A Guide on Fair Use Cases in India

A book with ‘Doctrine of Fair Use’ inscribed on its cover and kept beside a gavel and a pair of glasses (image from here)

On the occasion of the World IP Day, pleased to bring to you the initial installment of a compilation of all the fair use decisions pronounced by India’s high courts and the Supreme Court under the Copyright Act, 1957 till date. The pdf version can be viewed here and the word version here.

The compilation lists all types of use of copyrighted works which the courts have determined to be permissible – or not permissible – under Section 52 of the Act. The compilation also lists the relevant legal provisions, case details and the main points of court’s reasoning in respect of each type of use. This initial installment compiles the decisions relating to education and research. Within this category, the cases have been arranged according to the broad type of use, such as course packs, guide books, question papers etc.

Huge thanks to Bhavik Shukla (a former long-term intern at the blog, who’s now an Associate at Khaitan & Co.) for helping compile this list!

Hope that the readers find this resource useful. We’ll include it on our Resources section as well soon, so that it can be easily accessed from there at any time. [Edit: The compilation can be viewed from our Resources section here at any time.] We’ll also keep updating the list periodically.

While we’ve have tried to create an exhaustive list, please let us know if we have missed out any cases and we’ll add them to the list. Hope to bring to you the entire compilation soon!

Also, we’ve uploaded on the website the infographic on fair use of copyrighted books in India (listing the various ways in which copyrighted books can be used without the copyright owner’s permission under section 52) that we’d shared on social media on the occasion of the World Book & Copyright Day last week. The pdf version can be viewed here and the word version here.

Stay safe!

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