The Libraries Exception: What the Amended Copyright Act Does (and Should do) for Preserving and Sharing Knowledge in the Digital Era
Volume 5 Issue 4 (2012)
Libraries, especially those which are universally accessible and funded by the state, have been seen as important means to democratize access to knowledge, and have gained renewed relevance in the information age as agents through which the digital divide can be addressed, particularly in developing countries. India’s system of statutorily established libraries has seen considerable State attention since independence through policymaking,
legislation and financial investment through the successive Five Year Plans aimed at ameliorating infrastructure. Nevertheless, much still remains to be achieved. Creating the legal infrastructure as well as the technological edifice for an effective, sustainable and relevant system of public and national libraries, is crucial for ensuring that these institutions are capable of preserving and sharing content (whether it is books, art or audio and/or visual content) effectively. This paper examines the amended Indian Copyright Act, 1957 for its compatibility with the project of modernizing our libraries, and attempts to suggest how the vacuum should be filled in.