Sunday, July 26, 2009

Copyright Law and Libraries

Dear Friends,
Many times it happnes that our learned friends hesitate to provide any type of reference service to their user, where they supposed to provide any type of photocopy or xerox is to be provieded. Due to violation of copyright law, they pull their foot back which in turn becomes the violation of third rule that every user has/his information and so on. In this regard I want to make some clarification.
that Section 51 of Indain copyright law 1957 is adamant to enact the general rule that reproduction of the whole or substantial part of a work will constitute infringement, section 52 provides that reproduction is not precluded and specifies the instances where it is permitted. Section 52 of same act, has been much vocal about certain act which not to be infringement of copyright. Subject to certain conditions, a fair deal for research, study, criticism, review and news reporting, as well as use of works in library and schools and in the legislatures, is permitted without specific permission of the copyright owners. In order to protect the interests of users, some exemptions have been prescribed in respect of specific uses of works enjoying copyright. Some of the exemptions are the uses of the work ---------

i. purpose of research or private study,
ii. for criticism or review,
iii. for reporting current events
iv. in connection with judicial proceeding, v. performance by an amateur club or society if the performance is given to a non-paying audience, and
vi. the making of sound recordings of literary, dramatic or musical works under certain conditions. Accordingly any fair dealing with a literary(other than a computer programme), dramatic, musical or artistic work for the purpose of private use, research, criticism or review, reporting current events, judicial proceedings and so on are exempted from the scope of infringement. There are specific exemptions for educational activities and certain cultural activities like performance during the course of a religious ceremony, marriage and so on.
2. Secondly. that once a work falls into the public domain, and has been exposed to such use as well as direct exploitation, it is not considered appropriate to bring it back within the sphere of copyright protection: Thus Article 18 of the Berne Convention provides that when a country accedes to the Berne Convention the Convention shall apply only to those works which have not yet fallen into the public domain. In other words, the material is available on public domain does not covered under copyright act in any condition. Secondly , a casual user may fall under infringement of copyright if he willingly download the material from internet, but Libraries already covered under fair use doctrine so are exempted from the violation of copyright law.