Three international textbook publishing houses engaged in a copyright battle with a photocopy shop in University of Delhi told Delhi High Court on Wednesday that the year-long row could be ended if the colleges and the campus photocopier took a reprographic licence.
Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Taylor and Francis have dragged the University of Delhi and a photocopy shop on North Campus, Rameshwari services, to court for issuing huge quantities of course packs -- bound photocopied extracts -- that are sold for much cheaper than the textbooks. The publishers claimed the practice infringes on copyright, and that the authors were losing money.
A court-imposed stay is in operation against the photocopier located near Delhi School of Economics. The lawyer for the publishers submitted before justice RS Endlaw that taking the reprographic licence (permission to make photocopies to limited extent after paying an annual fee) was the only way for the photocopy shop.
What is reprographic licence?
New delhi: “Each college under a university can get a reprographic licence by paying Rs 12,000 annually to the Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation (IRRO), a body of publishers. It allows them to issue photocopies of up to 10 percent of a text book. The tariff for the photocopy shops are different,” says Anand Bhushan, secretary general of the IRRO.
“Course packs are key part of our preparations. At times, we are supposed to make close to 50 readings from different books for a subject. Do the publishers expect us to buy 50 books each of which costs upwards of R900?” asked a student present in the court.
Students have made themselves a party in the case and urged the court to lift the stay.