DU welcomes verdict, foreign publishers may appeal
Students, the academic fraternity and Delhi University have dubbed the verdict allowing sale of photocopies of textbooks as a “big victory” but foreign publishers who have moved Delhi High Court against the practice have kept their cards close to the chest on the option of challenging it in the Supreme Court.
While no clear word has emerged from 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 against the decision, their counsel are awaiting instructions.
“Once they (foreign publishers) go through the verdict, they will take a call and we as their counsel will accordingly proceed. So far, we have no instructions,” senior advocate Pratibha M Singh and advocate Saikrishna Rajagopal, who represented the publishers, said. However, senior advocate Aman Kumar Sinha, who argued the matter for the varsity, said the decision has been seen as a “big victory for students, teachers, Delhi University and the academic fraternity in general.”
The high court had on December 9 given the publishers partial relief by restoring their lawsuit which was dismissed by a single judge, but did not stop the shop in the university campus from selling photocopies of textbooks.
Reacting to the verdict, 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.”
Through this appeal, the publishers said they had sought to clarify that Indian copyright law did indeed support such a framework, and in so doing, the balance of interest of those creating learning materials here with those requiring access to them is maintained in a fair and sustainable manner.