Indian Copyright Amendment Bill gets underway
The Rajya Sabha (the Indian Council of States) has just passed the Copyright Amendment Bill which seeks to address issues related to the digital world and also to bring Indian laws originally enacted in 1957 in conformity with international norms and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
Of importance to the IFRRO community is that the original proposal to prevent authors and publishers to jointly set up a collective management organisation was dropped. Author-publisher cooperation is a fundamental basis for the work of RROs and full RRO membership in IFRRO requires that the RRO represents both categories of rightholders.
Also, the insertion of a proviso, which would have allowed parallel imports/exports, has been dropped. Some members of the opposition raised this issue and requested the Minister to retain the proviso as earlier proposed. HRD Minister Kapil Sibal told the House that in view of the Standing Committee’s recommendation that the Government rethink the full implications of this amendment, the issue of allowing parallel imports has been referred to a Committee of Parliament which will submit its report in due course.
This important result has only been possible due to the collective efforts of many constituents of the Publishing Industry and other rightholder organisations, including IFRRO, which submitted a number of statements to the Indian legislators. The Bill will now be introduced in the Lok Sabha (the Indian House of the People).
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