Copyright Law: Fate of Online Education During and After COVID-19

Must Read

The Debate Between IPR and Competition Law Explained

There are various market processes or structures that govern market scenario. For simplicity, this paper focuses on two mechanisms:...

The Competition Law Regime and Re-Tooling Patent Pools In India

The adversity to acquire licenses of various patented technologies can thwart the commercialization as well as the development of...

Solving Healthcare Issues Using Blockchain Technology

In troubled times that follow a pandemic, almost all nations are forced to take stock of the gaps present...

How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming the Legal Profession

In recent times, we have seen the introduction of artificial intelligence on a small yet phenomenally successful scale in...

Approaching the von Neumann Bottleneck: Neuromorphic Computing & beyond

“There are one trillion synapses in a cubic centimeter of the brain. If there is such a thing as...

Is India Truly Following the Footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi?

On October 2, 2020, it was the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. India couldn’t celebrate it due to...

Follow us

While the world is trying to come out of the pit of a global lockdown, we have adapted to a new world of ‘6 feet distance’. Educational Institutes across the world have shifted to digital learning platforms. Online education involves distributing copyrighted materials online. The Indian Copyright Act contains exceptions for teachers to use copyrighted material. Does that exception apply to the digital interface as well?

Provisions under the Copyright Act, 1957

Fair dealing is a form of limitation and exception to the rights of the copyright owner under the Copyright Act, 1957. It permits reproduction, which, would have otherwise amounted to an infringement of copyright. The US law is more flexible than the Indian law in the matter. Sec. 52 of the copyright act lists some exceptions; making it is restrictive. Further, ‘fair dealing’ under Indian law is to determined by the necessity of the use to the cause.

‘Reproduction’ means making a copy or copies of an original or photocopying. The WIPO Copyright Treaty states that ‘reproduction’ rights apply in the digital environment. According to Article 9 of the Berne Convention reproduction includes storage of work in an electronic medium.

The terms ‘teacher’ and ‘student’ also include ‘teachers’ and ‘students’. But, the use of the term ‘teacher’ itself curbs the ambit of the section. Sometimes, a non-teaching staff might actually communicate the material compiled by teaching staff.

Section 52 consists of the phrase ‘in the course of instruction’. To that end, the Delhi High Court in the case of The Chancellor, Masters & amp; Scholars of the University of Oxford & Ors. v. Rameshwari Photocopy Services & amp; Ors. [(2016) 160 DRJ (SN) 678] interpreted ‘course of instruction’ as: “…imparting and receiving of instruction is not limited to personal interface between teacher and pupil…” The court interpreted the legum mente behind the educational exceptions. Education should not be bound within four walls of a room.

Role of Intermediaries

One of the vital problems of online learning is the uploading of course content. All materials uploaded gets stored on online platforms. Unlike physical classrooms, educators cannot ensure the limited distribution of copyrighted material.

Draft Information Technology [Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules] 2018, states that intermediaries must deploy automated tools to identify and remove public access to unlawful content. Additionally, the rules enable intermediaries to trace the originator of the material. The rules are yet to come into effect. ‘Necessity of use’ is a key factor in determining copyright infringement by teachers. How a computer algorithm would consider those are still unanswered.

Foreign Statutes

The drawbacks of Indian law become evident when compared with its laws of other developing and developed countries. For example, unlike India, the Australian copyright law defines educational institutions. It covers various methods of educational instruction including instruction by correspondence.

In the USA the TEACH Act, 2002 deals with copyright issues in online learning. The Act allows teachers to use copyrighted material without paying royalties. Copyright laws of Ghana and South Africa have similarity with the Berne Convention. Article 10(2) of the convention uses broad terms like ‘utilization’. It encompasses both communication and reproduction within its ambit. India needs to follow this and amend its antiquated laws. Delay in legislative changes could result in infringing the fundamental right to education.

Conclusion

In May 2020, the Central government launched 12 DTH channels for school children. It is trying to ensure that a pandemic does not hamper education for millions of students. As is evident, education as an institution is going to change its ways. Unfavourable laws will only drag educators to Court and instil fear. The current law is inadequate for digital learning. India needs to amend its laws to ensure widest possible access to education material.


Libertatem.in is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgements from the court. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe for our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

Latest News

Bombay High Court Allows Petition Seeking Lawyers and Legal Clerks To Travel in Local Trains

The present hearing arose out of a batch of Public Interest Litigations that was filed in the Bombay High Court to permit the members...

Provisions for Retirement of Teachers Must Be Read With the Larger Interest of Students in Mind: Supreme Court

Supreme Court in Navin Chandra Dhoundiyal v State of Uttarakhand reinstated the appellants to their position as Professor on basis of re-employment till the...

Parties Cannot Deny Specific Performance Merely Due To Delay: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, in Ferrodous Estate v P Gopirathnam, revisited the law on the specific performance of a contract. It reiterated that mere delay...

Chandigarh Housing Board Is Bound To Implement the Chandigarh Administration’s Policy Decision: Punjab & Haryana High Court

On 15th October 2020, Justices Jaswant Singh and Sant Parkash heard the case of Bhartendu Sood vs Chandigarh Housing Board & Anr., via video-conferencing. Deeming the...

Bombay High Court Refuses Interim Relief to Doctors Alleging Arbitrary Placement at Government Hospitals for One-Year Mandatory Public Service

The Bombay High Court was hearing a plea against the arbitrary placement of doctors for a mandatory period of one year. The petitioners prayed...

Uttarakhand High Court Dismisses Writ Petition Seeking Relief for the Cancellation of Selection Process

On 13th October 2020, a Single Judge Bench of Hon'ble Justice Lok Pal Singh, heard the case of Ashish Bisht & Anr. v. State...

Madras High Court Dismisses Writ Petition Against National Stock Exchange For Lack Of Merit

In the case of A. Kumar v. Financial Intelligence Unit & Ors., A. Kumar filed a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution...

The Federal Appeals Court Holds Trump’s Diversion of Military Funds To Build the Wall To Be Unlawful

The Federal Appeals Court held that US President Donald Trump’s diversion of military funds to build the wall is unlawful. A grey area in the...

Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal Filed Challenging the Judgment of Madras High Court in Ganesan v. State Represented by Its Inspector of Police

An appeal was filed before the Supreme court, challenging the judgment & order of Madras High Court. The Supreme Court upheld the HC judgment...

Bombay High Court Refuses Interim Relief to Doctors Alleging Arbitrary Placement at Government Hospitals for One-Year Mandatory Public Service

The Bombay High Court was hearing a plea against the arbitrary placement of doctors for a mandatory period of one year. The petitioners prayed...

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -