RNI Registration- An Overview
RNI is an abbreviation for Office of Registrar of Newspapers of India. This authority was brought out in 1956 to oversee the compliance requirements for publication of newspapers in India. The Press Commission of India brought out this authority by amending the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 (PRB) (The ‘Act’).
The above act contains all the functions and responsibilities conducted by the RNI. Apart from ensuring the publication is in conformity with the guidelines for publishing, the RNI registration protects the title of the newspaper from any third-party misuse or intellectual property infringement.
Functions of the RNI (RNI registration)
There are different forms of functions performed by the RNI. These functions are classified into statutory and non-statutory functions. Below is a list of some of the functions carried out by the RNI:
Maintenance of Register of Newspapers
The RNI ensures that they keep records of all newspapers (current and old). Apart from this, maintaining a register would be a record for all the newspapers published in India.
Certificate of Registration
The RNI provides the certificate of registration to a company that wants to publish its newspaper.
Compliance with the Act
The RNI ensures that all publishers follow compliance under the Press and Registration of Books Act. This would be in accordance of section 19-D of the PRB Act. Section 19-D of the Act is related to filing of annual statements by the publishing company.
Searching for Availability of Title
Before publishers make a declaration regarding their prospective publications, this authority makes sure to check for availability of title for their publication.
Verification of Claims
Under section 19-F of the PRB act, this authority also is responsible for verifying claims related to annual statements of different forms of publishers.
Which Publishers require RNI registration?
The following publishers require RNI registration:
Any Company or entity entering into the publishing sector would require this form of registration. This would include any newspaper in any language. Regional newspapers would also have to seek this form of registration.
Any form of magazine or publication would require this form of registration.
Any form of newspaper editorial would also require this form of registration. It is crucial to secure RNI registration for the editorial.
Any foreign newspapers also require consent to publish their newspapers in India. Hence RNI registration is required even for various foreign publications.
Benefits of RNI Registration
There are different benefits of RNI registration in India:
Through this form of registration the newspaper or publisher can secure some form of recognition throughout India. Apart from this, the RNI will provide updates to the publishers on any changes pertaining the registration requirements.
Protection to Title
By registering under this system of RNI, publishers would benefit protection of title related to publications and newspaper. Protection of title is crucial when it comes to the publishing sector.
Protection against Third-Party Claims
Apart from protection to title, the registered publisher would also get the benefits against any unwanted false third-party claims. Any form of infringement proceedings related to copyright can also be avoided by registering the publication.
Any registered publisher would comply with the respective laws i.e. the PRB Act by securing this form of registration.
Title Verification Procedure
To register a newspaper with the RNI, it is compulsory to apply for the title verification procedure. The following steps have to be considered for verifying a title under RNI registration:
Log in the Online Portal
In the first step, the applicant has to go online and log in to the online portal. The official website can be visited through the following http://www.rni.nic.in/.
The applicant will have to review the instructions on the website. Apart from this, the applicant must check for any form of updates related to the title verification process.
Online Title Application
The applicant must click on the tab ‘online title application’.
Review Filing Application
In the next step the applicant must review the details thoroughly before applying for title verification. This would avoid any further issues related to the process of securing the title.
Fill the details and submit the application
After this, the applicant must provide all details on the publication. The applicant must provide all the compulsory details. Out of all the details the applicant must compulsorily provide a functioning mobile number and an email address.
Submit Application to the Authority (DM/DC/SDM/DCP/JCP/CMM)
The applicant must submit the application for title check to the above authorities. In Delhi the DCP is the authority to handle issues on RNI registration.
RNI will look into the application
The above authority will forward the application to the RNI. The forwarding authority will also provide the name, signature and the seal of the authority while forwarding the same. After receiving the hard copy of the application, the RNI will review the application. The application will not be processed until the hard copy of the application is provided to the RNI. All applicants are advised to keep a hard copy of the application which is signed for any form of future reference.
RNI reference number
Once the hard copy of the application is received by the RNI the same will be reviewed. After this the RNI will generate a reference number known as the RNI reference number. This number will be generated on the registered mobile number and the email address of the applicant.
In this step the status of the application can be checked by the applicant. This can be carried out online by inputting the DM number or the RNI reference number.
Download Title Verification Letter
In the last step, the applicant can download the title verification letter. Either the title will be accepted for confirming with the requirements. If this is not the case, then the title will be rejected.
How to Register my Newspaper (Procedure for RNI Registration)?
Every publisher or applicant will have to fulfil the below criteria for RNI application. Every publication company or entity will have to consider the following steps for RNI registration:
Verification of Title
The applicant must follow the procedure related to registration of title of the newspaper or the publication. The online process mentioned above must be considered.
After securing the title verification document, the same must be provided to the authority (DM/DC/SDM/DCP/JCP/CMM). With this, Form-I must also be provided. This is required for authentication. If publishing and printing companies are different then two formal declarations must be provided. If the above parties are in different districts then separate declarations are required from the respective districts. As per the rules related to the PRB act, the publisher must provide the declaration at the place of publishing the newspaper and the printer must provide the declaration at the place of printing the newspaper.
Publication of Volume
As per section 5(5) of the PRB Act, the Volume and year of Issue (Volume/Issue-1) should come after 42 days of authentication. This would be the authentication of declaration. It is mandatory to carry out this procedure if the publication period is daily. If the publicity pattern is fortnightly then the volume/issue -1 should come out 90 days after the period of authenticity. If the publisher and the printer are in different districts then the publishers place would be considered for authentication.
- In case the volume or the issue is not brought out, then the revised declaration must be brought out and issued.
- In the declaration, the name of the printing press would be mentioned. The publications must only be printed at the printing press which is mentioned in the declaration.
- The publication can contain different form of articles, releases and journals. This can be however brought out in different languages as required.
The following guidelines have to be considered when printing the master head:
- The title has to be unique. In such a way the title must be distinct and must not have any existing title of use age.
- The title of the newspaper must be displayed properly for view in the mast head. The font size of the title must be not more than 25%.
- Title can be displayed either in the horizontal context or the vertical context.
- In case the publication is in more than one language (bilingual or multilingual), the title must be displayed properly in the mast head in any one of the languages.
- If the title is not in English or Hindi it must be displayed in the masthead in the similar manner. Font size must be in accordance to the requirements.
- Apart from this, the masthead space should contain the date information, volume number information and other information, number of publications and the language of publication.
- Each page must contain the page number apart from the volume or the issue number.
Imprint Line Guidelines
- The following guidelines have to be considered when it comes to imprint line guidelines:
- The following format must be considered for imprint line [Printed by___ Published by___ on behalf of ___ (name of owner) __ and Printed at ___( name and complete address of printing press)___ and published from ___ complete address of place of publication___ Editor ___].
- Imprint line must also be published in the language which is considered.
- After the declaration, the name of the editor must be present in the RNI registration process. If individuals such as sub-editor or editor in chief are considered in the RNI registration, then this must not be mentioned in the imprint line.
- According to section 3 of the PRB Act, any content in the imprint line must be legible to the public. Hence all the information published in this line must be visually visible to the public. For the specific place where the imprint line must be mentioned is in page 3 or the last page of the publication.
Submit Documents for RNI registration
In the final step for RNI registration, documents must be submitted to the requisite authority. The list of documents which have to be provided for RNI registration are present below.
Documents for RNI registration
- Copy of the verification title letter which is issued by the competent authority.
- Declaration in the Form-1. This declaration has to be provided by the publisher and this must be verified and authenticated by the respective by the DM/DC/SDM/JCP/CMM.
- Separate Declaration is required to be filed by the printer in case the printer and publisher is not the same company or the entity.
- Written agreement or contract between the owner of the periodical and the printing press. This agreement or contract must bear the signatures of the respective parties.
- If the owner of the periodical and the printing press is the same person, then no such documentation is required.
- Copy of the First issue of the newspaper or volume after the approval is provided by the DM/DC/SDM/JCP/CMM.
- Apart from this, the procedural guidelines related to masthead and imprint must be mandatorily followed by the publisher.
- Authorisation letter from the owner regarding the release of the publication in case the owner and the printer are not the same entity.
- In case the entity is company then requisite information as per the Companies Act, 2013 has to be provided to the authority.
- MOA and AOA (Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association).
- Certificate of Incorporation.
- Other respective documents as required.