Breaking News: Publisher Push for Injunction in DU Copyright Case Fails!

After a heated round of arguments between lawyers for publishers (senior counsel, Sudhir Chandra Agrawal and Pratibha Singh briefed by Sai Krishna Associates) versus lawyers for DU (Saurabh Banerjee), Rameshwari Photocopiers, ASEAK, a society of students (senior counsel Anup Bhambhani, a nuclear physicist turned lawyer, briefed by Jawhar Raja), SPEAK, the society of academics (senior counsel Dayan Krishnan briefed by Swathi Sukumar), the judge refused to grant any injunction against Rameshwari.  For background to this appeal including a copy of the appeal, see our earlier post here.

After the judges (Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Pratibha Rani) admitted the appeal and said they would hear arguments on November 29th, lawyers for the publishers whipped out a course pack allegedly made by Rameshwari around May 2016, saying it violated the earlier restraining order. This course pack was never produced earlier or served on any of the defendants. Rather, it was suddenly thrust last minute upon the court and the parties, after the next date for hearing had been announced by the judge and after SPEAK’s counsel Dayan Krishnan had left the court room. Thankfully the judge did not budge and said that he would hear all arguments on merit on the 29th. He refused to grant an injunction (restraining order) against Rameshwari or hold that the trial judge’s (Justice Endlaw) order had no legal effect (something that plaintiffs’ counsels forcefully argued for).

Justice Nandrajog however asked Rameshwari to maintain accounts in relation to all the course packs it makes in the interim.

Kudos to the judge for a very fair order! And for refusing to grant a restraining order on the basis of a random document whipped up the last minute, whose authenticity had yet to be tested. The next date for hearing is the 29th of November, when one can expect more legal drama. Till then, educational access trumps! And students and universities can pursue their education to the fullest extent without the threat of copyright cops breathing down their neck!

Shamnad Basheer

Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer founded SpicyIP in 2005. He's also the Founder of IDIA, a project to train underprivileged students for admissions to the leading law schools. He served for two years as an expert on the IP global advisory council (GAC) of the World Economic Forum (WEF). In 2015, he received the Infosys Prize in Humanities in 2015 for his work on legal education and on democratising the discourse around intellectual property law and policy. The jury was headed by Nobel laureate, Prof. Amartya Sen. Professional History: After graduating from the NLS, Bangalore Prof. Basheer joined Anand and Anand, one of India’s leading IP firms. He went on to head their telecommunication and technology practice and was rated by the IFLR as a leading technology lawyer. He left for the University of Oxford to pursue post-graduate studies, completing the BCL, MPhil and DPhil as a Wellcome Trust scholar. His first academic appointment was at the George Washington University Law School, where he served as the Frank H Marks Visiting Associate Professor of IP Law. He then relocated to India in 2008 to take up the MHRD Chaired Professorship in IP Law at WB NUJS, a leading Indian law school. Later, he was the Honorary Research Chair of IP Law at Nirma University and also a visiting professor of law at the National Law School (NLS), Bangalore. Prof. Basheer has published widely and his articles have won awards, including those instituted by ATRIP, the Stanford Technology Law Review and CREATe. He was consulted widely by the government, industry, international organisations and civil society on a variety of IP issues. He also served on several government committees.

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