Missing files at government offices is nothing new. As reported earlier on this blog the trademarks registry has lost around 8000+ files, while the patent office has also lost files pertaining to pre-grant oppositions. The entire problem seems to be the lack of accountability and responsibility amongst the civil servants manning these offices. I’m sure that if the Copyright Office is asked for an official response, they would in all probability hold the truck-driver, who handled the transport to the new premises, responsible for the missing file. This is the manner in which the government usually fixes responsibility.
The International Copyright Order, 1999 is an executive order promulgated under Section 40 of the Copyright Act, 1957. This provision allows the Central Government to extend, via an executive order, Indian copyright law to those foreign countries which reciprocate such protection for Indian citizens. This Order is basically the only reason that foreign copyright owners are able to enforce their copyrights in India. I had wanted a copy of the file in order to analyse the government’s reasoning for extending copyright protection in certain works to foreign copyright owners. Well guess what – I can’t do that anymore.
One wonders about the Copyright Office’s response to a possible writ petition before a High Court requesting for the production of such a file before the Hon’ble High Court. Do they have a Plan B?