by Ms Pragya Chaturvedi
It is well-established that owners of copyright are entitled to certain exclusive rights with respect to usage of works created and owned by them. However, the entitlement is not without a counteractive force in the form of fair use or fair-dealing exceptions and the application of other copyright doctrines that limit exclusivity. In the present case, the debate surrounds the copyrightability of works owned by the Government. Should Government work, (standards formulated by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in this particular case) by default, be made available in the public domain or as copyright owners, Government and Government bodies can exercise their right to charge a monetary sum for granting access to works created by them? Alternatively, is there a middle ground to arrive at a balance between public interest and rights of Government as copyright owner?