In a landmark judgement, the Delhi high court on Friday dismissed suits filed by three prominent international publishers against the sale of their photocopied books in Delhi University.
The photocopier kiosk that had been barred from issuing copies of pages from books of the publishers, was allowed to resume operations. Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw gave the verdict, according to a report by Rocky Soibam Singh in the Hindustan Times.
In November 2012, the three publishers viz. University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor & Friends had moved a petition to ban the Rameshwari Photocopy Service located the near Delhi School of Economics in north campus.
The publishers had contended that the kiosk was violating copyright law and causing them financial loss since students stopped purchasing their books.
Delhi University though stood with the photocopiers and said that the reproduction of material for educational purposes cannot be termed an infringement, and it was not for commercial use. It added that there are exemptions on ‘’fair use’’ of work from the scope of infringement under the Copyright Act, 1957.
“Copyright laws are meant to balance public and private interests but in recent years, the public interest has been eroded due to lobbying. The HC has restored that balance,” said Shamnad Basheer, intellectual property law expert.
“The court has actually said that copyright is not divine and that education is an important social need. This is a huge moment,” he added.