Why the DU Photocopying Case could prove to be a wrong precedent?

Mr. Devesh Kapoor
Symbiosis Law School, Pune

Volume III, Issue III, 2020

Copyright as an intellectual property right protection is the right granted solely to the architect of any creative work. Since it does not require registration in India, it is granted simply when the origination of the copyright takes place. However, there are certain exceptions to copyright infringement in India based on either fair dealing and other specific activities mentioned in the Copyright Act. The author looks at a recent interpretation of one of these exceptions and how its broad interpretation can be harmful for copyright law in general.

The Division Bench of the Delhi High Court in December 2016 dealt with a rather interesting case that sparked a lot of controversy, owing to the magnanimous number of stakeholders involved, which were, the students of Delhi University. The issue pertained to ‘course packs’ distributed to students by a photocopying centre. These ‘course packs’ would be created as a collection of photocopies of portions of books as required by the students for the syllabus.

The precedent set in the judgement would change the entire concept of educational books and authorship in years to come and with the rise of the digital era, would change how the education system works with respect to educational resources.

Keywords:  copyright law, fair use, course of instruction, education, personal use.


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