Educational Need vs Copyright Law: A Judicial Action for Social Engineering - Fair Dealing, Public Interest, and Copyright Law

Educational Need vs Copyright Law: A Judicial Action for Social Engineering - Fair Dealing, Public Interest, and Copyright Law

Pallavi Gupta (Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, JEMTEC School of Law, New Delhi, India)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/IJCESC.2017010104


In India, can a research scholar or student or teacher get photocopies from the chapters of original text book of publishers for educational, research or teaching purpose? Whether reproduction of work or distribution of copies for educational purpose is permissible under Copyright Law or it infringes the copyright of publishers or it is “fair use” only? Is copyright a natural or divine right or only statutory, right? Whether use of reproduced copyrighted books is reasonable educational need? This paper objects to answer these questions after analysing the decision of Hon'ble Court given in the case of The Chancellor, Masters & Scholars of the University of Oxford & Ors. V/s Rameshwari Photocopy Services & Another on 16.09.2016 & 09.12.2016) against the international debate and in favour of students or researchers who cannot afford to read costly books published by international publishers.
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…. copyright is not natural or divine right and that education is an important social need… (Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, n.d.).

Copyright is a kind of intellectual property rights. Copyright is bundle of intangible rights, granted by law, for a limited period, to the creator or author or originator of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and the producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. This law gives exclusive rights or privilege to that person to make copies of the same for publication and sale. The creator of a literary, artistic, musical or other creative work has sole right to publish and sell that work. Copyright owners have right to control the reproduction of their work, including right to receive payment for that reproduction. An author may grant or sell those rights to others, including publishers. Thus, copyright laws include the rights of reproduction of work, communication of work to the public, adaptation of work and translation of work Infringement of copyright owner is not permitted1 under the law.


Publishers alleged that India being signatory of Bern Convention (1886)2, is bound to protect literary and artistic works. India should regard the laws operating in other countries (Entertainment Network (India) Ltd. Vs. Super Cassette Industries Ltd., 2011). Municipal Law of India must respect rules of international law (Gramophone Company of India Ltd. Vs. Birendra Bahadur Pandey, 1984). They further alleged that photocopier is infringing copyright of the plaintiffs on the one hand and depriving the plaintiffs of the IRRO licence fee on the other hand. It was argued that copying of extracts without permission, compiling them into course pack and selling them to college students amounted to infringement (Basic Books Inc. Vs. Kinko’s Graphics Corporation, 1991), if such copying is allowed, there would be no market left for the book(s).

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