19 September 2016Copyright

Copyright not a divine right, says Delhi High Court

Copyright is not a divine right, according to the Delhi High Court in a judgment issued last Friday, September 16.

In the judgment, the court dismissed a copyright infringement petition filed in August 2012 by three publishers, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor & Francis.

The publishers had sought a permanent injunction against Rameshwari Photocopy Service and the University of Delhi, restraining the businesses from photocopying the publishers’ books for academic purposes.

Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw held that students getting books photocopied from the university’s library or its authorised photocopy shop fall under Section 52 of the Copyright Act, which exempts education from copyright infringement.

Endlaw said: “According to me, what is permissible for a small number of students cannot be viewed differently merely because the number of students is larger.”

He also held that copyright is not “an inevitable, divine, or natural right that confers on authors the absolute ownership of their creations” and that copyright is intended to “increase and not to impede the harvest of knowledge”.

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More on this story

15 November 2016   Three publishers associations have intervened in an appeal against a September judgment which held that “copyright is not a divine right”.