. X released a film on 15th August, 2022. Mr. Y released another film with a substantially similar/identical storyline on 1st January, 2023. Now Mr. X sues Mr. Y for copyright infringement. Mr. Y can defend himself if he proved that he has registered the script of this film before 15th August, 2022. The act of registration shows that the writer is the prima facie author of the work. It is the reason why most of the production houses/platforms accept only registered work to consider. MFTC registration is widely accepted in the entertainment industry and hence, sending a registered work through a proper channel appears more professional than randomly sharing your unregistered work.

A.  The works qualify for registration include dramatic/literary work like scripts, treatments, synopsis, outlines, stage plays, novels, short stories, poems, commercials, lyrics, and various media work such as Web series, code, and other digital content, under the categories provided under ‘Type of Creating’ which are the following – Synopsis, Story, Script, Screenplay, Dialogue and Song.

An ‘idea’ cannot be protected under copyright. Hence, MFTC suggests you to develop your ‘idea’ into ‘expression’ and then register it.

A.  The primary purpose of registration is to establish the completion date of a literary/dramatic work. Though mere registration cannot prevent plagiarism. It can produce the registered material to any legal proceeding or arbitration in a dispute related to the first date of the creation/existence of the Work to verify the authorship of the same. The MFTC does not read the registered work, nor does it give legal opinions, advice, or inference to the authenticity of the content of the registered work. MFTC can only testify to the date of the registration of a specific work.

Note: MFTC registration cannot be used as prima facie evidence in the case of the ownership related dispute of a literary/dramatic work.

A.  An author has to give the following declaration while registering any work with MFTC.
I, ___________________________aged ____years, S/o or D/o Mr./Mrs. _______________________________________hereby solemnly undertake and declare that:

  1.  I am the author of this literary/dramatic work. In the case of co-authorship work, I have taken permission from my co-authors before registration. Further, I have declared the name of co-authors while registering the work.
  2.  If I am the author but not the Copyright Owner of the Work, I have taken due written permission from the Copyright Owner to register the Work.
  3.  If the Work is a derivative work, I have duly taken written permission from the original author/owner to create this derivative work.
  4.  I understand that the purpose of registering the Work with MFTC is only to create a record of the date of creation of my Work.
  5.  The Work (along with its underlying works) does not infringe the intellectual property rights or any other related rights of a person or entity. In case it is found the contrary, I understand that registration will automatically stand cancelled. Besides, I will be solely responsible for the legal and disciplinary consequences whatsoever.
  6.  I fully understand that any tampering with this document will make this registration null and void. I declare that I have duly read and understood the Registration Instructions, FAQs, Rules and Regulations given on the Registration Page, Terms and Conditions and Copyright and Royalties information of the MFTC given in the website regarding registration of a work and membership eligibility criteria.
  7.  I understand and acknowledge that MFTC does not read, access, verify, make copy, store, etc. of any material/work that I register with MFTC.
  8.   All the information I have provided to MFTC while registering the work is true and accurate, and I have not concealed any material fact herewith.
  9.  I shall fully indemnify and defend MFTC for any cost and losses incurred to MFTC due to any proven claim of the infringement of copyright, personality right, privacy right, life right, defamation, related rights or any civil/criminal claims arising out of this registered work by any person at any point of time.
  10.  If I violate any of the above undertakings, MFTC is entitled to (a) cancel the registration immediately (b) take legal and disciplinary action against me. As a consequence of the registration cancellation, I cannot use, transfer, store, distribute, make available to public or exploit the registered work in any manner whatsoever. Further, MFTC shall not testify regarding the date of the registration in case of an authorship dispute.
  11.  I further affirm that I understand the content of this declaration and accept the same. All the information and statements mentioned hereinabove are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, belief and understanding. If anything mentioned above is incorrect, I understand it will be an offence of Perjury, and I will be solely responsible for the consequences arising thereafter including but not limited to legal action, disciplinary action, cancellation of registration, publicly announcing the default wherever MFTC deems appropriate, along with my details, or any other action as MFTC deems fit.

A.  The purpose of the registration with MFTC is to make a record of the date of the creation. MFTC does not read/verify the content of the work. It relies on the detailed undertaking given by the author while registering the work.

A. Yes, but you need to take the permission of the copyright owner in writing. 

A. Yes, but with the permission of your employer in writing. 
A. No. Only the author of the script can register it at MFTC. In the content of the work, the author can mention that the script is commissioned by you/your company. 
A.The nominal registration fee helps MFTC maintain the overhead expenses and the administrative costs of its registration department.

A. General Information like Name of the member, Registration Number, number of pages, title, date and time of registration and declaration are saved with MFTC (Saved Details). A member shall have access to the registered work temporarily saved in his/her account for ten (10) days counting from the registration date. The registered work will automatically get deleted from the applicant’s account and MFTC server after ten (10) days. It is clarified only the person who has registered the work shall have access to the work in this period and no MFTC staff, Managing Committee Members, Board of Directors, IT people can access/read the registered work at any time.

A. No, Your personal information shall remain safe with MFTC. However, in case of judicial intervention, MFTC shall disclose such personal information as required by the Court of Law, any relevant authority/tribunal and/or law enforcement authority.
A. No, registering your work with MFTC does not take the place of registering with the Copyright Board of India. MFTC registration serves the proof of the date of creation of your Work.
A. Even if you have copyright registration by the Copyright Board of India, registering with MFTC creates a separate record for the date of the creation of your material. MFTC registration is not in parallel with copyright registration.
A. If there is a dispute pertaining to authorship or sequencing of material by date, then registration may be relevant. Our Dispute Settlement Committee (DSC) also shall help determine credits if a dispute is put forth for mediation.

A. Only the author who registers the material has access to the registered material or submission. With utmost regards to the confidentiality of your work, even MFTC staff has no access to the registered work. However, in judicial intervention, MFTC shall provide access to Saved Details (as defined earlier) to law enforcement authorities as required.

A. Yes, MFTC can cancel the registration of your script if the Dispute Settlement Committee of MFTC observes (a) you have violated the terms of the declaration given at the time of registration (b) you are not the author of the work. MFTC can also cancel your registration to comply with an order of the Court. 

A.  Work registered with MFTC remains valid for entirety unless it is cancelled by MFTC.

A.  Work once registered cannot be changed. However, you may register multiple drafts by paying the registration fees each time.
A.  Only the author of the work (natural person) who has written it can register it. A company can be the owner of the work but not the author. 
A.  Yes, provided you are a member of MFTC. If you are an Indian citizen and not a resident of India, you are welcome to become a member of MFTC.
A.  Once you become a member with MFTC, you can register your work online through our website.
A.  No. MFTC does not store or archive any member’s script/work, for secrecy and security purposes.
A.  You can get registered a neatly handwritten manuscript in compressed PDF format online, if it follows the prescribed guidelines. For Online Script Registration, you can scan your hand-written pages, export to a PDF and then register that file on our website. However, in such a case, if the file size becomes heavier than 10 MB, because of the scanned images, then our website won’t accept it for registration. You may split it into two parts and start registering the first part and after paying again the registration fees register the second part. Probably the typed text will help you to register the Script in one compressed PDF file.
A.  Yes. You can register online through our website a work in any or all 22 scheduled languages recognised by the Constitution of India according to Article 120, like Roman, Devnagari, Urdu, Malayalam, Tamil, Gurumukhi etc. besides English. Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Bodo, Santhali, Maithili and Dogri are the 22 languages presently in the eighth schedule to the Constitution of India.
A.  Yes, it is advisable and safe to register all the drafts of your script/work, at every stage of rewrite before you share it professionally.
A.  Yes. MFTC’s Script Registration process is recognized and abided by the film and television industry as well as the entire body of film associations. However, it’s advisable to share only the registered softcopies (or the photocopies of the registered copies) as a deterrent to any Copyright infringement.
A.  Yes. You may contact the Registrar of Copyrights (Copyright Office), Delhi. You can email your script/work to yourself. The date on email will serve as a proof of your copyright on that particular date. There’s also an option of mailing your script/work to yourself by Speed/Registered Post. The sealed envelope, date of the registry and the receipt will collectively serve as proof of your copyright on that particular date.