The Delhi High Court’s Pradeep Nandrajog and Yogesh Khanna, JJ. heard arguments in the copyright infringement appeal filed against Rameshwari Photocopy Services for creating their “course-materials” from various textbooks..The appeal, filed by a consortium of international publishers against the photocopier in the Delhi School of Economics, is against judgment passed in September this year by RS Endlaw J. The 94-page judgment hinges on the exceptions to copyright infringement mentioned in Section 52 of the Copyright Act of 1957..Discussing several aspects of copyright law, arguments were made for over five hours by Senior Advocates Sudhir Chandra and Prathiba M. Singh..Chandra, appearing for Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor and Francis Group, established the context behind the Copyright Act saying that it was for “public good”..Referring specifically to the literary works, Chandra stated,.“It was necessary to give protection to the authors. However, the larger fall out of the Act is not to give the benefit to the authors but to give the benefits to the public at large.”.An extremely interactive Pradeep Nandrajog, J. observed that this was a case where two virtues clashed. He stated,.“Taking a step back at the two public rights, we find that it may happen that two virtues may some time clash. It becomes important to stretch the boundary of one value so that the other value doesn’t so disproportionately occupy the space that one value gets violated. .This is not to be seen as the conflict between the rights of the author versus the rights of the public. This is a case of two inherent virtues of public request competing for particular space.”.Chandra further argued that the incentive for authors to write was lost by virtue of this judgment. The target audience of the authors of these textbooks i.e. the student community now had access to these books without having to buy them..Taking over from where he left off, Singh delved into a detailed analysis of Section 52 of the Copyright Act and literary works..“Literary works encompass a large number of works. Though the first impression that one gets is of a book, there are many other literary works available. In the context of books specifically, the stark reality of publishing today is something we need to keep in mind. .The large number of books that are a part of these course-packs are written by Indian authors. This publishing today can be extended to NCERT books, CBSE textbooks, books for medicine, engineering, architecture. This exception can be applied to any book prescribed by any college, school, board, university, institution, coaching centre, anything in the country from the nursery level to the highest degree of doctrinal level. The vast number of books to which this judgment can apply itself calls for a view on the subject that balances both the rights.”.Singh stressed largely on the scope of the technological exploitation that could happen in light of the single-judge verdict. A book in today’s times can be sold on Amazon and Kindle and royalty can be provided to authors on every sale done digitally. According to the judgment, “in the course of instruction” could be interpreted to mean allowing digital copies, digital downloads, pirated copies on the internet..“Maybe the University can create its own Delhi University app on which I can go and see all the books in my syllabus that I don’t need to pay for. .They can go ahead and sell cheap handheld devices to all the students at the time of admission and say that for the entire time in the University for three years, all the study material is on this.”.In this context she spoke about the 2012 amendment to the Copyright Act and drew parallels with literary works. She gave the example of a song by Javed Akhtar in 70’s or 80’s and how someone could never imagine that the song could be used as a ringtone or a caller tune on someone’s mobile phone years after its release..The possible technological exploitation in the future could not have been envisioned..“The Legislature took the effort in case of all original works that in every form of technological exploitation, we want to ensure that the author gets his share. Any provision in the Act that takes away from the intent means that the author is deprived of his right.”.And by the single-bench’s order, the sale of the textbooks would stop, as would the royalties. The interpretation of the sections ought to be done keeping in mind the intent to reward the author rather than take away the benefits..The arguments ended for the day with Justice Nandrajog firmly denying any adjournment to the respondents. The hearing will continue tomorrow when Praveen Anand will begin his arguments for the interveners in the matter – three publishers’ guilds IRRO, API and FIP who state that they are directly affected by the outcome of the case and have a right to be heard.