Publicon 2015: The Publishing Ecosystem
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) invited Dr. Ashok Gupta, President, FIP, as one of the speakers at PUBLICON 2015 for the session “Issues of Piracy and infringement of Copyright in Publishing.” Dr. Ashok Gupta in his address said that the Piracy and infringement and copyright in publishing were global problems and required collective steps at all level to eradicate it. Dr. Ashok Gupta said Government of India had formulated Copyright Law but it was not enforced strictly. He further added due to lack of awareness amongst the masses across the country, it is not possible for the government to strictly enforce the Copyright Law. Dr. Ashok Gupta mooted the idea that it is the need of the honour that a chapter on Copyright issues should be inserted in the school textbooks to create awareness and respearly age.

Seminar on Managing Copyright in Publishing: The need for Awareness and Outreach
FICCI invited FIP to participate in a Seminar on “Managing Copyright in Publishing: The Need for Awareness and Outreach” on 31 March 2016. Dr. Ashok Gupta, President represented FIP at the Seminar. In his brief address, Dr. Gupta said that the book publishing had been indispensable to education and knowledge of society. However, it is badly affected by piracy and infringement of copyright. Dr. Ashok Gupta suggested that it would be imperative that a high level symposium and seminar should be organized to create awareness and importance of copyright for the creative industry and dissemination of knowledge to the general public. Dr. Ashok Gupta also suggested that we should involve Secretary (Education), Ministry of Human Resource Development and Director, NCERT in this sacred issue to create awareness across the country and eliminate piracy for the benefit of publishers as well as students and readers. The Seminar had an exclusive awareness and outreach of copyright with regard to the purchase of books and content.

10th World Hindi Conference held from 10-12 September 2015 in Bhopal
This was for the first time in the history of the Federation of Indian

Publishers, an official invitation was received from the Ministry of External Affairs to participate and represent the Indian publishing industry in the 10th World Hindi Conference held in Bhopal on 10-12 September 2015. Dr. Ashok Gupta participated as one of the speakers from the FIP. Shri Baldeo Bhai Sharma, Chairman, NBT, was the moderator of the Session to discuss the problems faced by publishers relating to Hindi at national and internatgional level and how to address them. Shri Sharma said simply worrying will not resolve our problems and we have to find out way-out as to how these problems are addressed, and it would be possible by way of consultation with all stakeholders and media to make Hindi rich and progressive at all levels. In his address, Dr. Ashok Gupta said that with the changing scenario, the publishing industry had been confronted with insurmountable problems. He said there are about twenty thousand publishers in India and one lakh books are published every year – 25% in English and 20% in Hindi, 7.8% in Tamil and 5.6% in Bengali. He further said total value of book industry is 25,000 crores whereas we export books about 2000 crores every year. If we compare those figures with other countries, we are far behind. For promotion of Hindi in today’s technological times, it is most important that we should start using Hindi language in our day-to-day usage of computers. For publishing industry, adoption of UNICODE Hindi fonts for developing Hindi books should be nurtured by various Government agencies.

New Education Policy
The Ministry of Human Resource Development has formed a Committee on ‘New Education Policy’ under the Chairmanship of Shri T.S.R. Subramanian, former Cabinet Secretary. The objective of this Committee is to formulate a New Education Policy for the country through an inclusive, participatory and holistic approach. The National Policy on Education was framed in 1986 and modified in 1992. Since then several changes have taken place that calls for a revision of the Policy. The Government of India would like to bring out a National Education Policy to meet the changing dynamics of the population’s requirement with regards to quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge and to eliminate the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry. For this purpose, 33 themes have been identified for discussions under this Group. The themes are divided separately for the School Education
(13 themes) and Higher Education (20 themes) sectors. The group consists of Tasks and Discussions. Tasks are both online and on-ground. Discussions enable participants to share their thoughts and ideas. The Committee has invited suggestions from General Public, Panchayats, Blocks, Districts & States. FIP was not invited to send suggestions on behalf of the publishing industry. However, it had written to the Ministry of HRD to take FIP on Board as one of the members of the Committee to represent the publishing industry.


The IRRO has been playing a very useful and effective role in the field of licensing of copyrighted published works for reproduction. The IRRO has already signed Bilateral Agreement with Copyright Licensing Agency of UK and 24 RROs of other countries.
The Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation (IRRO) organized a high level International Seminar on ‘Newer Developments in Licensing of Copyrighted Material’ on 16 February 2015 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. Experts on various aspects of copyright and reprography, leading authors, publishers, corporate institutions and legal luminaries, especially involved with the Intellectual Property Rights, both from India and foreign countries, including UK and the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO), participated in the Seminar. The basic purpose of organizing this Seminar was to update the audience about the changes in the scenario due to the ongoing efforts by IRRO and other like-minded organisations and devise a better way to optimize the work IRRO seeks to achieve. The underlying objective of this Seminar was also to create awareness about the ill effects of photocopying and its effect not only on creativity, but also the authors and publishers who were not getting sufficiently compensated for their rights. Mr. A. Sethumadhavan, Chairman, National Book Trust, was the Chief Guest and Ms. Aparna Sharma, Director & Registrar, Copyright Office, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India was the Guest of Honour. The keynote address was delivered by Mr.

Pravin Anand, eminent IPR Advocate.

Mr. Sudhir Malhotra, Chairman, IRRO, in his welcome address, outlined the work IRRO would able to achieve in the recent times. This included getting re-registered with the Copyright Office of the HRD Ministry and its efforts in creating awareness with the rights-owners and all the interested parties. He also informed that IRRO along with Federation of Indian Publishers and associated bodies have been a part of Copyright Enforcement Advisory Committee (CEAC). This committee along with the HRD Ministry is collaborating to devise the National IPR Policy keeping in mind the best interests of the rights-owners. He also opined that although the HRD Ministry has been understanding and cooperative, IRRO would need more support from Government in order to protect the rights-owners. In his keynote address, Mr. Pravin Anand highlighted the updates with regard to the IPR scenario in India vis-à-vis other countries and mentioning the advancement made by Courts in Delhi. He drew comparisons between some of the recent decisions of the Indian Courts with that of some foreign decisions. He emphasized that there was a need to make special efforts and there was need for stricter scrutiny and need to punish the culprits harder to set examples. His speech set the mood of the seminar in line with the purpose of the Seminar.

The Guest of Honour, Ms. Aparna Sharma, in her inaugural address, appreciated the need and importance of IRRO and congratulated on the work done and its achievements in the recent past as highlighted by Mr. Sudhir Malhotra. She further urged IRRO to involve more copyright- owners and establish a system which is transparent and convenient, so as to say that a right-owner and a user of the right-owner’s work are both aware of each other’s actions and the user knows that for his actions as the user, the right-owner is being compensated, as his is right. Moreover, she opined that for its smooth functioning it is extremely necessary for IRRO to forge strong relationships with the users. The Chief Guest, Mr. A. Sethumadhavan, in his address, while thanking IRRO for organizing this Seminar emphasized on the rights and privileges of the authors and publishers. He expressed his concern on the changing relationships between authors and publishers and the rise in need of either party to safeguard their rights as both are stakeholders now. With regards to the role of IRRO, he mentioned that although the law may be sufficient but its better and stricter implementation is required for which the government will have to play a large role to safeguard the rights of the rights-owners. Lastly, he highlighted that the role of IRRO in creating awareness was very crucial and it should organize a series of seminars, all over India, to educate more people, be it authors, publishers and users.

Prominent among the speakers, both international and national, were Mr. Olav Stokkmo, Chief Executive, International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO), Ms. Emma House, Director, Publisher Relations, Publishers Association of UK, Dr. Lisa P. Lukose, Associate Professor, University School of Law and Legal Studies (USLLS), Indraprastha University, Delhi, Mr. Jagdish Sagar, Advocate and Mr. Arpan Banerjee, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, Haryana. Presentations, including power-point presentations, were made on subjects relating to (i) International Practices in Reprography; (ii) About IRRO and its activities: Legal Framework of Reprography in India; (iii) U.K’s experience with Corporate Licensing; (iv) Copyright and the Education Sector, and (v) Making Digital India: Issues and rights of the rights-owners. All the Sessions were extremely insightful and the discussions were very lively. The presentations made by all the eminent speakers resulted in very good interaction and discussions in the form of question-answer sessions from the enlightened gathering cleared every query that anyone had.

The Seminar created an ambience in demonstrating the commitment by all the publishing industry stakeholders and the authors of the need to further strengthen the implementation of copyright and reprography. With speakers from universities and audience from the corporate sector, the need and role of IRRO was duly appreciated and a collective pledge was adhered to, in order to strength the affairs of IRRO and help IRRO in achieving the goals it has set out to. In his concluding remarks, Mr. Asoke K. Ghosh, former Chairman, IRRO, voiced the concern that seemed to be the intention of organizing this seminar. He articulated using illustrations from a couple of presentations that were previously made and gave his analysis on them. Further, he appreciated the enthusiasm and interest shown by the audience. He opined that if more and more people became aware of these issues and take note of the rights of the rights-owners, while understanding the economic loss suffered by the industry, by certain illegal activities, they would understand the role and function of IRRO in safeguarding all that and support it.

Proposing a vote of thanks, Mr. Ashok Gupta, Secretary General, IRRO, thanked all the learned speakers, both foreign and Indian, for their very interesting and excellent presentations as well as the large number of participants for not only making the Seminar a great success but also actively participating in the discussions that followed the various sessions. Lastly, he thanked IRRO for organizing such an informative
seminar in the process of creating awareness and reiterated that the issues highlighted demanded the attention of all the sections of the Society.

Writ Petition filed by FIP and IRRO in the Delhi High Court seeking to challenge the Constitutional vires of certain provisions of the Copyright Rules 2013 – Further Development.

The Copyright Rules 2013 which came into effect on 14 March 2013 and the Copyright Act 1957, as amended by the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2012, have certain impugned provisions which unjustifiably restrict and interfere with the publishers’ exercise of their fundamental right to carry on their business of book publication. FIP and IRRO had requested Shri Jagdish Sagar, Advocate, Delhi High Court, to file a writ petition in the Delhi High Court seeking to challenge the Constitutional vires of certain impugned provisions in the new Copyright Rules which unjustifiably restrict and interfere with the publishers’ exercise of their fundamental right to carry on their business of book publication. Accordingly, the writ petition had been filed by Shri Jagdish Sagar on 13 May 2013. In the meanwhile, the Authors Guild of India had sent a Note suggesting certain changes to be made in the writ petition. This matter was also discussed in the meeting of the Governing Body of IRRO held on 14 June 2013 and it has been decided that the Note received from the Authors Guild of India to be sent to Shri Jagdish Sagar, Advocate, and asked him to file a Revised Petition adding that IRRO agrees to give equal representation to authors and publishers in the Governing Body of the IRRO. The Writ Petition came up at the Delhi High Court before Justice B.D. Ahmad on 22 August 2013. Our application for amendment of the Petition was allowed and we were also allowed to withdraw our earlier application. Hon’ble Justice asked the respondent (Union of India) to file their reply within two weeks. More than two-and-a-half years have elapsed, the matter is still hanging fire.

The Copyright Council of the Federation remained active under the Chairmanship of Shri Sudhir Malhotra. Queries from publishers, both FIP members and non-members, on matters concerning copyright infringement and the problems of piracy were promptly taken care of and necessary advice given to them.