Publishers say their copyright is violated by the photocopier

Even though Delhi University examinations are scheduled to begin on May 1, the students will not be able to photocopy relevant excerpts from their course books as the Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to vacate its earlier stay on a photocopier kiosk on the Delhi School of Economics campus.

‘Facing difficulties’

A group of Delhi University students, through their lawyer Rajat Kumar, had urged Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw to vacate the stay arguing that they were finding it difficult to prepare for their coming examinations due to the ban on the photocopier to reproduce pages of books for students.

Mr. Kumar argued that there was no violation of the Copyright Act as alleged by the publishers’ plaintiff in the matter as Section 52 (1) (ii) of the Act gave permission for photocopying course materials by students on instructions from their teachers.

While refusing to vacate the stay, the Court also said in a passing remark that the stay was only on the photocopier operating on the Delhi School of Economics campus.

The Court had last year passed the stay order on Rameshwari Photocopy Service on the Delhi School of Economic campus on a suit filed by three publishers – the Oxford University Press, the Cambridge University Press and Taylor and Francis – arguing that photocopying by the students was the violation of their copyright on the books published by them.

‘No right’

The Court had then restrained Rameshwari Photocopy Service from “making or selling course packs and also reproducing the plaintiffs’ publications or substantial portions thereof by compiling the same either in a book form or in the form of a course pack till the final disposal of the said suit.”

“The photocopier is running its shop under licence from the university. The photocopier has no right to compile such course packs and books/articles published by the plaintiffs, and more so when the university has taken a stand that that they have no intention to breach any law by making such reproductions as complained by the plaintiffs in the present suit,” the Court had then stated.

The matter will now come up on May 8 for further hearing on the students’ plea for vacation of the stay.

‘Stay only on photocopier operating on DSE campus’