Course Packs for Education Ruled Legal in India

 Posted by on July 12, 2017  Comments Off on Course Packs for Education Ruled Legal in India
Jul 122017

Anubha Sinha, CIS-India
Reposted from EIFL,org, Link (CC-BY)

On 9 May 2017, a five year court battle between publishers and universities finally came to an end when the Supreme Court of India dismissed an appeal by the Indian Reprographic Rights Organization (IRRO) challenging an earlier judgment of Delhi High Court that ruled course packs in India legal for educational purposes.

In a case that gained wide international attention, issues such as the cost of textbooks in India were raised, students agitated for fair access to educational materials, and the jurisprudence on copyright in India has taken a leap forward. In this guest blog, Anubha Sinha, Programme Officer on Openness and Access to Knowledge at the Centre for Internet and Society India, discusses the judgment in the case known as the ‘Delhi University photocopy’ case, and what it means for access to educational materials in India. Continue reading »

Feb 032017

Photo: Hinterkappelen (CC-BY-SA)

[Communia-Association, Link (CC-0)] As the copyright reform process continues in Europe, it is worth noting the result of an Indian case concerning photocopying and the extent of the educational exception. In 2012, Delhi University and a small photocopy shop named Rameshwari Photocopy Service were sued by Oxford and Cambridge University Presses together with the Taylor & Francis Group. The publishers alleged that the photocopying of substantial excerpts from their publications and issuing or selling them in course packs infringed their copyrights. They also argued that Delhi University should obtain a license from the Indian Reprographic Rights Organization in order to make the copies. Continue reading »


Super Cassettes v. Myspace (Redux)

 Posted by on January 16, 2017  Comments Off on Super Cassettes v. Myspace (Redux)
Jan 162017

[Anubha Sinha, CIS-India, Link (CC-BY)] The latest judgment in the matter of Super Cassettes v. Myspace is a landmark and progressive ruling, which strengthens the safe harbor immunity enjoyed by Internet intermediaries in India. It interprets the provisions of the IT Act, 2000 and the Copyright Act, 1957 to restore safe harbor immunity to intermediaries even in the case of copyright claims. It also relieves Myspace from pre-screening user-uploaded content, endeavouring to strike a balance between free speech and censorship. CIS was one of the intervenors in the case, and has been duly acknowledged in the judgment. Continue reading »

Dec 132016

[Prashant Reddy for IPKat, Link (CC-BY)] Academic publishing houses, OUP and CUP have suffered yet another defeat in their litigation against Delhi University and a photocopy shop when a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court ruled against them in an appeal on December 9, 2016. The crux of the lawsuit was whether the practice of photocopying copyrighted material and compiling them in course-packs was copyright infringement under Indian law. Given that universities and students have been photocopying copyrighted material for several years without any restrictions, the lawsuit had provoked an angry backlash from students and academics – both of whom then organised themselves into an association and intervened in the case. Continue reading »

Sep 262016

cis indiaThe court conclusively stated that the reproduction of any work by a teacher or a pupil in the course of instruction would not constitute infringement.

[Anubha Sinha, CIS-India, Link (CC-BY)] In a landmark judgment, Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw of the Delhi high court has held that reproducing books and distributing copies thereof for the purpose of education is not copyright infringement. The ruling legitimises the practice of photocopying prevalent in universities and other spaces of learning. The question of whether such photocopying without the permission of the copyright holders was legal arose in 2013. A group of five prominent publishers had filed a suit against the University of Delhi and its photocopying service provider, alleging infringement of their copyrighted titles. Continue reading »


Victory for Students and Access to Knowledge in Delhi University Copyright Case

 Posted by on September 18, 2016  Comments Off on Victory for Students and Access to Knowledge in Delhi University Copyright Case
Sep 182016

india-flag[Association of Students for Equitable Access to Knowledge, Link] In a rare and incredible order today, the Delhi High Court has dismissed the copyright infringement case filed by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor and Francis (Routledge) against Rameshwari Photocopy Shop in Delhi School of Economics and Delhi University. Justice R.S Endlaw in a 94 pages long judgment interpreted educational exception under section 52(1)(i) of the copyright act in broad enough manner to cover the acts of photocopying. Continue reading »


Civil Society Joint Statement on the Occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Visit to US

 Posted by on June 7, 2016  Comments Off on Civil Society Joint Statement on the Occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Visit to US
Jun 072016

india-flagJoint Statement by 11 NGOs:  Forum Against FTAs, Lawyers Collective, All Indian Drug Action Network, Initiative for Health & Equity in Society, Third World Network, National Working Group on Patent Laws, Gene Campaign, New Trade Union Initiative, Navdanya, Software Freedom Law Centre, and the Centre for Internet and Society.  [Reposted from Third World Network (Link)]

We understand that intellectual property rights (IPRs) would be a priority topic of discussion during Prime Minister’s forthcoming visit to the United States of America (USA). During the past two decades or so, the issue of IPRs has become a key tool for managing competition in the name of promoting innovation and a knowledge economy. Continue reading »


After Initially Rejecting Patent, Indian Patent Office Grants Gilead Sciences Patent on Base Compound of Sofosbuvir Hepatitis C Drug

 Posted by on May 11, 2016  Comments Off on After Initially Rejecting Patent, Indian Patent Office Grants Gilead Sciences Patent on Base Compound of Sofosbuvir Hepatitis C Drug
May 112016

msf logo[Médecins Sans Frontières, Link] Gilead Sciences has been seeking patents in India for the hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir. The patent applications have been challenged by groups of people living with hepatitis C and HIV through ‘pre-grant oppositions.’ The patent just granted by India’s patent office was initially rejected in January 2015, just before President Obama’s visit to India, which was seen as vexing the US. Gilead appealed the rejection and the patent has now been granted. Continue reading »


Indian Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Discussion Paper on Standard Essential Patents

 Posted by on May 4, 2016  Comments Off on Indian Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Discussion Paper on Standard Essential Patents
May 042016

india-flagIndia’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (“DIPP”) released in March, earlier this year, a discussion paper on standard essential patents and their availability on fair, reasonable and non discriminatory terms.

Available here –

DIPP should also be publishing all of the feedback that it receives on the above link. The deadline was submission of comments was (extended to) 29 April, 2016.

CIS’ comments are here and a summary is here.

We’re also collecting and uploading other submissions to the DIPP on this issue. Some are here.



Patents and Mobile Devices in India: An Empirical Survey

 Posted by on April 1, 2016  Comments Off on Patents and Mobile Devices in India: An Empirical Survey
Apr 012016

contreras-lakshaneAuthors: Jorge L. Contreras and Rohini Lakshané

Abstract: Though India has the second-largest wireless subscriber base in the world, with more than 150 mobile device vendors, it has, until recently, remained relatively unaffected by the global smartphone wars. Over the past three years, however, a growing number of patent enforcement actions have been brought by multinational firms against domestic Indian producers. These actions, which have largely resulted in judgments favoring foreign patent holders, have given rise to a variety of proposals for addressing this situation. Continue reading »


Fueling the Affordable Smartphone Revolution in India

 Posted by on March 16, 2016  Comments Off on Fueling the Affordable Smartphone Revolution in India
Mar 162016

cis india[Anubha Sinha, CIS-India, Link (CC-BY)] Smartphones have emerged as the exemplar of mankind’s quest for shrinking technologies. They embody the realization of a simple premise – that computing devices would do more and cost less. This realization has been responsible for modern society’s profound transformations in communication, governance, and knowledge distribution. Continue reading »

Mar 092016

pranesh prakash[CIS India, Link (CC-BY)]  India is one of the few countries which permits patenting of software – a monopolization that has only benefited established corporations and largely throttled innovation in the software industry, worldwide. CIS has consistently advocated against patentablity of software and in a major victory last week, software patenting in India died a little more. This happened via the newly issued Guidelines for the Examination of Computer Related Inventions, which introduces a new test to restrict software patenting – in essence the same legal test that CIS had been proposing since 2010. This post highlights the new test and other noteworthy changes in the Guidelines. Continue reading »