3.1 Content Copyright

Copyright is a form of protection provided to the owners of “original works of authorship” in any form or media. It is implied that the original information put up on the website by a Government Department is by default a copyright of the owner Department and may be copied, reproduced, republished, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed only if the copyright policy of the concerned Department allows so.


Hence, the information, material and documents made available on an Indian Government website MUST be backed up with proper copyright policy explaining the terms and conditions of their usage and reference by others. The copyright policy of a Department could be liberal, moderate or conservative depending upon their preferences based on the kind of information available on their website. However, since it is a duty of a Government Department to provide all the information in the public domain freely to the citizens, the Departments should aim to have a liberal copyright policy.


In cases where the document is in public domain and there is no restriction on its reproduction, the copyright statement may be worded as follows:

Sample: Copyright Statement

“Material featured on this site may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without requiring specific permission. This is subject to the material being reproduced accurately and not being used in a derogatory manner or in a misleading context. Where the material is being published or issued to others, the source must be prominently acknowledged. However, the permission to reproduce this material does not extend to any material on this site, which is explicitly identified as being the copyright of a third party. Authorisation to reproduce such material must be obtained from the copyright holders concerned.”


In cases where the nature of information/document calls for a restriction on its reproduction, the copyright statement may be worded as follows:

Sample of alternate Copyright Statement

“Material on this site is subject to copyright protection unless otherwise indicated. The material may be downloaded without requiring specific prior permission. Any other proposed use of the material is subject to the approval of (name of Department). Application for obtaining permission should be made to (email address of the concerned Department).”


The Departments should also be sensitive towards publishing any information having a third party copyright. The Government Departments MUST follow proper procedures to obtain the permission, prior to publishing such information on their websites.


If any published Government Document/Report is being reproduced on any website, whether as excerpts or in full, the source of the same i.e. Full Title of the Report/Document along with the name of the concerned Department and year of publication MUST be provided.