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07 October 2016

Copyrights – Photocopying of portion of book when is not infringement

Delhi High Court on 16-9-2016 has held that action of the University (defendant) of making a master photocopy of the relevant portions of the books purchased by it and keeping in its library,  making further photocopies out of the said master copy and distributing the same to the students does not constitute infringement of copyright in the said books. The Single Judge of the Court was of the view that reproduction of any copyrighted work by the teacher for the purpose of imparting instruction to the pupil as prescribed in the syllabus during the academic year would be within the meaning of Section 52(1)(i) of the Copyright Act and hence would not amount to infringement.
 
The Court deliberated on the meaning of the phrase ‘in the course of’ and of word ‘instruction’. It also held that copying of the copyrighted material by the students, after taking books from the library, would not amount to infringement.
 
Similarly, action of the University in supplying master copy to the photocopier (another defendant) and allowing latter to supply photocopies to students at certain charge, was also held to be not in violation of the Copyright Act. The High Court in the case of Chancellor, Masters & Scholars of the University of Oxford v. Rameshwari Photocopy Services has compared the situation with that was prevalent in the court premises itself, whereby the advocates were taking photocopies of various judgments through a photocopier installed in the Bar library. It was opined that the fact that photocopiers were installed outside library would not make a difference.

 

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