Thursday, November 15, 2012

Conference on ‘The Copyright Amendments, 2012: A fair Balance?’


[The following is a conference announcement from the Intellectual Property & Technology Law Society]

The MHRD IP Chairs at the National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) and the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) are jointly hosting a two-day Conference on ‘The Copyright Amendments, 2012: A fair Balance?’ at NUJS on November 27 and 28, 2012. The conference is supported by the NUJS Law Review and the Intellectual Property & Technology Law Society (IPTLS).

The Indian Copyright Act, 1957 has been amended six times to date in 1983, 1984, 1992, 1994, 1999 and this year. The latest and the most voluminous of all the amendments so far, introduces wide-ranging changes, some of which have no parallel in any copyright regime, marking a new beginning to India’s copyright jurisprudence, industry practice and social justice. The provisions affect an array of stakeholders, to name a few: lyricists, directors, record labels, copyright societies, public libraries, disabled, intermediaries and enforcement agencies. As with most legal policies, the amendments seek to balance various competing interest groups, ranging from the entertainment industry to disability rights groups. 

The Conference will set the stage to brainstorm and reflect on the changes and various interpretative challenges to the provisions. The stellar panel put together by the organizers comprises academicians, policy makers, IP practitioners, industry voices, civil society organizations and students. And not to mention those responsible for the changes itself to give a comprehensive account to the legislative history of the amendments. 

Here's a glimpse of what these two days will bring forward

The keynote address by noted composer and lyricist Javed Akthar will be followed by an overview to the amendments by Prof. N. S. Gopalakrishnan and history of the amendments by the Registrar of Copyrights, Mr. G. R. Raghavender. 

Session I on ‘Copyrights & Entertainment Sector’ will undertake a discussion on provisions affecting Bollywood and the entertainment industry from eminent voices in music industry and legal practice. This includes a Round Table Discussion on the provisions and its impact on industry with experts such as Pravin Anand (Managing Partner, Anand & Anand), Rakesh Nigam (CEO, IPRS), and Deepak Jacob (Star India) participating. 

Session II on ‘Copyrights & Technology’ will brainstorm on the worrisome tech-related provisions of the Copyright Act. In particular, the session will dissect the intermediary liability and technology enforcement measures including Technological Protection Measures (TPMs) under the Act. 

Session III on ‘Copyright Limitations & Exceptions’ comprising strong voices from the civil society organizations and legal academia will evaluate the laudable exceptions to copyrights in the amendments and will also take stock of missed opportunities. The Panel features Prof. Basheer, Rahul Cherian (Inclusive Planet), Pranesh Prakash (Centre for Internet & Society), Lawrence Liang (Alternative Law Forum), Abhishek Malhotra (TMT Law Practice) and SpicyIP’s Amlan Mohanty. 

Session IV on ‘Copyright Enforcement, Adjudication and Governance Issues’ will address the constitutional challenges to the Copyright Board and transparency concerns in collecting societies. This Session features Ananth Padmanaban and SpicyIP’s most prolific blogger, Prashant Reddy. 

The tentative schedule for the event can be accessed from here. If you wish to join in on any of the panels and have something interesting to say on any of these provisions, please do drop us an email at iptls@nujs.edu (with a copy to shamnad@gmail.com) informing us. If there is space in any of the panels, we will certainly accommodate you. Else, we look forward to your participation as a member of the audience. And we really hope you can join us and enrich the discussion. 

The conference is just the start 

The aim of the conference is to generate papers on the various themes outlined above which will culminate into both: 
1.      a journal issue: the Special Issue of the NUJS Law Review 
2.      a book to be published by the publishers of the NUJS Law Review, Eastern Book Company (EBC). 
The book will contain expanded versions of the papers in the journal. Edited by Prof. Basheer, it will be the first comprehensive book to deal with the copyright amendments. Apart from the value it promises to bring to IP practitioners, policy makers and students, we aim to produce articles that could proffer interpretative assistance to courts confronted with litigation in the immediate aftermath of the amendments. 

Registration 

The conference is open to all. Those interested to attend the conference are requested to send an email to iptls@nujs.edu with their names and designations by November 20, 2012. No registration fee is required for students enrolled in any university and non-profit organizations. For others, the fee is Rs 5000 for registering and attending. You will also be invited to the gala evening (with a creativity theme) we have planned on the 27th night.

- IPTLS

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