Protecting copyright: a prime concern for publishers

On World Book and Copyright Day, especially in uncertain times, we must cherish and defend books as symbols of hope and dialogue.


World Book and Copyright Day is a celebration to promote the enjoyment of books and reading. Each year, on 23 April, celebrations take place all over the world to recognize the scope of books – a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures. On this occasion, UNESCO and the international organizations representing the three major sectors of the book industry – publishers, booksellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a year to maintain, through its own initiatives, the impetus of the Day’s celebrations.

In 2022, the Mexican city of Guadalajara is taking up the mantle of World Book Capital, with a year-long programme that focuses on the role of books and reading in triggering social change, combating violence, and building a culture of peace.

Here, we spoke to a cross-section of publishers to know how important copyright is for them and how they protect their copyrights.

Vipin Jain

A work on social media does not mean that it loses its copyright protection

“First, one must understand what is copyright. Basically, it gives an author the right to make copies and distribute, translate and adapt his work for any purpose. It also gives him the right to make profit from it and prevent others from making copies and make a profit on works not created by them or where the rights to make copies is not assigned to them.

In India, the Copyright Act 1957 came into effect from January 1958 and has been amended five times—in 1983, 1984, 1992, 1994, and 1999. The Copyright Rules were issued in 2013. For publishers, it is meant to protect the rights of the author.

When an author assigns the copyright to a publisher, the publisher is free to publish for the duration of the copyright without the author’s permission. If no written permission is given, the publisher can issue only one edition. Reprints will need the author’s permission.

A copyright is the Intellectual Property of the author and remains the property of the author during his lifetime and for 70 years after his death. This is generally applied to works published after January 1, 1978.

However, Copyright protection does not apply to any idea, procedure, process, system, title, principle, or discovery. Besides, there are three basic requirements before any work can be copyrighted. It should genuinely be the work of the author, it should be original, and it should have a fixed medium of expression.

Publishers should remember that just because a work is on social media does not mean that it loses its protection. It still remains the sole property of the copyright holder.” Pointers Publishers has 1500 titles covering diverse subjects in the Agriculture, Biotechnology, Humanities (Art), Science and Commerce streams.

-Vipin Jain, Pointer Publishers, Jaipur

Purvish Sheth

Online uploads of books in form of PDFs should be stopped

“Copyright is very important for any content related business. It helps to protect the interest of the content creator or buyer. The person who holds the relevant copyright can benefit from the content created. Once a work is copyrighted there are less chances of it being misused.

As a publisher, we spend lot of efforts in creating content. So, protecting the content is an important aspect of the publishing business. Copyright laws need to be more strict and free unauthorized online uploads of books in form of pdfs should be stopped. The copyright act of 1957, DMCA notices etc can be used to protect or fight against any copyright infringements.” Sheth Publishing House has been into children’s books publishing and supplying children’s educational books for more than three decades.

-Purvish Sheth, Sheth Publishing House, Mumbai

Ashish Saemwal

Copyright fosters intellectual creativity

“In most countries of the world authors enjoy protection of their intellectual property that appears in books. Copyright is printed in general on the verso of the title page of a book. Copyright helps to protect the integrity of the work and to fight copyright infringement.

The importance of copyright is an essential component of the modern educational experience. Copyright is important as it helps to protect the value of an author/academic, researchers work.Copyright fosters intellectual creativity and provide an incentive for a creator to work freely, allowing them to gain recognition for their work as well as protect their livelihood.” Gaina: The Prelude was established in 2019 by Ashish Saemwal for book distribution.


Ankur Pathak

Copyright laws need to be more strict, contemporary and unambiguous

“Copyright plays a very important role in the publishing industry, it protects the creative work and gives an exclusivity advantage to its creator and publisher. The whole publishing industry stands on this advantage only, otherwise it would be crushed by piracy mafias and plagiarisers. Precisely, Copyright protects the work, the bread and butter of its owners, and also gives them a recognition for their works. To protect the copyright, one can take a legal course under The Copyright Act 1957. To stop piracy of books over the internet, publishers can send DMCA notices to the concerned websites or platforms over the internet. Legal notices can also be sent to the copyright breachers in case of infringements. Copyright laws are there, however, they need to be more strict, contemporary and unambiguous, also require lawmakers’ attention for necessary amendments, especially to stop the indiscriminate distribution of pirated ebooks via different platforms like, Websites, Telegram, Quora, Facebook, Google drives etc.” Garuda Prakashan is a leading publishing house, which works on bringing fact-based authentic books.

-Ankur Pathak, author and Co-founder of
Garuda Prakashan, Kanpur

Subhabrata Deb

Book publishing industry should get an industry status

“Seminars and symposiums on different book related topics and on copyright are being organised on World Book & Copyright Day throughout the country.

In my opinion, Copyright Act should be more practical and clear-cut instead of a complicated subject matter. On this auspicious Day, I would like to appeal to the Competent Authority to consider and declare Book Publication in India as an industry.”

-Subhabrata Deb, Publisher-Tripura and Secretary
– Tripura Publishers’ Guild, Ranjan Mohapatra

DRM is helpful in preventing the unauthorized usage of author’s contents

“In this rapidly changing world, creative minds are making their own mark in every field. And not to mention, this generation has a proclivity to go gaga over the internet about their creativity. They tend to expose and trade their works over digital platforms for a better audience reach. Although digital media has its remarkable pros, the cons are inevitable. Once exposed, within a few snaps, your intellectual property could be stolen and misused.

And speaking of intellectual property, we ,being a publisher, have most of it. Not only do we print and publish books but also go to the digital marketplace for vending on a larger scale but mostly they tend to face piracies.
So, how do we protect your intellectual property? Well, the answer is Copyright.Copyright proclaims that the rights of intellectual property remain with the owner, and can be used by a secondary party only with the owner’s consent. However, violation of the same would be a legally punishable offense.

But, how to protect the copyrighted data?Yes, only copyrighting the data is not enough, protecting the copyrights should be the prime concern.And here at Clever Fox Publishing house, the same is done through Digital rights management (DRM). DRM protects copyrighted data. It is a technical approach that limits the unlicensed usage or plagiarism of copyrighted works.The DRM does not identify the pirates. Instead, it restricts purloin and sharing of data in the first place.

For us, the implementation of DRM has evidently been helpful in preventing the unauthorized usage of our author’s contents and keeping our good-will among our clients.” Clever Fox Publishing is the leading hybrid publisher in India.

-Ranjan Mohapatra, Clever Fox Publishing, Chennai

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