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Photocopying books does not amount to infringement of copyright

Honourable Delhi High Court on September 16, 2016 in THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS & SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD & ORS  v. RAMESHWARI PHOTOCOPY SERVICES & ANR., held that the photocopying of course packs prepared by Delhi University comprising portions from books published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor & Francis did not amount to infringement of copyright.

The court dismissed the suit initiated by the publishing majors, which had sued DU and Rameshwari Photocopying Services, a kiosk inside the Delhi School of Economics, claiming infringement of copyright by engaging in preparing copies of course packs with portions culled out of its books in keeping with the syllabus prescribed by the varsity.

Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also lifted the stay on the kiosk from photocopying the course packs. The case had seen protest by students who backed the kiosk.

“Copyright, especially in literary works, is thus not an inevitable, divine, or natural right that confers on authors the absolute ownership of their creations. It is designed rather to stimulate activity and progress in the arts for the intellectual enrichment of the public,” said Justice Endlaw.

“Copyright is intended to increase and not to impede the harvest of knowledge. It is intended to motivate the creative activity of authors and inventors in order to benefit the public,” he added.


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