Delhi University Case Appeal Judgment

On 9 December, the High Court of Delhi delivered its ruling in the appeal of the Delhi University Case.  It rejected the publishers’ claim that Delhi University needs to get a license from IRRO and seek permission for preparing course packs. However, the court of first instance still needs to adjudicate on the types of course packs that are permissible.

In summary, the appeal court said that course packs do not infringe copyright, provided they are tailored for instructional use and are not published or sold for profit. There is no restriction on the number of copies that can be made or the amount of material that can be copied.  The case has been sent back for trial on the facts to determine whether these specific course packs meet this instructional use test.  Lawyers for the rightholders are examining the different options available.

A joint statement was issued by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor and Francis, saying:

“As Publishers, we are fully committed to the ongoing creation of high quality knowledge and learning materials across all disciplines and subjects. We are also committed to finding ways to enable students and researchers around the world to access these materials on an equitable basis.

We believe that such access can only be ensured on a long term and sustainable basis with the support of a fair and balanced framework of reciprocal rights and obligations that enables all those involved in the provision of learning and communication of scholarly research to be acknowledged for the contribution they have made. Through this appeal, we had sought to clarify that Indian copyright law did indeed support such a framework, and in so doing balance the interests of those creating learning materials here in India, with those requiring access to them in a fair and sustainable manner.

We will consider this judgement in more detail over the coming days. In the meantime, we wish to reiterate that all publishers continue to work on models that will enable equitable access to knowledge.”

IFRRO has followed the case with concern since it started in 2012, and is convinced that students and other users, authors and publishers, and indeed society in general benefit from such uses being licenced and authors and publishers being remunerated for the use not least because it leads to a higher production and availability of locally produced works, which takes better account of contexts with which the users are familiar.

Click here for the full judgement.