Sunday, June 13, 2010

Copyright Act, 1957

(1) What shall be the standard of originality in the copy-edited judgments of the Supreme Court which is a derivative work and what would be required in a derivative work to treat it the original work of an author and thereby giving a protected right under the Copyright Act, 1957 to the author of the derivative work ? and (2) Whether the entire version of the copy-edited text of the judgments published in the appellants law report SCC would be entitled for a copyright as an original literary work, the copy-edited judgments having been claimed as a result of inextricable and inseparable admixture of the copy-editing inputs and the raw text, taken together, as a result of insertion of all SCC copy-editing inputs into the raw text, or whether the appellants would be entitled to the copyright in some of the inputs which have been put in the raw text ?
Held, judicial pronouncements of the Apex Court would be in the public domain and its reproduction or publication would not infringe the copyright . The High Court has already granted interim relief to the plaintiff- appellants by directing that though the respondent- defendants shall be entitled to sell their CD-ROMS with the text of the judgments of the Supreme Court along with their own head notes, editorial notes, if any, they should not in any way copy the head notes of the plaintiff-appellants; and that the defendant-respondents shall also not copy the footnotes and editorial notes appearing in the journal of the plaintiff-appellants. It is further directed by us that the defendant-respondents shall not use the paragraphs made by the appellants in their copy-edited version for internal references and their editor's judgment regarding the opinions expressed by the Judges by using phrases like 'concurring', 'partly dissenting', etc. on the basis of reported judgments in SCC. The judgment of the High Court is modified to the extent that in addition to the interim relief already granted by the High Court, we have granted the above-mentioned additional relief to the appellants.

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