Copyright

Prentice Hall-Copyright


In this post, I will be covering the recent decision of the Delhi High Court in the case of PHI Learning Private Limited vs. Dr. (Mrs.) P. Meenakshi on the issue of permanent injunction for restraining the author from assigning the copyright to any other person.

FACT

PHI Learning Private Limited (earlier known as Prentice Hall of India)engaged in the business of printing and publishing of books, entered into an agreement with Dr. (Mrs.) P. Meenakshi author of the book, “Elements of Environmental Science and Engineering” on 01.12.2004.

As far as the agreement is concern:

(a) PHI Learning Private Limited (publisher) has exclusive rights to publish, re-print and sell the book, “Elements of Environmental Science and Engineering” during the full term of the copyright.

(b) Dr. (Mrs.) P. Meenakshi (the author) was required to get 15% of the net receipts in India on all the copies sold by publisher, as royalty.

On 11.05.2009 the author informed to the publisher that, they had been making multiple printing without paying royalty, so she wants to give the publication rights to a third party.

The publisher is of the opinion that regularly it has been paying royalty and nothing is due.

PHI Learning Private Limited filed a suit for permanent injunction.

ARGUMENTS MADE BY THE PLAINTIFF

Exclusive Rights


On the basis of the agreement dated 01.12.2004, the plaintiff has exclusive rights to print, publish and sell the work of the defendant, “Elements of Environmental Science and Engineering” during full term of the copyright.

Payment of Royalty

The plaintiff has been paying royalty to the defendant in July every year, along with the annual report of the sale and nothing is due up to 31.03.2009. Even after filing of this suit, the defendant continue to receive royalty from the plaintiff.

Prayer for Permanent Injunction

There is no breach of agreement from plaintiff’s side and it spent a lot of money and used considerable manpower for promoting the aforesaid book, amongst various institutions in India. Permanent injunction to restrain the author from entering any agreement, assignment or licence with third party will be economically and morally justified.

ARGUMENTS MADE BY THE DEFENDENT

None argued for the defendant

DECISION OF THE COURT

As far as the agreement, is concern, the copyrights in the book “Elements of Environmental Science and Engineering” including the right to publish, distribute and sell the aforesaid book, has been assigned to the plaintiff. So the defendant has no right to assign these rights to another person, provided she is paid whole of the royalty.

No material has been brought before the Court to show that the plaintiff had misused its faith, and given false details of annual report to the defendant.

A decree for permanent injunction is passed with cost restraining the defendant from assigning the copyright of the aforesaid book to any person during subsistence of the agreement dated 1.12.2004, provided the plaintiff continues to pay royalty to the defendant.

5 comments.

  1. AvatarOutraged Reader!

    @SpicyIP: While some of us are tired of the long never-ending posts that seem to read like propoganda off late on the blog, the post in response to which I am putting up this comment is downright ridiculous.

    There is no analysis and the language reads as though the author has just picked lines out from the judgment- the tense,the tone- none of it like a blog post.

    Are the standards of your blog now only one extreme or the other?

    Reply
  2. AvatarDr.Mrs.MeenakshiPrabhakar

    I am the author of the book.

    The issue is they make multiple copies the original details were not produced.

    For the same, the suggestion given to them was to make it to online e book that on subscription the author would receive an intimation.If not the copyright will be given to another publisher.

    Second revision was made and updated to them which was not made effective in the book and after which they published another reprint without informing the author.

    According to article 27 of the universal humna rights declaration the copyright is to the sole possession of the author which can not be broken by any agreement.

    The issue is taken to court where the author is for arbitration and believes only conviction and not the legal action.

    The agreement with Prentice hall of India do not hold good with PHI learning limited which had been highlighted only to make the book come online.

    The expenditure on the part of the publishers are not needed for the book is to be sold for its content.The author made it for the need and emergency for a book when the syllabi was introduced to the engineering curriculum.

    The issue would have been to end if they showed the sales details from the sellers which was used by them to the royalty calculation.The court would have asked for it.

    Recently there had been a deposit to the account of the author a sum around 70,000 which was not detailed by the publisher.

    The author holds the entire communication as emails and the same had been copied to Delhi court too as she can not appear to court in person.
    A case can not be given judgment as none defended for the defendant, I received no email communication form the court and I preferred the same.

    I received a copy from the court by post which I did not receive for I had given my preferred mode of communication is by email which the court too has to accept for the mode can not be suggested to a person appearing for defense.

    I did this work not to my earning but to my credentials as a faculty in knowledge dissemination.I really do not bother for the content of the agreement.I had assured for two more books on solid waste management and air quality management to them even.

    You might be knowing there are a lot of self publications which are successful materialistically.In fact I did asked them to reduce the price for it should reach all.

    In fact I knew the contents have been to xerox for the students.None of my communication is over phone or in person.I have only email communications that I could make it to the analysis of court.

    Without getting my defense, they can not issue orders , they can only dismiss the case.It is for the hastiness of the publishers for they make it as push business where the basic purpose is to be genuine.

    I had claimed for 50% royalty for the true copies they made, as I gave it for direct printing without editing even, from their side.I had added a chapter too in 2008 and sent the same via email.

    The judgment given is wrong and we are democratic were we can not follow the procedures of imperialistic legal system.

    I had registered my difference of opinion to them through email regularly and the pass word can be provided to court when they move to reanalyze the claim form my side is genuine.

    Dr.Mrs.MeenakshiPrabhakar
    aspireacademicexcellence.com
    Coimbatore Institute of Technology
    Coimbatore

    Reply
  3. AvatarBernard Gore

    I see that as with her pseudo-science comments in other forums, the author of the books thinks that she can re-write the law in the same way as she seeks to re-write the whole of science.

    You presented no evidence that further copies of the book had been printed, and anyway the agreement was on copies SOLD, not printed. Based on the poor quality of your science elsewhere it is unsurprising that few copies were sold. Seems that you are seeking, both by this fake claim and attempt to illegally re-assign copyright, to cover up the fact that the book is simply worthless.

    Likewise you misrepresent Article 27, which says
    (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
    (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

    Nowhere does it say that such rights cannot be sold or otherwise re-assigned, and if you believed so why did you dishonestly sign an agreement that sold those rights?

    The court is not forced to change its procedure based on your wishes. If their standard procedure is to deliver communications by post, which most are due to established legal principle, then your desire for email does NOT over-ride that, and it is gross arrogance to believe that your choice does so.

    Even if your claim was correct, you would not have the right to arbitrarily demand a much higher royalty of 50%, nor to unilaterally re-assign the copyright that was no longer yours. Your total rights would have been to take action to recover the 15% royalty on the claimed but unproven extra copies, and costs for such action.

    Your disregard for law and science and your attempt to extort money in flagrant breach of contracts you willingly entered into shows you are nothing more than a con-artist.

    Reply
    1. AvatarAnonymous

      Article 27 supports me even in your stance saying something as pseudo science.Science is science and facts are to understanding only.You can not define it for it depends on spatial limits which goes just opposite too as temperature inversion.Do not get into petty disputes with your reserved views .There is absolute truth in my claim and I will get more which are due to me and I wait for the time to come with their own conviction.Read human rights declaration , you will find more articles supporting my stance and no court can say anything beyond those in articles of human rights declaration which you must under stand.We shall progress.What all appears as pseudo science are to be disclosed to me that I will detail them to you to make you understand they are real.

      Reply
  4. AvatarAnonymous

    Article 27 supports me even in your stance saying something as pseudo science.Science is science and facts are to understanding only.You can not define it for it depends on spatial limits which goes just opposite too as temperature inversion.Do not get into petty disputes with your reserved views .There is absolute truth in my claim and I will get more which are due to me and I wait for the time to come with their own conviction.Read human rights declaration , you will find more articles supporting my stance and no court can say anything beyond those in articles of human rights declaration which you must under stand.We shall progress.What all appears as pseudo science are to be disclosed to me that I will detail them to you to make you understand they are real.

    Reply

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