University copying books for teaching is not copyright violation: Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court recently 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.

‘Not a natural right’ & Equitable access to Knowledge :-

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.

The court was of the view that with the advancement of technologies, the students are not expected to be sitting in the library and taking notes.

“If the facility of photocopying were to be not available, they would instead of sitting in the comforts of their respective homes and reading from the photocopies would be spending long hours in the library and making notes thereof. When modern technology is available for comfort, it would be unfair to say that the students should not avail thereof and continue to study as in ancient era. No law can be interpreted so as to result in any regression of the evolvement of the human being for the better,” it said.

In 2012, five publishing houses Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press India Pvt. Ltd., Taylor & Francis Group, U.K. Taylor & Francis Books India Pvt. Ltd., initiated a suit for permanent injunction restraining Rameshwari Photocopy Service and the Delhi University from preparing and photocopying course packs from its books claiming it to be copyright infringement.

The photocopy kiosk had defended itself saying it has licence to run the business and not every student can afford to buy expensive books for only a part of syllabus prescribed by the varsity.

DU in its response said it has the books in its library but the same cannot cater to large number of students.

Reliance, L&T in last leg to bag $2 billion defence deal

Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL) and Larsen and Toubro are in the final stages to bag a $2 billion contract from the Defence Ministry next month for making amphibious fighting ships for the Navy.

Both have entered the final lap after ABG Shipyard failed to clear the capacity assessment test of the Defence Ministry.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is likely to open bids in October for awarding four Landing Platform Dock (LPDs), each costing about $1 billion, and the only two private sector firms which cleared the financial and technical capability for this project are RDEL and L&T.

As per the terms of the deal, two LPDs contract will be awarded to a private sector player based upon technical capabilities and financial bids and the winning private sector firm would assist state-owned Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) to construct the remaining two.

Warfare ship

LPD, also known as amphibious transport dock, is a warfare ship designed to transport troops into a war zone by sea, primarily using landing craft and has the capability to operate transport helicopters in addition to having hangar facilities and a landing deck.

The $2 billion contract is the biggest warship construction project for the private sector and has the potential to make the winner a leading player.

The 20,000 ton LPD would be the largest warship to be built in an Indian yard after the aircraft carrier under construction in Kochi.

Task force to evolve steps to boost India’s innovation ecosystem

The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) has decided to set up a Task Force on Innovation. Comprising members from the industry and the government, the Task Force will assess India’s position as an innovative country, suggest measures to enhance the innovation eco-system and thus improve the country’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index (GII).

India’s ranking in GII-2016 rose 15 places to 66th position. According to an official statement, Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had sought the setting up of the Task Force, recognising India’s potential to reach great heights in innovation.

The Convenor of the Task Force is Rajiv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, DIPP. The Cell for intellectual property rights (IPR) Promotion and Management and the DIPP has invited ideas and suggestions from the public, the statement said, adding that the Task Force may hold discussions with some of the contributors.

In the GII 2016, India retained the top rank in Information and Communication Technology Service Export .

India is the top-ranked economy in Central and Southern Asia, and shows particular strengths in tertiary education and research & development (R&D), including global R&D intensive firms, the quality of its universities and scientific publications . India ranks second on innovation quality amongst middle-income economies.

As per the report, “India is a good example of how policy is improving the innovation environment”. India moved up across all indicators within the Knowledge Absorption sub-pillar. It has also recorded a good performance in the GII model’s newly incorporated research talent in business enterprise, where it ranks 31st.

Towards a national health policy:-

The Supreme Court’s order directing the Centre to ask States to end the oppressive practice of sterilising women in large camps is a timely reminder that the country must urgently adopt a rights-based health policy.

Many course correction measures have been ordered by the court in the Devika Biswas public interest case, and if they are implemented vigorously, they can greatly improve women’s welfare.

Civil society can effectively monitor sterilisation activity, if, as the court has directed, the list of approved doctors at the State and regional levels and members of quality assurance committees, and details of compensation claims are publicised on the Internet.

At the same time, compensation for losses, including deaths, should be raised substantially.

The larger question is that of the fairness of promoting permanent contraception, often for young women, who are unable to exercise their reproductive rights due to social and economic factors.

Last year, the Population Division of the UN took note of the extraordinary levels of sterilisations resorted to in India — 65 per cent of all contraceptive methods — and pointed to a potential mismatch between what is being offered and what women would like, which is to delay or space out births.

Unthinking resort to tubectomies for population control also ignores the evidence from some developed States in India that women’s empowerment through education and employment brings down fertility, without sacrificing choice.

Ensuring the safety of women who undergo a tubectomy is of immediate concern, and the Centre should give rule-based authority to the Supreme Court’s directions.

A significant number of women have died due to the procedure during the past three years. Every death due to family planning surgery is one too many, and the State concerned must be called to account.

In the case of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Kerala, which did not take the question of mismanagement in sterilisation camps raised in the petition seriously, the court has acted decisively and called for monitoring and issue of appropriate orders by the respective High Courts.

Such action is wholly welcome, because it reinforces the idea of the right to health being inseparable from the right to life. This is the message that the Centre must take from the judgment, as it works on a national policy for health. Empowerment of women through full opportunity in education and employment, and access to all contraception options, should be central to national policies. Offering financial incentives and subjecting women to permanent contraceptives is unacceptable.

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