Vol.13 Issue 1 (2017)

Oxford University V. Rameshwari Photocopy Services - Reshaping The Copyright Discourse

Kartik Chawla

This essay analyses the judgment of the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court in the case of University of Oxford v. Rameshwari Photocopy Services3 from the perspective of fair use and the public domain, and the importance of the educational exceptions in contrast with the private property and trade-centric discourse of copyright.
The essay is divided into five parts. After the introduction, the second chapter discusses the importance of commons in the core philosophy of copyright law, and how this has been subsumed by the private property discourse in the recent decades. The third chapter provides a brief summary of the judgment, and then analyses its implications in the context of these competing discourses. The fourth chapter responds to certain critiques of the judgment. The final chapter concludes the essay, noting that the perspective taken in the judgment is a significant victory for the commons discourse over the private property discourse.
It notes that while there is a fair critique for the blow that has been dealt here to the financial incentives for authors and publishers and we must find ways to incorporate new methods of creating such incentives, the judgment allows us to approach this from a commons-based perspective, which is crucial in itself.

Author

Kartik Chawla is a fifth year B.A., LL.B (Hons.) student at the NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, India.