Centre for Internet & Society

New Release of IPR Chapter of India-EU Free Trade Agreement

A draft of the IPR chapter of the EU-India FTA, made publicly available now for the first time, provides insight into India's response in July 2010 to several EU proposals on intellectual property protection and enforcement.

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Problems Remain with Standing Committee's Report on Copyright Amendments

The Rajya Sabha Standing Committee on Human Resource Development (under which ministry copyright falls) recently tabled their report on the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010 before Parliament. There is much to be applauded in the report, including the progressive stand that the Committee has taken on the issue of providing access by persons with disabilities. This post, however, will concern itself with highlighting some of the problems with that report, along with some very important considerations that got missed out of the entire amendment debate.

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Statement of CIS on the Work of the Committee in the 21st SCCR

Posted by Nirmita Narasimhan at Nov 23, 2010 11:25 AM |

The twenty-first session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights was held in Geneva from 8 to 12 November 2010. Nirmita Narasimhan attended the conference and represented the Centre for Internet and Society.

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We’ve All Got Some Baggage

Posted by Lawrence Liang at Nov 13, 2010 05:00 AM |

America’s newest trade agreement is not going to kill only iPods. The article appeared in the Tehelka Magazine Vol 7, Issue 45, Dated November 13, 2010

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October 2010 Bulletin

Greetings from the Centre for Internet and Society!

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Seminar on Software Patent and the Commons

Posted by Prasad Krishna at Sep 02, 2010 01:55 PM |

A pre-grant opposition has been filed against a software patent application filed in the patent office by Certicom, a wholly owned subsidiary of Research in Motion (RIM), manufacturers of Blackberry. The opposition was filed on August 31, 2010 by the Software Freedom Law Centre which has recently expanded its operations to India. This exciting development was announced by Mishi Choudhary from SFLC on the lines of the seminar on “Software Patents and the Commons” organised on 1 September 2010 in Delhi jointly by SFLC, the Centre for Internet and Society, the Society for Knowledge Commons and Red Hat. Filing more such oppositions to software patents in India was in the pipeline and this is just the beginning of a movement to take on monopolisation of knowledge and ideas through patenting software, the organisers said.

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First Post-Bilski Decision - Software Patent Rejected

Posted by Prasad Krishna at Aug 24, 2010 10:40 AM |

In the first decision post-Bilski, the Board of Patents Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) rejected a software patent claimed by Hewlett-Packard. The ruling in this case has buttressed the fact that the Bilski decision furthered the cause of narrowing the patentability of software even though the Supreme Court of the United States totally avoided mentioning software patents or the applicability of the machine or transformation test for software patents in its decision.

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The Bilski Case - Impact on Software Patents

Posted by Prasad Krishna at Aug 24, 2010 06:45 AM |

The Supreme Court of the United States gave its decision in Bilski v Kappos on 28 June, 2010. In this case the petitioners’ patent application sought protection for a claimed invention that explains how commodities buyers and sellers in the energy market can protect, or hedge, against the risk of price changes. The Court in affirming the rejection by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit also held that the machine- or-transformation test is not necessarily the sole test of patentability. The Court’s ruling of abstract ideas as unpatentable and its admission that patents do not necessarily promote innovation and may sometimes limit competition and stifle innovation have provided a ray of hope. In the light of the developments, the Bilski decision as far as patentability of software is concerned may not be totally insignificant, says Krithika Dutta Narayana.

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Privacy and the Indian Copyright Act, 1857 as Amended in 2010

Posted by Prasad Krishna at Aug 20, 2010 04:00 AM |

In this post the author examines the issue of privacy in light of the Indian Copyright Act, 1857 as amended by the Copyright Amendment Bill in 2010. Four key questions are examined in detail and the author gives suitable recommendations for each of the questions that arise.

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Analysis of the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010

CIS analyses the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010, from a public interest perspective to sift the good from the bad, and importantly to point out what crucial amendments should be considered but have not been so far.

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A Guide to Key IPR Provisions of the Proposed India-European Union Free Trade Agreement

The Centre for Internet and Society presents a guide for policymakers and other stakeholders to the latest draft of the India-European Union Free Trade Agreement, which likely will be concluded by the end of the year and may hold serious ramifications for Indian businesses and consumers.

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The 2010 Special 301 Report Is More of the Same, Slightly Less Shrill

Pranesh Prakash examines the numerous flaws in the Special 301 from the Indian perspective, to come to the conclusion that the Indian government should openly refuse to acknowledge such a flawed report. He notes that the Consumers International survey, to which CIS contributed the India report, serves as an effective counter to the Special 301 report.

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Exceptions and Limitations in Indian Copyright Law for Education: An Assessment

Posted by Lawrence Liang at May 13, 2010 05:25 AM |

This paper examines the nature of exceptions and limitations in copyright law for the purposes of the use of copyrighted materials for education. It looks at the existing national and international regime, and argues for why there is a need for greater exceptions and limitations to address the needs of developing countries. The paper contextualizes the debate by looking at the high costs of learning materials and the impediment caused to e-learning and distance education by strong copyright regimes.

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Technological Protection Measures in the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010

In this post Pranesh Prakash conducts a legal exegesis of section 65A of the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010, which deals with the stuff that enables 'Digital Rights/Restrictions Management', i.e., Technological Protection Measures. He notes that while the provision avoids some mistakes of the American law, it still poses grave problems to consumers, and that there are many uncertainties in it still.

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When Copyright Goes Bad

Posted by Prasad Krishna at Apr 23, 2010 08:00 AM |

A part of the Access to Knowledge Project, this short film by Consumers International is available on DVD and online at A2Knetwork.org/film.

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Research Project on Open Video in India

Posted by Pranesh Prakash at Apr 05, 2010 06:00 PM |

Open Video Alliance and the Centre for Internet and Society are calling for researchers for a project on open video in India, its potentials, limitations, and recommendations on policy interventions.

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Arguments Against Software Patents in India

CIS believes that software patents are harmful for the software industry and for consumers. In this post, Pranesh Prakash looks at the philosophical, legal and practical reasons for holding such a position in India. This is a slightly modified version of a presentation made by Pranesh Prakash at the iTechLaw conference in Bangalore on February 5, 2010, as part of a panel discussing software patents in India, the United States, and the European Union.

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CIS Statement on the WIPO Broadcast Treaty at SCCR 19

Posted by Pranesh Prakash at Feb 01, 2010 03:00 PM |

This statement on the WIPO Broadcast Treaty was delivered on December 17, 2010 at the 19th session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights by Nirmita Narasimhan on behalf of CIS.

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Piracy Studies in India

Posted by Prasad Krishna at Jan 22, 2010 12:35 PM |

The word ‘piracy’ assumes negative connotations. In the imagination of an ordinary middle class urban Indian it is linked directly to the informal economy, crime and even terrorism. But the ‘pirated good’, that is, the ‘optical disc’ is not seen with a similar perception. The ‘CD’ is the access key to the cultural wealth of music, cinema and software contained inside. This paradox is created in the sphere of information and knowledge that is created by anti-piracy agencies using extensive reports and statistics that are published every year. These statistics often have a tendency to create a feeling of ‘shock and awe’ for the readers that see these numbers splashed across headlines of news and media reports. Till 2004, the creation of numbers conjuring losses up to millions was mostly the domain of the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), which is now supplemented by reports commissioned to consultancy groups like McKinsey, PWC, and Ernst & Young. This article by Siddharth Chadha traces a few reports that have come to become popular benchmarks of piracy in the past few years.

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Enforcement of Anti-piracy Laws by the Indian Entertainment Industry

Posted by Prasad Krishna at Jan 22, 2010 12:25 PM |

This brief note by Siddharth Chadha seeks to map out the key actors in enforcement of copyright laws. These bodies not only investigate cases of infringement and piracy relating to the entertainment industry, but tie up with the police and IP law firms to pursue actions against the offenders through raids (many of them illegal) and court cases. Siddharth notes that the discourse on informal networks and circuits of distribution of cultural goods remains hijacked with efforts to contain piracy as the only rhetoric which safeguards the business interests of big, mostly multinational, media corporations.

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