In its much awaited judgment in the Delhi University photocopying case (The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford v. Rameshwari Photocopy Services), the Delhi High Court has dismissed the copyright infringement petition initiated in August 2012 by three publishers (Oxford, Cambridge and Taylor & Francis) against a photocopy shop located in the premises of Delhi University. This case, which was being closely tracked by students, teachers and the publishing industry alike, was seen as one with immense significance for questions of access to knowledge. While initially involving only the publishers, the photocopier and the university, the case also saw intervention petitions being filed by a student group (Association of Students for Equitable Access to Knowledge) as well as by teachers and academics (Society for Promoting Educational Access and Knowledge). While the publishers made the argument that the creation of course packs and the photocopying of academic material for the same amounted to an infringement of the exclusive copyright of the authors and publishers, the defendants argued that the reproduction of materials for educational purposes fell within the exceptions to copyright under Section 52(1)(i) of the Copyright Act.
Not a moral right
In his considered and sharply reasoned judgment, Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw examines the gamut of arguments made by both sides and arrives at the conclusion that copyright is a statutory right and not a natural right, and hence any right that is granted to owners is also limited by exceptions carved out by law. The nature of Section 52 of the Copyright Act is such that any act falling within its scope will not constitute infringement. Section 52(1)(i) allows for the reproduction of any work i) by a teacher or a pupil in the course of instruction; or ii) as part of the questions to be answered in an examination; or iii) in answers to such questions.
Continue reading Historic Delhi High Court Judgement Dismisses Publishers’ Copyright Infringement Petition
VRINDA GROVER analyses the recent Delhi High Court judgement on the rape and consequent death of a 65 year old woman, acquitting the accused because the woman was ‘menopausal’ and making a curious distinction between ‘forceful’ and ‘forcible’ intercourse.
In a recent judgment in Achey Lal vs State Govt of NCT Delhi, the Delhi High Court on October 30 set aside the conviction of the appellant for rape and murder. What has provoked discussion are the observations, inferences and conclusions of the court. Briefly, the facts as reported in the judgment are: on December 31 2010, a house maid, aged about 65-70 years, was found dead, with her clothes disheveled to expose her body. The accused, Achey Lal, 45 years old, was present in the room in an intoxicated condition. The husband of the deceased deposed that the accused had come at 8 am that day to his house with a quarter bottle of alcohol and when it finished, the husband left, while the accused stayed on with his deceased wife. The cause of death, according to the doctor who conducted the post mortem, “was asphyxia due to aspiration of gastric contents consequent upon forceful sexual intercourse, which was sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature”.
Read the rest of the article in The Indian Express.
This is a guest post by FLAVIA AGNES
I am responding to the sense of despair expressed by some women’s groups and more specifically to the press conference called by Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) to condemn the judgment of the Delhi High Court which permitted a minor (almost 16-year old) girl to marry the man of her choice rather than restore her back to her parental authority. In their campaign for codification of Muslim law, BMMA has asked for laying down 18 as the minimum age of marriage for girls (and 21 for boys), the underlying presumption being that all underage marriages must be declared as void.
Before we come up with a knee jerk response to the hype created by the media and bite the bait, we need to have greater clarity on whose side we (feminists) are batting in this confrontation between parental authority and the active agency expressed by a teenaged girl. Also I wish to raise a connecting question — if the Muslim law was codified and minimum age for marriage was stipulated, as has been done under the Hindu Marriage Act, would the High Court have responded differently? Would the judges have sent the girl back to her parental custody? And the last question – could that have been construed as a ‘progressive ruling’ by us, those claiming to be “feminists”? Continue reading Consent, Age and Agency: reflections on the recent Delhi High Court judgement on minors and marriage: Flavia Agnes
University teachers, researchers and academics from all over India issued a strong statement in support of the recent Delhi High Court judgement decriminalizing consensual sex among adults and challenged the legitimacy of “religious leaders” to speak for the whole of society.
180 signatories from institutions and universities in Allahabad, Calicut, Peechi, Punalur, Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Sonipat, Goa, Jammu, Nanded, Mumbai, Pune, Pondicherry, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Chennai, Chandigarh, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Shillong endorsed a statement that said:
Continue reading Teachers and Academics Against 377