DU photocopy case: court restores copyright suit by publishers for trial

The Delhi High Court on Friday restored for trial the issue whether photocopying study material for course packs is a violation of copyright. The court, meanwhile, allowed DU's Rameshwari Photocopy Service to continue preparing course packs on a condition that it files a record of the same in the suit every six months.

A bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Yogesh Khanna held that there were triable issues in the matter while the single judge had dismissed the petition of the publishers holding that there was no such issue involved and there was no copyright violation.

The appeal is disposed of setting aside the impugned judgment and decree (passed by single juge) holding that no triable issue on fact arises. The suit is restored for trial on the issue of fact and for which parties would be permitted to lead expert witness testimony," the bench said.

Rameshwari can continue preparing course packs

While declining to grant any interim injunction against the Rameshwari Photocopy Services from preparing course packs, the bench directed it to “maintain a record of course packs photocopied by it and supplied to students. Every six months the statement of number of course packs photocopied and supplied shall be filed in the suit.”

“We declare that the law in India would not warrant an approach to answer the question by looking at whether the course pack has become a textbook, but by considering whether the inclusion of the copyrighted work in the course pack was justified by the purpose of the course pack i.e. for instructional use by the teacher to the class and this would warrant an analysis of the course pack with reference to the objective of the course, the course content and the list of suggested readings given by the teacher to the students. This would require expert evidence, " said the bench while remanding the matter for trial.

It is to be noted that on September 16, Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw had held that preparing course packs was not violation of copyright.

It had declined relief to the international publishing houses such as Oxford University Press; Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press India Pvt. Ltd., Taylor & Francis Group, U.K.; and Taylor & Francis Books India Pvt. Ltd against the photocopy shop at DU's Delhi School of Economics.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 6:31:13 AM |

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