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-IRRO and FIP hold an interactive seminar

On the side lines of NDWBF an interactive seminar was organised which was attended by industry professionals and addressed by eminent speakers. Speaking on the occasion, Aparna Sharma, director copyright, Copyright Office, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India conveyed her apprehension that wide spread licensing on the basis of individualisation may not be feasible. Thus a collective way of effort is to be made. There are enormous misconceptions prevailing under copyrights laws, she said, which was even seconded by Pravin Anand, well known expert on the subject. For example, facts cannot be copyrighted but if compiled in a specific number, cannot be copied. Similarly it is also a myth that getting a reprographic rights license is very costly.

Paying as little as a price of a cup of tea or two, it can be feasible to do so. “However interest of both stakeholders i.e. publishers or authors and the user of content need to be kept intact,” cautioned Aparna Sharma.

IRRO need to adopt a path which is able to keep users happy and it remains a good gesture on their part, it is also a known fact that for authors, 6 0 percent revenues come from licensing on the international front and as such in India too this pattern can be seen if implemented rightly. Perhaps implementation can be done by enrolling third party more comfortably as has been successful for software segment.

As per Pravin Anand, “Implementation of this has never been that easy in India. The Act is silent on ‘Fair Use’ and how to share royalty? How to determine damages? Though, in the manifesto of BJP, the ruling national political party, this topic has categorically been included to take care of, but it still needs to be looked at with time. Pravin further added that perhaps setting up of a ‘Think Tank’ on this may be needed which takes care of multinational IP protection including planning towards digital learning and training. Within the courts of India, many cases pertaining to copyright remain pending because of above. For example, Samsung and Delhi University cases are yet to be sorted out.

On behalf of Authors Guild of India, Dr SS Awasthy while addressing the gathering did emphasize that awareness to the copyright laws needs to be created greatly. Delhi University is such a case which has created awareness. He called upon writers to become demanding and do ask for money and come out with good content. “These issues are loud and clear,” said A Sethumadhavan, then chairman, NBT, India, who is an author as well. He called upon IRRO officials to spread the message so as to benefit all stakeholders of the industry.

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