Delhi High Court today refrained from passing an order on an appeal filed by some foreign publishing houses against a single judge verdict allowing photocopying of textbooks published by them.
In a decision which brought cheers to a large number of students, the single judge had on September 16 rejected their plea against the sale of photocopies of their textbooks, saying the copyright in literary works does not confer “absolute ownership” to the authors.
It had also lifted a ban on a photocopy shop located in Delhi University campus from selling photocopies of chapters from textbooks of international publishers to students.
Challenging the verdict, the publishers including Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press (UK), Cambridge University Press India Pvt Ltd, Taylor and Francis Group (UK) and Taylor and Francis Books India Pvt Ltd, had approached the division bench seeking a stay on the operation of the directions given by the single judge.
They had said the stay was needed as it was a crucial issue as the verdict had led not only one photocopy shop, but hundreds of them, to sell photocopies. The publishers had alleged that Rameshwari Photocopy Service in DU was infringing their copyright over the text books.
A bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Pratibha Rani said, considering the seriousness of the issue, “we have kept the matter for final disposal on November 29.”
“We kept it on a very short date. We shall hear you and pass the order. So as of now, no interim order,” it said.
The publishers have contended that “through this appeal, we seek assurance that copyright law in India will balance the interests of those creating learning materials here in India as well as globally, with those requiring access to them in a fair and sustainable manner.”
The single judge order had come on a plea by publishers, who had moved the high court in 2012 alleging that Rameshwari Photocopy Service on Delhi University campus was infringing their copyright over the text books.