Copyrights are legal protection given to a creator for a specific period of time to exploit his own creation. Copyrights include literary, artistic and musical work. The importance of copyright is to promote the creation of new works by giving authors control of and profit from them. Copyrights are said to be territorial, which means that they do not extend beyond the territory of a specific state unless that state is a party to an international agreement. Copyright infringement is defined as the process of copying the data of copyright holder without the permission of the holder.
In the present article a case has been studied where-in a complaint have been filed against a photocopy shop and Delhi University by Big Publishing houses.
Oxford University Press: Oxford University Press is the largest and most successful university press in the world with offices in fifty countries and publishes more than 6,000 new resources a year across the academic and educational spectrum.
Press of the Cambridge University: Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. It is the world’s oldest publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world.It also publishes bibles and academic journals.
Cambridge University Press India Pvt. Ltd.: Cambridge University Press India Pvt. Ltd. (CUPIPL) is the Indian subsidiary of Cambridge University Press. CUPIPL publishes original academic and educational books in the English language focused on India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives. Many of the books published by CUPIPL under the imprint ‘Foundation Books’, are used in Universities and schools across the Subcontinent.
Informa UK Ltd.: Informa plc is a multinational publishing and conference company with its head office in Zug, Switzerland and its registered office in St Helier, Jersey. It has offices in more than 43 countries and more than 8,500 employees. It owns numerous brands including AchieveGlobal, CRC Press, Datamonitor, ESI International, Lloyd’s List, Routledge and Taylor & Francis.
Rameshwari Photocopy Services: Rameshwari Photocopy Services is a small photocopying shop attached to Delhi University.
The University of Delhi: The University of Delhi is a premier university of the country and is known for its high standards in teaching and research and attracts eminent scholars to its faculty. It was established in 1922 as a unitary, teaching and residential university by an act of the Central Legislative Assembly. The President of India is the Visitor, the Vice President is the Chancellor and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India is the Pro-Chancellor of the University.
In this the plaintiffs (i.e. Big publishing houses like Oxford & Cambridge University Press along with Press of Cambridge University) have sued a photocopying shop attached to Delhi University and asks for permanent injunction of the practice and recompense them monetarily. The defendants (i.e. Rameshwari Photocopy shop and Delhi University) are accused by the plaintiffs that they regularly compiles up the data from copyrighted books and make them available to students.
The complaint for the case can be seen here Delhi University vs. Publishers.This whole case lies on the Indian Copyright Act, which allows fair dealing practice and let the teachers and student photocopy the data from the books which are too expensive and cannot be bought by every single person. The plaintiffs whereas in this case say that “publishers are notwhatsapp plus apk charity house” and questions the system ”why publishers should be giving out their works for free” as they have also paid the authors of the books enough money to sell their written material. Publishers also state that they have to incur the cost of publishing the books from the books sold to students. If all students start photocopying the required parts of the book then none of them would be willing to buy new books and that would result in net loss to the plaintiff.
According to me from my knowledge of the Section-52 of the Indian Copyright Law (deals with the exceptions and limitations for study purposes of copyright law) this whole practice of photocopying books and using them for private study purposes is not illegal and cannot be counted as a copyright infringement as stated in Sec 52.1. It is also under the fair dealing policy of the Indian Copyright Law. If I had to take the decision in this case then i will ask the Indian Court to take a firm decision about this case and give a fair dealing threshold of 15-25% for copying the data from a single book, because in most of the books used for different courses in Indian Universities doesn’t use data more than 20% of the book.