Art and Indian Copyright Law: A Statutory Reading

A look at how the Indian Copyright Act, 1957, as amended in 2012, interacts with art (other than films and sound recordings), and, in particular, with Indian art. The first part of this text comprises a feminist and post-colonial reading of the Indian copyright statute while later parts focus on interpreting the provisions of the statute in relation to art.

22 September 2014

Off Label Uses of Laws?

Quick Note:

I stumbled across a reference to a case this morning which apparently says that an unskilled reproduction of an artist’s work could be defamatory, and am fascinated by the thought of being able to tag an additional claim on to the arguably banal 'copyright infringement' when protected works are not only reproduced without authorisation but also reproduced badly. After all, our copyright statute doesn't explicitly recognise misattribution; it only recognises non-attribution, and there's a bit of a lacuna there, to put it mildly.

Flippancy aside, I'm reminded of papers I've been seeing recently which argue that a viable way to counter revenge porn under US law (since nothing else seems to work) is via copyright law.

And the general idea of using laws for 'unapproved' purposes is growing on me... if only as an academic exercise.


(Krishnappa v Akhanda Nanda, (1938) 42 CWN 1045 is the case, incidentally. CWN is Calcutta Weekly Notes, as far as I know, but I haven't been able to access the judgment. In case you can, please do mail it to me. Thanks!)

(This post is by Nandita Saikia and was first published at Indian CopyrightIt uses the term 'revenge porn' simply because it's a term that's been widely used, and not because it's an accurate description of what so-called 'revenge porn' involves. It's also worth noting that the term 'revenge porn' is especially problematic since it seems to blame the victim by implying that she —and it is usually a woman— did something which calls for revenge.)

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