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

About the author

Umakanth Varottil

Umakanth Varottil is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore. He specializes in corporate law and governance, mergers and acquisitions and cross-border investments. Prior to his foray into academia, Umakanth was a partner at a pre-eminent law firm in India.

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