[Foundation-l] Fwd: Copyright problems of images from India

Achal Prabhala aprabhala at gmail.com
Tue May 10 14:00:06 UTC 2011

Sreejith's point is that proving the date of authorship in commonly used 
religious iconography is difficult; it's also difficult to work through 
the dates of derivatives of the 'original' work in order to establish 
which versions have what period - if any - of copyright validity left.

For what it's worth, Indian copyright law does have provisions to 
address orphan works. It's just that the provisions (linked to below my 
text) are rather cumbersome, and ultimately do not result in a public 
domain license being applied on the work even if it is found that the 
author is untraceable or doesn't exist; it merely results in a license 
to the individual who applied to use the work, possibly even the payment 
of royalty to the 'public account.'

Current Indian copyright law has provisions around orphan works for 
'Indian works' only (where questions of citizenship, as you described 
below, could play some part), but the law is about to be amended, and 
the new copyright law, effective very shortly, applies the orphan works 
provisions to all/any works vis-a-vis their use/effect in India, so this 
question will soon be moot.

But the larger point is that unless one can definitively show that a 
work is out of copyright in terms of years since published or by the 
terms of an alternative copyright license, the law does not offer a way 
to deposit that work in the public domain.

Current Indian copyright law (with suggested amendments from government 
and civil society): See s.31A - 

Proposed amended copyright law (soon to be tabled in parliament): See 
s.31A - *http://tinyurl.com/3tb7drx*

On Tuesday 10 May 2011 07:12 PM, FT2 wrote:
> Why would the creator's citizenship, or the place of its creation, be
> decisive?  The works of an Indian citizen are granted copyright under US law
> in the United States, on a parity with the works of a US or any other
> citizen, even if copyright has expired or still continues in India -- and it
> is US law that governs Wikimedia.
> FT2
> On Tue, May 10, 2011 at 12:07 PM,<wiki-list at phizz.demon.co.uk>  wrote:
>> Welcome to the problem of Orphan Works. what you have to show is that
>> either of the following is true?
>> (i) the author of which is a citizen of India; or
>> (ii) which is first published in India; or
>> (iii) the author of which, in the case of an unpublished work, is, at the
>> time of the making of the work, a citizen of India;
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