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Digital library copyright issues under NDLI scanner

Kolkata: The National Digital Library of India (NDLI) developed by IIT Kharagpur is deeply exploring the copyright issues at Digital Libraries.
"Access to quality academic content is still challenging. NDLI through its interfacing in most popular Indian languages covering about 85 percent population of India is bringing high quality content at the finger tips of common Indians. However, such an open access to content is not without peril," a senior IIT professor associated with NDLI project said.
He maintained that in India there is a lack of awareness of Intellectual Property Rights among general users of various forms of content.
"You will see books are being photocopied and even put on display for public use. This is a gross violation of copyright. A library can make only 3 copies of books which are rare and out of print. But are the users aware of these? This is an awareness we are trying to create through libraries of academic institutions," explained Professor Partha Pratim Das, Joint Principal Investigator, NDLI project.
In a recent workshop held at the institute, some leading minds in Intellectual Property Rights from across the globe discussed the challenges, possibilities,
bottlenecks and way forward to build an ubiquitous knowledge resource of global calibre that can benefit learners everywhere using the power of digital technology.
"We took the approach of resolving copyright issues thorough understanding of cases and the nature of their IPR issues, review of case studies of various judgements and engaging into case by case judgements on these issues faced by librarians.
The librarians have come up with a question bank through this process which are now being reviewed by a panel of eminent lawyers. We are trying to form the guidelines of a manual for good practices in Copyright in India, the first of its kind of initiative in India," an IIT professor said.
"Copyright as a subject is not very well accepted in India, and librarians, who deal with a large amount of copyrightable material are not fully aware of its implications," said Dr Prabuddha Ganguli, visiting faculty at IIT Kharagpur.
IIT Kharagpur is already promoting intellectual property rights on various domains through
IP Rights Cell, supporting registration of Geographical Indications through its Patent office and IP Law School which played a significant role in this initiative.
The NDLI developed by IIT Kharagpur has ventured in its second phase and NDLI has already crossed 15 million content from 160 sources with interface in 3 languages. In the phase II, NDLI has targetted 40 million content with interface in 10 Indian languages.

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