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Photocopying (Xerox) of books in India: Copyright violation?

It would definitely turn out to be one of the most important cases for students in India in recent times and its implications will be felt by educational institutes across the country," he adds. The case, which has fired up many students across India and which comes up for hearing today in the Delhi High Court is a suit filed by big academic publishers like Oxford and Cambridge University last year against Rameshwari Photocopy Services at Delhi University.

The issue has already become a matter of debate across campuses in the country. Many copyright lawyers and students have questioned the basis of the lawsuit citing the provisions of the Indian Copyright Act that provides copyright exemption for those who are photocopying 10% of the material for educational use. Educationists say that Section 52 of the Copyright Act which provides for such educational exceptions is very clear on this.

This is how students have been studying courses, preparing for exams for so many years. The way the court rules on this case, therefore, will have a bearing on the way students study in the future."Publishers, however, point out that they are not against the fair use of their material by students and teachers; rather they say their fight is to protect their content and the rights of the content creators.

IRRO, a Copyright Society under the Union HRD ministry mandated with monitoring reprographic and copying issues in the country, has said that solution lies in universities and institutes taking a license from it to ensure legal compliance. Sources say many universities as well as institutes have come forward to take the license which allows them to photocopy copyrighted content legally for a fee as low as Rs 12,000 per annum. But IRRO's solution is not accepted by many. Clearly, it will be a while before the issue reaches a solution.
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