971 Stat Res. re. disapproval of copyright (Amend.)
[Sh. Bijoy Krishna Hanique]
utilised for publishing the complete, undistorted Rabindra Nath and make his writings available with reasonable price for common reader.
We feel that this extension of 10 years is not enough in this regard.
For overall development and improvement of Viswa Bharati Publication the Govt. may consider forming a supervisory committee comprising of representatives of various Government publishers so that we can publish the complete works of Rabindra Nath within a definite period of time. This objective should not be confined to Rabindra Nath only.
This objective should be meant for all great writers of our country.
Without this objective, just more exctension of time limit won't serve any purpose.
Hon'ble Chairman, Sir, I would say a few word in the end.
According to many persons, we have been objecting unnecessarily against patent act amendments advocated in the Dunkel Draft. They say that you people have no objection for extension of time limit of copy right in the country. But why you are objecting to the extension of time limit upto 20 years for Patent Act in Dunkel Draft? Our reply to them is that the same reason of protecting the act of Rabindra Nath or any great writer from market-forces is working here. We do not want the monopoly of big business group or multi nationals on our intellectual property. We have objection for giving facility to the big business lobby or multinationals through the amendment of the Patent Act.
Considering the situation in the developint countries, the Unesco convention made the International copyright Act to some extent unrestricted so these countries can utilise the intellectual property of other countries and develop their own intellectual property.
Stockholm protocol wanted to go one stop ahead in this regard. But the developed countries did not agree. Today the multi-
Ordinance and 972 Copyright (Amend.) Bill
national companies want to have monopoly on International intellectual property. Through Dunkel Draft. The cultural, moral social sovereignty of a country can not come under Patent Act. But there multinationals want to bring these too under Patent Act. It will not be proper to judge in the same light the move of met letting a national writer to be subjected to market forces the objection to the proposal for amendment of Patent Act in Dunkel Draft.
Hon'ble Chairmen, Sir, I thank you for giving me time. After supporting the amendments I would like to submit that this extension of ten years should be utilised in such a manner so that the writings of Rabindra Nath and other great writers can be available for all of us properly.
PROF. K.V. THOMAS (Ernakulam): Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the outset I support the Copyright (Amendment) Bill. The Eighth Commandment says:
"Thou should not steal."
The Copyright Bill aims to prevent the stealing of intellectual properties of men of eminence. The Copyright Act was first enacted in 1709 in England. It was first enacted in India in 1914 and subsequently there were a number of amendments and even the present amendment does not plug many of the loopholes still present in the Copyright Law. So, we should have a very comprehensive Copyright Law, so that whatever loopholes are present now can be effectively plugged.
As it is specially noted in the Statement of Objects and Reasons of this Bill, one of the primary aims of this amendment is to protect the copyright of Gurudev Tagoreji's works for 10 more years. In this connection, I would like to know why it is 60 years. In Germany, a Law was enacted in 1975 and its period is 70 years. In Spain also a Law
973 Stat. Res. re. disapproval of copyright (Amend.)
was enacted and the period is 80 years. As you have decided to enhance the period from 50 years to 60 years, I would like to know why it is 60 years and why not a little more. I would like to know the reason behind it.
Sir, I would like to bring to the notice of the hon. Minister certain anomalies still existing in the Bill. In the case of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works other than photographs, the period of copyright is the life time of the author and 60 years after his death. Why are the authors of photographs not given this privilege? In the present day world, photography is also a piece of art. So, I think, this privilege should be given to the authors of photographs also. Similarly, in the scientific world, computer programmes and softwares also should be adequately protected and in the present law, this protection is not given. The 1977 Supreme Court judyment gave the sole copyright of the films and sound tracks to the producers. The artisted of the film who are not organised themselves are completely at the whim and fancy of the producers. My request is, there should be adequate amendment to safguard the interests of the artisted. Pirated books audio, video cassettes, paintings, computer programmes and films are now available everywhere. This is due to the absence of adequate and effective laws. Infringement of copy rights Act is analogous to misappropriation of property or even theft.
Therefore, it calls for stringent penal action.
My request to the Government is, we should bring about legislation so that even imprisonment and heavy penalty should be given to those who infringe the law. There should be a special police call to look into these cases. There should be special courts. The law should have enough teeth.
I would suggest that video parloursand shops may come under licensing agency system so that there can be frequent checks.
Ordinace and 974 Copyright (Amend.) Bill
Seized pirated property should become the property of the State. In the present law, we do not have such a provision. Similarly, there should be public awareness scheme the Copyright law since the people do not know what are the provision under the present law,
Coming to the evidence, the evidence should be relaxed in favour of the copyright holder and not to the alleged culprit.
The developing nations and the Third world countries, they are put in a very disadvantagenous position. Countries like England and France are not prepared to uphold the 1967 Stockholm Protocol as a result of this, many of the modern books which are published abroad in the Western countries come to the developing countries and the Third- world after certain period, when they become obsolete. Now the Third world countries and the developing national have become a burial ground for obsolete work done in the Western countries. We should see that the Stockholm Protocol signed by the nations is being implemented scrupulously.
With these words, I support this Bill.
SHRI MOHAN SINGH (Deoria): Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is nothing much to say against this Bill seeking to amend the Copyright Act because it has been introduced with such a perspective and back- ground that there is nothing left to say against it. seen But, I would like to take this opportunity to make some suggestions to the hon.
It has been the misfortune of our country that our writers have been poor and the intellectuals economically unsound. The publishers of books are becoming richer and more prosperous. It should be the responsibility of the Government to propagate the ideas and thoughts of the intellectuals and to
975 Stat Res. re. disapproval of copyright (Amend.)
[Sh. Mohan Singh]
publish the books of good writers because these personalities influence the generations with their mental capability. When the National Book Trust celebrated centenary of Gandhiji, all his works were available in 8082 volumes at the cost of Rs. 10. At present if we give that to a publisher for publishing it, the cost would be Rs.
500-600. In such a situation no reader will be able to purchases those books. Munshi Preme Chand passed away in poverty. But the publishers of his copyright got paper from the Government at subsidised rates, took money from the Government and sold the published books at very high rates in the market. A complaint has been registered against them in this connection and a law suit was initiated in the court about the paper supplied by the Government. A lot of unsavoung stories about the heirs of great writers and their publishers have come before the society which hive led to of the position in the matter. Now the Government has given copyright of the selected works of Shri Jawaharlal Nehru to the Oxford Press. And Oxford Press is selling that at such a high rate that if an ordinary person wants to read and pay heed to the ideas of Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, it will be a difficult task for him to do so by purchasing the published works.
Therefore, I would like to suggest that A should be responsibility of the National Book Trust and the Government to publish the works of such eminent writers, intellectuals and scientists. For example, contenary of Shri Subramany am Bharati had been celebrated 6-7-8 years ago but the Hindi version of his books were not published. Had his books been published in Hindi too, A would have benefited the Hindi Knowing prsons. I think the copyright owners had no Hindi. Translators. So Hindi readers are deprived of the poems and ideas of such a great personality of this era. Similar was the case with the works of Ravindra Nath Tagore. The
Ordinance and 976 Copyright (Amend.) Bill Hindi speaking people suffer from a weakness that they one too vocal in demanding use of Hindi, but when they get an opportunity to learn other languages of India, they always lag behind Therefore, keeping in view their compulsion and inactiveness, I think it will be proper if the Government makes arrangements to make available the Hindi version of the books, poens and ideas/ thoughts of such other non-Hindi speaking great intellectuals and thinkers at reasonable rates through National Book Trust and from this point of view there is a need to amend this Copyright Act because we have seen that this Act has created a problem in case of Maulana Azad's works. Maulana Azad expressed his views in a book 'India Wins Freedom' and died later on.
Some portion of that book was after 40 years of his death as per his will. And during all these 40 years a lot of rumouns were spread regarding Maulana Azad as to what he wanted to reveal though that portion of the Book. What secret did he want to bring to light through this publication; who were the persons and what were the circumstances, responsible for partition of India? The readers of this country had been in confusion for the long 40 years regarding the contents of that portion of the book. A dispute arose after Us publication regarding its copyright and this case went upto Supreme Court for this decision as to who would be entitled to get royality.
So the Copyright Act should be amended in case of publication of the books of revolutionary writers, thinkers, leaders, poets and men of literature, who had influenced the entire generation of the country.
And it should be the responsibility of the Government to make available these books at reasonable rates through National Book Trust or through As own agency to propagate such revolutionary ideas. With these few suggestions I am in a position to neither to support nor to oppose this Bill. I would like to urge the hon. Minister that an integrated policy on the publication of the books should be formu- lated. A few days ago a big World Book Fair was organised here. A number of visitors used to go there but among these
977 Stat. Res. re. disapproval of copyright (Amend.)
visitors, the buyers of the books were very few because the prices of the books were very high; so the visitors used to make a round of the Fair and return without purchasing the books. My interest and temptation towards the books also dragged me there and found that the books. which were avaitable at less than Rs. 25 or Rs. 50 about 4045 years ago, were available at very high prices were beyond my capacity.
So the Government should formulate an integrated policy regarding the publication of the books. The Government should own the responsi- bility of publishing those books which can benefit the society and can propagate the good ideas and thoughts. As per the newspaper reports, the Government proposes to take some concrete measures in this respect and the History of the Indian National Movement is being included in the text books. I would like to urge that it should not only be included in the text books but the History of India's Freedom struggle should also be published in the form of a book which may be available at reasonable prices so that it could be made available to the people interested in it.
With these suggestions, I conclude.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Now Prof. Rasa Singh Rawat to speak. Each Member will have five minutes because we have got three more Bills to be passed today.
PROF. RASA SINGH RAWAT (Ajmer), Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I welcome the Bill introduced by the hon. Minister of Human Resource Development, to replace the ordinance promulgated by the President.
The intention behind this Bill is related with Shri Ravindra Nath Tagore. Who does not know the world renowned poet Ravindra Nath Tagore? There is a saying in India as to who
Ordinace and 978 Copyright (Amend.) Bill
can count stars in the sky; who can count the dust particles in desert sand who can count the drops in torrential downpour. Similarly who can describe the stories of the great sons of Bharat Mata. Ravindra Nath Tagore was such a great son of Bharat Mata, as won laurels by writing famous book Gitanjali and won the great Noble Prize.
Optimism and humanism are reflected in the works of Ravindra Nath Tagore. The values of human fife have been established through these poetical works. Along with this the national values also are reflected in them. In the circumstances prevailing in the country at present the works of Gurudev Ravindra Nath Tagore are like a light house for us. Today, in the absence of good literary works, an atmosphere of lessiwism in the country is prevalent every where.
Unrest is developing among the youths because they are not able to get good literature to read which they should have. As a result of which cheap literature is available in the market.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, through you, I would like to say that as food is necessary for the body similarly literature is essential for the mind.It is just like a food for the mind. Unless and until good literature is created, protected and propagated, the habit of self- study will not develop and good ideas will not originate. An Urdu poet said about the present circumstances -
"Ham un kul kitabon ko, kabile jabti samajhte hain.
Jinko padhkar bete bap ko, khapti samajhte hain."
In such an age when cheep literature is flooding the society, we had the privilege of having some great poets and writers among us, World renowned literary perons like Ravindra Nath Tagore, Munshi Prem Chand, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Jay Shankar Prasad and great Hindi poet Surya Kant
979 Stat. Res. re. disapproval of copyright (Amend.)
[Prof. Rasa Singh Rawat]
Tripathi 'Nirala' or the poets of other languages as Shri Subrahamanyam Bharati. Their works should be given wide publicity through new editions which should be authentic and of good quality and be available at reasonable prices so that our new generation may know our national values, culture, cultural heritage, music, art and literature. It is said:
"Sahitya, Sangeet, kala vihin sakshat pashu puchha vishan heen." It would not be hypothetical if I say that Shri Ravindra Nath Tagore set up an ideal by giving such an importance to the literature, music and art.
Sir, while introducing the Bill the hon. Minister said that the term of the copyright of his works was due to expire in 1991. 50 years have passed since he died. In several cases, the term of 50 years is counted from the date of the publication. For example, the term of 50 years is counted after the creation of a work relating to literature, after the music and art. This period has been extended by 10 years.
A delegation of the learned people under the leadership of Mr. Savya Sanchi, the Vice Chancellor of the Vishwa Bharti had come to meet our hon. Prime Minister and might have met the hon. Human Resource Development Minister too. They had requested to extend it by 20 years but the Government has extended it only by 10 years. I would like to submit that it should be extended by another 10 years, lest the literature of Ravindra Nath Tagore goes into the hands of a business institution. Earning money should not be the sole target, it should not be out of reach of the common readers. Therefore, it is necessary that its copyright site the Vishwa Bharti should be extended for 20 years. What are the reasons which will compel us to think about it?
Most of the speakers have supported it. I want to submit
Ordinance and 980 Copyright (Amend.) Bill
that the intellectuals of Bengal from the field of literature, art and cinema like Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen have opposed extension of the copyright for 10 years. They asserted that this right should not be given to Vishwa Bharati. One institution should not be given the opportunity to establish its monopoly. On the other hand, there is the hon. Chief Minister and the other people of Bengal who say that it should be extended for another 10 years in the name of Vishwa Bharti. There are different views about it, whatever may be the reasons for these views, these difference should be removed.
In view of the prevailing circumstances in Vishwa Bharati, it is essential that the literature of Ravindra Nath Tagore should be translated in Indian Languages and it should be of standard quality and inspiring. The get up and set-up should be proper. The artistic portraits drawn by Ravindra Nath Tagore 'should be described in such a way it may inspire the whole of the country and the mankind. Sir, no doubt it can be implemented in our country easily but I would like to submit through you that the efforts should be made through the foreign Governments, reputed publishing houses to enter into an agreement with them under this Copyright Act so that it can be implemented there also and the works of Ravindra Nath Tagore reach the common people, big Universities and leading libraries of the world.