A Sisyphean task? Regulating copyright and the right to copies in higher education: Notes from “the DU photocopy case”

Authors: Anindita Chatterjee*, University of Minnesota
Topics: Legal Geography, Human Rights
Keywords: intellectual property laws, access to knowledge, right to education
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Committee Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


On 23 December 2016, Oxford University Press published a book titled “Create, Copy, Disrupt: India’s Intellectual Property Dilemmas”. Ironically enough, two weeks earlier the Delhi High Court had ruled against it and two other global academic publishers who had collectively filed a copyright infringement petition against a small photocopy shop located on the premises of Delhi University (DU) and DU itself. Why would three of the biggest and most profitable academic publishers in the world train their sights on a small, nondescript photocopy shop and a public university in a developing country like India in what would almost certainly be framed as a David versus Goliath battle in public discourse (Melus 2012; Mittal and Singh 2016; Murthy 2016)? In this paper, I situate "DU photocopy case" at the intersection of changes in higher education, document reproduction technologies and intellectual property law. I also delve into the "nooks and cranies" of copyright law to analyze the possibilities of and limits to the law when in comes to questions of access of knowledge.

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