SHRI RANGARAJAN KUMARAMANGALAM: At the moment, what I am asking is the extension of the time of the House for two years. You agree to this. We can decide in the Bills and all that later.
SHRI RAM KAPSE: About the next Bills, we have something to say.
Please wait for five minutes.
991 Stat. Res. re. disapproval of copyright (Amend.)
SHRI RADHIKA RANJAN PRAMANIK: I cannot but support this Bill, because it has originated in the names of Rabindranath Tagore. This is the first cause. Secondly, the Bill has come with a good intention of the hon. Minister; and I appreciate his good intention. Thirdly, I expect that in the near future, if possible, in this Session, he will come forward with a comprehensive Bill to cover all the items include computer technology, video cassettes and audio cassettes.
And last but not the least, I was MLA for 23 years and now lam an MP for three years. In my life time, I have never seen such a simple Bill; it is the simplest one; this is the simplest ever Bill that I have come across in my life. So, I cannot but support this Bill, a very simple Bill, a very humble Bill and the simplest one. So, with many thanks to our hon. Minister, I support this Bill.
PROF. PREM DHUMAL (Hamirpur): Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as the earlier speakers have asserted that if any proposal linked with the name of Ravindra Nath Tagore comes, it will be welcomed. Ravindra Nath Tagore is a personality beyond the limits of time, region and country. Everyone will acclaim the proposal regarding him. I too welcome it.
Hon. Sir, I had a chance to visit South Africa with the Parliamentary delegation. We visited the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, where a fired of Ravindra Nath Tagore lived. The house, where Ravindra Nath Tagore had stayed and had fallen ill, has been preserved as a monument. Today we welcome the Bill which has been brought to keep up his works safe and to maintain their standard.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the previous speakers have also that the copyright has been extended from 50 to 60 years and an amendment has been tabled that it should be extended not by 10 years but by 20 years Ordinance and 992 Copyright (Amend.) Bill
and it should be made for 70 years, then I want to know how the purpose can be achieved only in next 20 years when it has not achieved in 50 years and how this right can be protected.
I am fully agree with this fact that the good works should be given protection but is it possible by enecting laws only'? I would like the hon. Minister to clarity this situation when he gives reply to all these querries.
The N.C.E.R.T. which is associated with the department of the hon. Minister, publishes books; these books should be made available through Government depots but you will be surprised to know that these books are not available there but the duplicate of these books are openly being sold in the market.
I would like to warn the Government of the situation in which even the Government publications are pirated and sold in the open market. Under such circumstances, it is to be seen, how far the Government would be able to implement the Bill. The hon. Minister may, please clarify in his reply as to what extent he would be able to implement this provision. When the authorised books of your Minis" are not available at your depots, but the same are available in black market.
Since the time is short and much remains to be done. I would like to repeat only these to things. Would the Government be able to do now what it has not been able to do for fifty years and implement the provisions of Copy-Right Bill and check the piracy of books in 60 to 70 years which it could not do in 50 years. The hon. Minister may explain while replying to these two questions. With these words, I thank you.
SHRI RAMASHRAY PRASAD SINGH (Jahanabad): Mr. Deputy Sir, I sup- port the Bill which has been brought forward. Shri Ravindra Nath Tagore was an outstanding personality of our country. He has added to the prestige of our country. That is why I support the Bill. We should protect his works of art. His writings should be maintained in 993 Stat. Res. re. dis- approval of copyright (Amend)
the interest of the country. It is our heritage. It is the job of the Government to remove the irregularities in this regard.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there has been a lot of criticism with regard to Visva Bharati. The Government should take it seriously and the monoply of it's publication should be cancelled. He was proficent not only in one language but in many languages, so his poems should be known and read in every language, how would you be able to stop it in 90 years when you could not stop it in 50 years? It appears from the time extended by you. Keeping it in view, you should give a satisfactory reply to this question. Besides, it should be translated. in every language so that it is made more popular.
Efforts should be made so that his writings reach everybody in his native language.
Finally, I would like to say that he was an outstanding scholar of our country. It is our duty to preserve the heritage provided by him. With these words, I conclude.
SHRI GEORGE FERNANDES (Muzaffarpur): Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I fail to understand the reason behind the support being extended to this Bill. The Government should leave aside the provisions of Copy- Right Bill if the works of Rabindra Nath Tagore are to be made popular among the masses. On the other hand, we should ask everybody to publish these and distribute them to the maximum possible extent. I have not been able to understand the concept behind the implementation of provisions of Copy-Right Act in the case of such a person whose writings are a big achievement for the society as well as the whole world. How far is it correct to confine his ideas bound under the provisions of Copyright Bill?
Books and speeches of Mahatma Gandhi are in 150-175 volumes.
Efforts should be made so that the ideas of such a great soul and his ideas should be made available at cheaper rate not only to the Indian public but throughout the world. In my opinion, the writtings of Rabindra Nath Tagore come under a category for which we
994 Ordinace and Copyright (Amend.) Bill
should make efforts to make these available to the public of the world. These writings should not be confined. I don't understand the rationality behind extending 10 years, i.e. from 50 years to 60 years.
It would be better if the Government would bring forward a Bill in the Parliament for the sake of one argument in which copyright in India is maintained as long as that man or institution is existing. Extending 10 years from 50 years to 60 years does not make any difference.
After 10 years, the provisions of Copyright Act will not be applicable on his writings. Thereafter, we would have the right to get it published and distribute it in our respective regions.
The duration of copyright expired on 31st December, 1991. I do not understand the logic behind its extension by 10 years. I am unable to understand the terminology used in the Bill to protect the views of Shri Rabindra Nath Tagore. I would like the hon. Minister to clarify it. I want to raise some fundamental issues on copyright.
Since in India we see variety of collected works in book-shops and particularly in Government libraries. There collected works include many writings such as speeches as the Ministers or Prime, Minister, prepared by the concerned bureaucrats. If anything is written after going through a lot of study, before becoming a Minister or Prime Minister, it is undoubtedly historic. For example, the writings of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru are a historical record. There cannot be two opinions baut it. But the Minister reads out the speech which is prepared by an I.A.S. officer or some speech writer. It such speeches are collected which are delivered during the tenure of the hon.
Minister and they are got printed by utilising the services of every Ministry, especially Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs, and they are published as the collected works of the speeches of George Fernandes, it would be a case of dishonesty furthermore, if the Minister demands royalty for such collected works. It goes without saying that it is a case of dishonesty. I feel sorry to say that these things are happening in India on a large scale. As regards the question of copyright,
995 Stat. Res. re. disapprovel of copyright (Amend.)
[Sh. George Fernandes]
I would like to know from the hon. Minister as to how many volumes of collected works of these speeches, prepared by the concerned Departments have been printed by the Government or any other agency. We would like that the hon. Minister, after taking the House into confidence, should state as to what amount the Ministry of External Affairs or any other Ministry has spent in procuring them and wether its royalty is being given to the members of their families.
It has become the practice to misappropriate the public funds whe never one gets an opportunity to do so. The hon. Minister may consider the point and help us in solving this problem. We have been discussing this issue since long. When our hon. Minister of Railways has delivered a speech today, some official has written it and the hon. Minister only read it out. He was facing some difficulty even in reading it. He had delivered a speech on Railway Budget last year also. Prior to this also he had been the Minister of Railway. Is there any honesty or morality if the Ministry of Railways or Government of India gets the collected speeches of Jaffer Sharief' printed and sells it to libraries of all the States and then makes it available to all the embassies of the world through our onbassies, what degree of honesty and morality it would have. Will it not be tantamount to international misappropriation of funds?
How far it is morally right and how far Justified that white it is published by the Government of India, yet its copyright is retrained by the son, grandsons and granddaughters of Shri Jaffer Sharief? I would therefore like to have an assurance from the hon.
Minister that detailed information should be made available to know as to how many such books have thus been published, are being purchased or sold and the same would be placed before the House. Because you are the Minister of Human Resource Development and you have been repeatedly giving assurances in and outside the House to safeguard all those values. So, you should check the onslought on those values.
Ordinance and 996 Copyright (Amend.) Bill
practice of selling the speeches prepared by the bureaucrats to make money by their family members should be stopped. I had to say only this about this Bill.
THE MINISTER OF HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (SHRI ARJUN SINGH): Hon. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me first take the matter raised by Shri George Saheb because even if what he has said has no direct relation with the present Bill, yet it relates to a practice and public issue. I am, however, not in a position to give detailed information which he has sought, but how far the Copyright Act provides or does not provide protection to such books or how the people are benefited by it is not a matter of interest for him alone; the correct information should be brought forward and I would try to know the correct position.
So far as this Bill is concerned it is clear that it has been brought forward for only one purpose and that is raising the period of validiting of copyright from fifty to sixty years. A question has been raised as to why an ordinance was passed and secondly, What is the justification of raising the period from fifty to sixty years? I would like to submit, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that efforts were being made for the last tour-five months for a large scale amendment in the copyright Act. Opinions of the people of India and of the institu- tions concerned with it were invited. Notes came from the individual authors, and from the institutions affected by it, film-industry and author's guild. We were carrying out that process and we hoped that we would be able to put the amended Copyright Bill before the House and there it self we would make provision to raise this limit. But unfortunately that work could not be concluded. A strong proposal has been made by many honourable Members from Bengal, by the hon. Chief Minister and also by several intellectuals that it should be raised and It should be raised by twenty years. There was another view as well, which has to some extent been referred to here, that it should not be raised at all. There is not a fixed criterion for it, but, after hearing the views of both the sides it was considered proper to strike a
997 Stat. Res. re. disapproval of copyright (Amend.)
balance and that is why the idea of raising the limit by ten years came.
We cannot really assess the works of a great man of our country- revered Gurudev Tagore who gave expression to his feelings in written words and thereby became famous throughout the world. His merit is being appreciated by the whole world and history will be doing so far centuries. I agree that his works must be published in their totality and care should be taken to maintain their authenticity. Whatever is being done towards this by the Vishwa Bharti is really commendable.
The hon. Members have rightly told that what must be done is for some reasons not being done. It a help from outside is required to complete it, we must do that.
An honourable Member has given suggestion of setting up of a national board. I cannot assure about a board, but what has been stated by the members of the House about the activities of the Vishwa Bharti, I would certainly put that matter before the Vice Chancellor of the Vishwa Bharti and also before the prime Minister who happens to be the Chancellor. It is hoped that keeping in mind the sentiments of the people, the Vishwa Bharti will take appropriate steps. At the moment it would not be proper for me to go into the complaints that have been made against the Vishwa Bharti, I would certainly take that matter when an occassion comes. Various suggestions have been given regarding the copyright act, I can only sau that the work to revise the copyright act which was taken up is now complete and I hope we will be able to bring a comprehensive Copyright (amendment) Bill in the House during the current session and then we are ready to extend our full help according to their suggestions or whatever action they want.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the end I would only like to say that though this Bill is very brief and simple but the sentiments behind it are great and respecting to that very sentiments, all the bon. Members have supported that. I am very thankful to them Ordinance and 998 Copyright (Amend.) Bill
and I would request the House that this Bill may be passed.
SHRI GIRDHARI LAL BHARGAVA (Jaipur):.I hope that the hon.
Minister would soon bring a Comprehensive Bill as per his assurance and the period would also be extended. Since they have brought this Bill with clear intention, I therefore, seek leave of the House to withdraw my resolution disapproving the ordinance.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Has the Member leave of the House to withdraw his resoultion.
SEVERAL HON. MEMBERS: Yes.
The Resolution was by leave, withdrawn.
MR. DEPUTY- SPEAKER: Now I shall take up the motion for
consideration of the Bill.
There are two amendments.
SHRI GIRDHARI LAL BHARGAVA: Respecting the sentiments of the hon.
Minister I withdraw my amendment.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Has the Member leave of the House to withdraw his amendment.
SEVERAL HON. MEMBERS: Yes.
Amendment No. 1 was by leave, withdrawn.
PROF. RASA SINGH RAWAT (Ajmer): Respecting the sentiments of the hon. Minister I withdraw my amendment.
999 Stat. Res. re. disapproval MARCH of copyright (Amend.) Ordinance and
Amendment No. 2 was, by leave, withdrawn.
MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: I shall now put the motion for consideration of the Bill to the vote of the House.
The question is:
"That the Bill further to amend the Copyright Act, 1957, be taken into consideration."
The motion was adopted.
MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: We shall now take up clause-by-clause
consideration of the Bill. First, let us take up clause 2.
Shri Rasa Singh Rawat, are you moving your amendment?
PROF. RASA SINGH RAWAT: Sir, as regards the extension, I would like to request that it should be done after detailed discussion on A.
I would not move my amendment.
MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: The question is:
"That clause 2 stand part of the Bill"
The motion was adopted.
Clause 2 was added to the Bill.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question is:
"That clasuse 3 and 4 stand part of the Bill"
The motion was adopted
Clasuse 3 and 4 were added to the Bill
Copyright (Amend.) Bill 1000
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question is:
" That clause 1, the Enacting Formula and the Long Tille stand part of the Bill'
The motion was adopted
Clause 1, the Enacting Formula and the Long Title were added to the Bill.
SHRI ARJUN SINGH: I beg to move That the Bill be passed.'
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER: That question is:
"That the Bill be passed."
The motion was adopted