Copyright as a subject is not very well accepted in India, and librarians, who deal with a large amount of copyrightable material are not fully aware of its implications. As NDLI grows in content and users with the vision of democratizing education through the power of technology, copyright and intellectual property are becoming burning issues in digital India. India is yet to make up its mind on Open Access – as a result, academics, students, teachers and particularly librarians are constantly finding themselves in the front-line of this debate between rights vs. access to knowledge.

NDLI being a content platform already under the radar of copyright issues gave us the perfect opening – we decided to start with the curators, information scientists and librarians.

We focused on three things:

  1. Are our librarians familiar with the Indian Copyright Act (2012)?
  2. What are their rights?
  3. What can one do beyond the Copyright Act that will not be considered infringement?

All participants were grouped into syndicates and given live case studies to give them a first-hand experience on the nature of IPR issues and the subsequent judgements. The groups then had to get up on the dais and give 5 minute presentations thereby learning how to identify, appreciate and tackle IPR issues when faced with the same. Once subjected to this exposure, the workshop required the participants to come up with a bank of questions, which are now being reviewed by a panel of eminent lawyers and shall form the guidelines of a manual for good practices on Copyright in India, the first document of its kind.