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VISAKH   28 January 2020

Is sharing of hindu newspaper [pdf] violation of copyright ?


I am a member of a telegram group with over 1 Lakh members which provides exam preparation related materials. The group also posts various digital copy [pdf] newspapers on a daily basis - The Hindu, Indian Express, Amar Jyoti, Times of India, Hindustan Times etc, which are an integral part of the preparation.

Recently, the group administrator posted a threat that he received from parties associated with The Hindu stating that legal action would be initiated against him if he does not stop posting the newspaper (only The Hindu) in the group. 

In this context, does sharing of the newspaper as it is, without making any changes (watermarks, advertisements, etc) at all, amount to violation of copyrights ?


 3 Replies

Real Soul.... (LEGAL)     28 January 2020

You can referr or qoute the news from any news paper but you need permission for re- publishing or dritrbuting or circulating  news paper as a whole on your channel or whatever since it would amount to infringment of copyrights.

Since you have recieved the notice to desist from such things it is better to stop doing that or otherwise you may invite real trouble ,as they can sue for damages if at all they felt their copy rights infringed.


Hello Visakh, Thank you for asking this question.

Yes, it is illegal to share PDF file of a newspaper without the permission of the publisher and it amounts to violation of copyrights. The Delhi High Court in the case of Jagran Prakashan Limited v. Telegram FZ LLC, CS (COM), (I.A. 4074/2020) has directed message application Telegram to take down all the channels and accounts who are illegally distributing e-papers of the Dainik Jagran in PDF format on their platform. 

Circulation of those newspapers who provides free PDF of their news paper without any restriction will not amount to any copyright violation. But as you have mentioned in the question that The Hindu has sent legal notice and as per the information provided on their website they provide e-paper on the subscripttion basis. Which means it is illegal and violation of their copyrights to share PDF of The Hindu newspaper without any permission. Also sharing the newspaper after making changes in the PDF copy of newspaper is illegal and infringement of their copyrights. For other newspapers kindly check their websites for more information.

Also feel free to ask any details on this topic.


aditi srivastava   26 March 2021

respected sir,

 In the end, the user/reader needs to understand that an e-copy of a newspaper obtained through paid or free subscripttion is always copyright protected, and sharing/circulation other than for personal use will invite legal action against such violator. Circulation and sharing on messaging apps is equivalent to making the content available to the public against the terms of use and without permission of the owner.

Although the Copyright Act is the only law that deals directly with illegal acts of copyright infringement, Section 43(b) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 is also relevant. Section 43(b) imposes liability when a viewer of a website downloads any copyrighted material from the site and proceeds to use the material without any authorization from the owner.

There are various legal remedies available for the copyright owner to pursue in appropriate laws and their provisions against any kind of copyright infringement. Along with issuance of cease and desist or takedown notices, filing lawsuits, and John Doe orders criminal proceedings also can be initiated under sections 63 & 64 of the Copyright Act, and sections 43 and 66B of the IT Act, 2000. Criminal remedies include imprisonment, fines, seizure and delivery of infringing copies.


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