Saturday, May 22, 2010

[rti_india] Re: Rules Governing republishing of Information acquired under RTI



Currently Government is contemplating in amending the Copyright Act and has formed a Committee, and given ads in major newspaper inviting suggetions.

Interested persons can even send their suggetions by emails if it is relevant to the present discussion.

E-mail: and within 31st May 2010

The ad goes like this.



The Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010 as introduced and pending in Rajya Sabha has been referred to the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development headed by Shri Oscar Fernandes, MP, Rajya Sabha for examination and report.

2. The proposed Bill seeks to amend the Copyright Act, 1957 to bring it in conformity with World Intellectual Property Organisation's WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT). The WCT deals with the protection for the authors of literary and artistic works such as writings, computer programmes, original databases, musical works, audio-visual works, works of fine art and photographs. The WPPT protects certain 'related rights' of the performers and producers of phonograms.

3. Amendments proposed in the Bill inter-alia seek to:
(i) give independent rights to authors of literary and musical works in cinematograph films;
(ii) provide storing of copyrights material by electronic means and musical works in the context of digital technology and provide for liability of internet service providers;
(iii) enhance the term of copyright for photographers to 'life plus sixty years', introduce copyright term of 70 years for principal director and extend the copyright term for producer for another ten years in case of agreement with the principal director.
(iv) make provision for compulsory licensing for certain entities for publication of copyright works in other formats, introduce statutory licensing for version recording of all sound recordings and statutory licensing for radio broadcasting of literary and musical works and sound recordings.
(v) allow the physically challenged persons access to copyright material in specialized formats;
(vi) make provision for formulation and administration of copyright societies by the authors instead of the owners and introduction of tariff scheme by copyright societies.
(vii) ensure that the authors of the works, in particular, authors of songs included in cinematograph films or sound recordings receive royalty for commercial exploitation of such works.
4. The Committee has decided to invite memoranda containing views/suggestions from individuals/organizations interested in the subject-matter of the Bill.
5. Those desirous of submitting memoranda to the Committee may send their written memoranda,
either in English or Hindi, to Shri J.Sundriyal, Director, Rajya Sabha Secretariat, 141, First Floor,
Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi- 110001. (Tel: 23034541 and Fax: 23793633) E-mail: and within fifteen days from the date of publication of this advertisement. Those who are willing to appear before the Committee for oral evidence besides
submitting the memoranda may indicate so. However, the Committee's decision in this regard shall be final.
6. The memorandum submitted to the Committee would form part of the records of the Committee and would be treated as confidential and would enjoy privileges of the Committee.
7. The Bill has been published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 2, dated the 19th April, 2010. Copies of the Bill can be had on written request to the above- mentioned Officer or can be downloaded from the official web-site of the Rajya Sabha ( under the caption "Bills with the Committees".

--- In, "Venkatesh Nayak" <venkatesh@...> wrote:
> Thanks for the kind words, Mr. Vijay. Polite and civilised debate is one of
> the important things that e-groups should be about.
> _____
> From: [] On Behalf
> Of Vijay Mehta
> Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 11:31 AM
> To:
> Subject: RE: [rti_india] Re: Rules Governing republishing of Information
> acquired under RTI
> Venkat and Sarbajit you both are very important contributor to this forum
> and most of us read you with great interest.
> Sarbajit can try to be as moderate in language as Venkat and this is
> expected from every writer.
> court room decorum should be adopted by each one of us to maintain focus on
> the issues.
> Thanks,
> Vijay
> _____
> To:
> From: sroy1947@...
> Date: Fri, 21 May 2010 05:42:45 +0000
> Subject: [rti_india] Re: Rules Governing republishing of Information
> acquired under RTI
> Dear Venkat
> 1) I am not participating in this (or any) debate as "Moderator". In fact I
> do not even claim to be "first among equals".
> 2) Due to shortage of time, I propose a civilised way to settle this debate
> finally - as follows.
> A) Venkatesh will apply to the CPIO Bureau of Indian Standards for the set
> of 6 (at last count) CDs containing all BIS Standards at the prescribed rate
> of s 50 per diskette. As per the RTI Act this should cost about Rs.300. It
> is undeniable that these standards are of larger public interest (so there
> should be no problem for Venkatesh to get around the BIS' standard defence
> of 8(1)(d), my favourite exemption). It may help Venkatesh to know that many
> P/As have independently uploaded individual BIS standards used by their
> employees to their own websites.
> B) Venkatesh will upload all the BIS standards (or an ISO thereof) to a
> publicly accessible website from where I (or you) can download these 6(or
> 6++) CDs AND inform BIS that he has done so - assuming all liabilities and
> consequences.
> C) If Venkatesh needs financing, I shall contribute (as a private citizen)
> the further fees and website charges.
> Sarbajit
> --- In rti_india@yahoogrou <>,
> "Venkatesh Nayak" <venkatesh@> wrote:
> >
> > Dear all,
> > In his love for maintaining the OSA regime, our moderator forgets the fact
> > that we are a democracy and our legal regime is different from what it is
> in
> > the West. There is no copyright for the State on documents produced by the
> > State or its agencies in India, ordinarily. Copyright is protected by the
> > Copyright Act whether registered initially or not. Unless the document in
> > question is the nature of an expression or creation over which
> intellectual
> > property can be claimed, no copyright claim is valid. Let us take an
> > exmaple: An FIR filed with the police is a public document and will sit in
> > some file or the other eventually. The final report of the police
> > investigation in a criminal case that is filed before a magistrat'es court
> > will ordinarily be in the form of a file. So if I get a copy of that file
> at
> > the rate of Rs. 2 per page which law prevents me from mass distributing
> it?
> >
> > And I would really like to know who has the copyright on these papers?
> will
> > it be the station house officer who wrote the complaint? or will it be the
> > person who lodged the complaint with the police? or will it be the accused
> > persons named in the FIR- because without their actions there would be
> > nothing to record as an FIR. or is copyright that of the victims of the
> > crime who are suffering? and which law prevents me from mass distributing
> > copies of the FIR or the charge sheet if I can afford it? In fact such
> > documents must be mass distributed in every instance where the police foul
> > up or goof up the investigation. This is necessary for kick starting the
> > battle of accountability of public officials.
> >
> > We need to read the OSA carefully. Please recognise OSA for what it is- it
> > is an anti-spying law, period. Of course it has been misused and we learnt
> > to abuse it from those who drafted that law (The Britishers who probably
> > forgot to Gazette it). the kind of interpretation that our moderator gives
> > to its provisions opens up more opportunities for abuse of its provisions.
> > According to OSA, unauthorised possession of government-held information
> > amongst others actions is an offence. Mere possession is not enough.
> please
> > read the sections carefully, almost everywhere possession and transmission
> > or alienation of such information must be proven to be prejudicial to the
> > safety or interests of the State. How can a citizen who obtains any
> > information under the RTI Act use it against the safety of the State? Such
> > information will not be given to him under the RTI Act in the first place
> as
> > we have strong protection in the form of exemptions listed in Section 8(1)
> > of the RTI Act.
> >
> > when the information is provided under the RTI Act, it is deemed to be
> > authorised possession. There is no law under which the State can prosecute
> a
> > citizen if he wishes to make money out of selling such information, to the
> > best of my knowledge. However this is also the question of ethics. No one
> > should be able to make commercial gain out of RTI. In developed countries,
> > some RTI laws and several assets disclosue laws place restrictions on
> > commercial re-use of such information. We do not have that protection in
> > India.
> >
> > As for priced publications, it depends upon what instances we are talking
> > about. If it is information in which intellectual property exists and can
> be
> > recognised in law then commercial reuse of this information without
> > permission from the rightsbearer is forbidden. But let us take the
> simplest
> > example of the bare texts of the law which private law book publishing
> > houses are publishing. This is information contained in a public document
> > which they are reprinting (and sometimes make several mistakes in the
> > reproduction) and making money out of it. The Constitution allows
> everybody
> > the right to publish verbatim even the reports of parliamentray
> proceedings,
> > provided they do not misreport. so in such cases where does the copyright
> > vest? Does it vest with all the officers who signed the documents that got
> > gazetted eventually? Did their section officers and clerks also have a
> > copyright on it? Do MPs have intellectual property claims on the things
> they
> > say in Parliament? In a democracy when we say 'State's copyright' where
> does
> > such right ultimately vest? What is the democratic State without its
> people?
> > or What is any kind of State without its people? When the Constitution
> > belongs to the people, everything that is done under its aegis belongs to
> > the people ultimately. So the State's copyright also belongs to the
> people.
> > This is why Section 9 says violation of the copyright of the State cannot
> be
> > a ground for refusing access to information under the RTI Act.
> >
> > There are some countries where officials can claim intellectual property
> > over their views tendered on file or on the intellectual contribution to
> > government policymaking. In India I am not in favour of having such a
> regime
> > of potection until the proportion of bureaucrats abiding by the
> fundamental
> > principle of any functional democracy, that is "rule of law" goes up to
> > 99.999999......%.
> >
> > Thanks
> > Venkat
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _____
> >
> > From: rti_india@yahoogrou <>
> [mailto:rti_india@yahoogrou <>] On
> Behalf
> > Of sarbajitr
> > Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2010 9:56 PM
> > To: rti_india@yahoogrou <>
> > Subject: [rti_india] Re: Rules Governing republishing of Information
> > acquired under RTI
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Dear Ram
> >
> > Notwithstanding the wish list of some of our members (if wishes were
> horses
> > beggars would ride <wink>), the legal position is very clear - information
> > of any kind disclosed / obtained in RTI cannot be reproduced legally.
> >
> > Leaving aside the OSA, the copyright of all such information continues to
> > vest in the State. For example if you buy a priced publication (say copy
> of
> > BIS standard IS:1234/1972) for Rs. 250 under section 4 process or
> otherwise
> > you cannot reproduce it or any part thereof without specific permission of
> > the copyright holder. Likewise if you obtain copies of some Govt file at
> > Rs.2 per page reproduction charge, you cannot further mass distribute it
> at
> > Rs.0.40 per page xeroxing charge on No-Profit basis. Lastly, it is
> entirely
> > possible (and very legal) that the State may decide to give Mr.X some
> > information in RTI but decline exactly the same info to Mr.Y.
> >
> > Sarbajit
> >
> > --- In rti_india@yahoogrou <>
> <> ,
> > "Ramnarayan.K" <ramnarayan.k@> wrote:
> > >
> > > On Thu, May 20, 2010 at 7:14 PM, Arun <arun_agrawal@> wrote:
> > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > I think that Ram is referring to publication/distribution of RTI
> related
> > > > rules .
> > > >
> > > Nope, am referring to "rules" if any that "govern" publication of
> > > information acquired under the RTI act.
> > >
> > > Basically can information got under RTI be distributed. It seems a waste
> > if
> > > one gets info and is not allowed to pass it on further in a more public
> > > manner.
> > >
> > > ram
> > >
> >
> _____
> All the post budget analysis and implications Sign up
> <> now.

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