Whether reproduction of copyrighted work in the course of instruction is justified for purpose of teaching?
India, under the international covenants aforesaid, though has the freedom to legislate as to what extent utilization of copyrighted works for teaching purpose is permitted but agreed to ensure that the same is to the extent ―justified by the purpose‖ and does not ―unreasonably prejudice the legitimate rights of the author‖.
97. The international covenants aforesaid thus left it to the wisdom of the legislators of the member / privy countries to decide what is ―justified for the purpose‖ and what would ―unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interest of the author‖. Our legislators, while carrying out the amendments to the Copyright Act are deemed to have kept the said international covenants in mind.Parliament / legislators have permitted reproduction of any work by a teacher or a pupil in the course of instructions. I have already hereinabove, in accordance with the meaning which has been assigned by the Courts to the words / phrase ―in the course of‖ since prior to the use thereof in Section 52(1)(i) and in accordance with the meaning of the word ―instruction‖, interpreted Section 52(1)(i). The legislators have found reproduction of the copyrighted work in the course of instruction to be justified for the purpose of teaching and to be not unreasonably prejudicing the legitimate interest of the author. It is not for this Court to impose its own wisdom as to what is justified or what is unreasonable, to expand or restrict what the legislators have deemed fit. The legislature is not found to have imposed any limitation on the extent of reproduction. Once the legislature which under our Constitution and under the international covenants aforesaid was entrusted to while making law in relation to copyright take a call on what is justified for the purpose of teaching and what will unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interest of the author has not imposed any such limitation, this Court cannot impose the same.
Delhi High Court
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