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14 Apr, 2020

46 Min Read

Neighboring Rights Law – WIPO-IPR


Neighboring Rights Law – WIPO

Part of: GS-II- International organisation-IPR (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)

The French competition regulator has asked Google to negotiate with publishers and news agencies the remuneration due to them under the law relating to neighboring rights.

  • The French regulator has announced that Google must start paying media for sharing their content, as its practices had caused serious harm to the press sector.
  • The order is an interim decision. Though the order is only for the French press, it has global ramifications for Google and the press, as it can set a legal precedent and shape the discourse around the economics of news on the net.
  • The neighboring rights law that came into force on 24th July, 2019 in France aims to set the conditions for a balanced negotiation between publishers, news agencies and digital platforms, in order to redefine, in favour of press publishers and news agencies, the sharing of the value between these actors.

Neighboring Rights

  • According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), related rights, also referred to as neighboring rights, protect the legal interests of certain persons and legal entities that contribute to making works available to the public or that produce subject matter which, while not qualifying as works under the copyright systems of all countries, contains sufficient creativity or technical and organizational skill to justify recognition of a copyright-like property right.
  • Traditionally, related rights have been granted to three categories of beneficiaries:
    • Performers (actors/musicians);
    • Producers of sound recordings (also referred to as phonograms); and
    • Broadcasting organizations.

Protection in India

  • The Copyright Act, 1957 protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and cinematograph films and sound recordings from unauthorized uses. Unlike the case with patents, copyright protects the expressions and not the ideas. There is no copyright in an idea.
    • Copyright is a right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. In fact, it is a bundle of rights including, inter alia, rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work.
    • Copyright is an Intellectual Property Right (IPR).
      • Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names and images used in commerce.
      • Other IPRs include trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs, patents, etc.
  • Copyright as provided by the Indian Copyright Act is valid only within the borders of the country. To secure protection to Indian works in foreign countries, India has become a member of the following international conventions on copyright and neighbouring (related) rights:
    • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic works, 1886.
    • Universal Copyright Convention (Revised in 1971).
    • Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorised Duplication of their Phonograms, 1971.
    • Multilateral Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation of Copyright Royalties, 1979.
    • Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, 1995.

Earlier news: Copyright Case verdict

In The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford vs Rameshwari Photocopy Services case, the Delhi HC gave the verdict that photocopying portions of academic publications to make course packs for students does not amount to copyright infringement. Along with the verdict in Novartis case, this marks an important point in the evolution of IPR laws in the country.

Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. This is usually only for a limited time. The exclusive rights are not absolute but limited by limitations and exceptions to copyright law, including fair use. A major limitation on copyright is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the underlying ideas themselves. Copyright is a form of IPR that is recognized under the 1995 TRIPS Agreement.

Judgement by Delhi HC:

The Delhi HC in its verdict mentioned that copyright is a statutory right and not a natural right. Hence, any right that is granted to the owner is also limited by exceptions carved out by law. Section 52(1)(i) of Copyright Act of India provides that exception. It allows for reproduction of work in the following cases:

  1. By a teacher or pupil in the course of instruction
  2. As part of question to be answered in the course of the exam
  3. As part of the answer given in the course of exam

The crux of the dispute was whether course packs fall within this exception. The petitioners tried to provide a narrow reading of the section, claiming that at best what the section allows for is the provision of materials in the course of a lecture and spatially restricted to a classroom. The court, while rejecting this claim, argues that “instruction” cannot be narrowly understood. It held that “when an action if onerously done is not an offence, it will not become an offence when owing to advancement in technology, doing thereof is simplified”. Photocopiers have made the task simpler and faster, but if the act of copying for a particular purpose is itself not illegal, and “the effect of the action is the same, the difference in the mode of action cannot make a difference so as to make one an offence”.

The court also questioned the unidimensional suggestion that the purpose of copyright is protection of the property rights of owners. It is designed rather to stimulate activity and progress in the arts for the intellectual enrichment of the public. Copyright is intended to increase and not to impede the harvest of knowledge. It is intended to motivate the creative activity of authors and inventors in order to benefit the public.

Impact of the judgement

  1. The judgment has immense consequences beyond India and is a bold articulation of the principles of equitable access to knowledge — and one that deserves to be emulated globally. For a while now, the globalisation of copyright norms through international law (Berne Convention, TRIPS Agreement) has been accompanied by the globalisation of copyright standards that have primarily emerged from the global north. Aggressively pushed by the copyright lobby, such as Hollywood, the music industry and the publishing cartels, copyright law had effectively been hijacked by narrow commercial interests (albeit always speaking in the name of authors and creators). Thus even when it came to discussing fair use and exceptions and limitations, countries have found themselves constrained by judicial precedents from the U.S. and elsewhere that have defined quantitative restrictions on photocopying.
  2. The Delhi High Court has held that the exception in the copyright law provided for the reproduction of copyrighted work in the course of instruction for the purpose of teaching with the conviction that it does prejudice the legitimate interest of the authors. This is also in tune with the international obligation under TRIPS, which provides for reasonable exception by providing the flexibility for reproduction in certain cases. Access to education is an important consideration for a developing country like India where libraries and universities have to cope with the needs of thousands of students simultaneously, and it would be naïve to expect every student to buy copies of every book.
  3. The judgment along with the judgement in the case of generic medicine (Novartis case) sets a precedent for developing countries around the world to follow. Sec 3(d) verdict has now been incorporated in the IPR laws of many developing countries such as South Africa and Phillipines.
  4. It is important to note that In March 2013, over 300 academics — many of whose works were on reading lists in Delhi University syllabi — wrote to the publishers asking them to withdraw the case and expressed solidarity with the students.
  5. The verdict may justly raise the concern whether conferring unrestricted reprographic rights on academic institutions will drive reputed publishers out of the field of education. It is true that academic publications, especially international ones, are expensive, putting them beyond the reach of many students. But the question is whether the balance between the competing interests has been fully preserved in the law. If reputed publishers feel that there is insufficient copyright protection and back out of educational publishing in the country, it will be equally injurious to the public interest.


In light of the argument given by the court with regard to access to education the judgement is needed for a country like India where the demand for books is high and university and public libraries are short in supply, crowded and noisy. The Indian Copyright law and the exception provided under it (Section 52(1)(i) is fully compliant with international obligations under TRIPS and Berne Convention. Many of the published works are prohibitively expensive putting them beyond the reach of many students and the onus falls on these publishers to come up with innovative business models so that the cost impact on students can be reduced. In an era of rapidly evolving technology such as ebooks etc, coming up with cost effective solutions which can enhance the reach of knowledge is the need of the hour.

Source: IE/TH

PM Narendra Modi speech highlights 14th April 2020


PM Narendra Modi speech highlights 14th April 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 14th April addressed the nation on the last day of coronavirus lockdown. In his address, the Prime Minister said that the nation-wide lockdown will be extended till May 3.

Here is a look at the highlights from Prime Minister's address —

Considering all suggestions, it has been decided that the lockdown will be extended till May 3. During this time we have to be disciplines like we have so far been.

  1. Till April 20, all districts, localities, states will be closely monitored, as to how strictly they are implementing norms. States which will not let hotspots increase, they could be allowed to let some important activities resume, but with certain conditions
  2. From April 20, those states or areas, which will not allow increase of hotspots or where the possibility of hot posts increasing is less, will see resumption of some essential services.
  3. We are moving with great pace on the health infrastructure fund as well. In January, the country only had one lab to test Coronavirus. There are now more than 220 labs working on this front.
  4. On Wednesday, the government will come out of extensive guidelines on the lockdown.
  5. I know you have faced many difficulties. Some have faced difficulty with food. Some have faced problems in commuting. While some have been staying away from their houses and family.
  6. I know the kind of trouble all of you have been through in this period. But I know, for the country, all of you have worked like a disciplined soldier. I pay my regards to all of you.
  7. India has been able to contain the spread and ill-effects of Coronavirus due to your patience. All of you have suffered to save the nation.
  8. The new year has started in several states in the entire country. The way people are observing the lockdown is inspiring and commendable. I wish you and your family good health on this new year.
  9. Even when India did not have a single corona patient, India had begun screening passengers from Covid-19 affected countries
  10. If India had not adopted holistic, integrated approach, had not taken quick decision then India's situation would have been different. However, observations and results of the last few days have shown that the road we took was right.
  11. India has reaped the benefits of social distancing and lockdown. We have paid economic cost for it too. But it is nothing compared to the cost of the lives of Indians.
  12. People who earn every day and fulfill their needs, they are my family as well. It is one of my priorities to reduce their problems
  13. Prior to his address, the Prime Minister had on Saturday held consultations with chief ministers through video-conferencing, during which talks were held over the need for extending the lockdown further after taking into consideration the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
  14. During the course of the meeting, the Prime Minister had said that there seems to be a consensus amongst the States on the extension of lockdown by another two weeks. He underlined that the motto of the government earlier was 'jaan hai to jahaan hai' but now it is 'jaan bhi jahaan bhi'.

Source: ToI

Ebola Death in Democratic Republic of Congo-Ebola Virus


Ebola Death in Democratic Republic of Congo

Part of: GS-II- International Affairs-Health (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Democratic Republic of Congo recorded a second Ebola death in days following more than seven weeks without a new case.

Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a deadly disease with occasional outbreaks that occur primarily on the African continent. EVD most commonly affects people and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). It is caused by an infection with a group of viruses within the genus Ebolavirus:

  • Ebola virus (species Zaire ebolavirus)
  • Sudan virus (species Sudan ebolavirus)
  • Taï Forest virus (species Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus)
  • Bundibugyo virus (species Bundibugyo ebolavirus)
  • Reston virus (species Reston ebolavirus)
  • Bombali virus (species Bombali ebolavirus)

Of these, only four (Ebola, Sudan, Taï Forest, and Bundibugyo viruses) are known to cause disease in people. Reston virus is known to cause disease in nonhuman primates and pigs, but not in people. It is unknown if Bombali virus, which was recently identified in bats, causes disease in either animals or people.

Imp Points

  • The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 2,200 people since August 2018. During this outbreak it killed about two thirds of those it infected.
  • The cases appear when the Democratic Republic of Congo had been due to mark an end to the second-deadliest outbreak of the virus on record.
  • No clarity on contractions: It is not yet clear how the new cases emerged. Neither there was any contact with other Ebola patients, nor the patient was a survivor of the virus which could have relapsed.
  • Flare-ups or one-off transmissions (sudden outburst) are common towards the end of Ebola outbreaks, and a new case does not necessarily mean that the virus will spread out of control again.

Ebola Virus Disease

  • Ebola virus disease, formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since then, the virus has been infecting people from time to time, leading to outbreaks in several African countries.
  • Transmission: Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts.
    • Animal to human transmission: Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as fruit bats, chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope or porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.
    • Human-to-human transmission: Ebola spreads via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with:
      • Blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola.
      • Objects that have been contaminated with body fluids (like blood, feces, vomit) from a person sick with Ebola or the body of a person who died from Ebola.
  • Incubation Period: The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms, is from 2 to 21 days.
    • A person infected with Ebola cannot spread the disease until they develop symptoms.
  • Symptoms: Symptoms of Ebola can be sudden and include:
    • Fever
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhoea
    • Symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function
    • In some cases, both internal and external bleeding
  • Diagnosis: It can be difficult to clinically distinguish Ebola from other infectious diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever, and meningitis but confirmation that symptoms are caused by Ebola virus infection are made using the following diagnostic methods:
    • Antibody-capture Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). It also tests Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and Kyasanur Forest Disease.
    • Antigen-capture detection tests
    • Serum neutralization test
    • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) assay
    • Electron microscopy
    • Virus isolation by cell culture.
  • Vaccines: An experimental Ebola vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV proved highly protective against EVD in a major trial in Guinea in 2015.
    • The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine is being used in the ongoing 2018-2019 Ebola outbreak in DRC. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should have access to the vaccine under the same conditions as for the general population.
    • The public mistrust and militia attacks have prevented health workers from reaching some hard-hit areas for administering the vaccines.

Source: TH

SHGs Fight against Covid-19 -  SELF HELP GROUP

GS-II : Governance SHG

SHGs Fight against Covid-19 - SELF HELP GROUP


Women members of around 63 lakh Self Help Groups (SHGs) across the country formed under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development are contributing in every possible way to contain the spread of Covid-19.

  • All State Rural Livelihoods Missions (SRLMs) have been made aware of the various aspects of the disease including the need to maintain personal hygiene, social distancing etc. through Audio Visual (AV) Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material and advisories.
  • SRLMs are using all the information to ensure that the correct message is communicated to the community by various means like telephone calls, wall writings, pamphlets/fliers, social media, etc.

Important Interventions by SRLMs: (Important for examples in Sociology)

    • Bihar SRLM (JEEViKA):
      • Utilizing Mobile Vaani Platform to spread awareness among the community through voice messages and answering queries on Covid-19.
      • Mobile Vaani (MV) is a mobile-based voice media platform for underserved areas in India whereby users generate content in their own local dialect through an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS).
    • Uttar Pradesh SRLM (Prerna):
      • Use of rangolis and markings such as lines and circles to re-emphasise the need for 'social distancing'.
      • Wall paintings to spread key messages about Covid prevention.
    • Jharkhand SRML:
      • Initiated Didi helpline, which helps migrant labourers by providing them verified information 24 hours.
    • Kerala SRML:
      • Dispelling the widespread fake news causing panic through its WhatsApp groups and propagating only the right information.

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission

  • It was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development in 2011.
  • It aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms for the rural poor enabling them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services.
  • NRLM has set out with an agenda to cover 7 crore rural poor households, across 600 districts, 6000 blocks, 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats and 6 lakh villages in the country through self-managed SHGs and institutions and support them for livelihoods collectives in a period of 8-10 years.
  • Salient Features:
    • It lays special emphasis on targeting the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable communities (i.e. Antyodaya) and their financial inclusion.
    • Innovative projects under National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP) to pilot alternate channels of financial inclusion, creating value chains around rural products, introduce innovative models in livelihoods promotion and access to finance and scale-up initiatives on digital finance and livelihood interventions.
    • DAY-NRLM provides for mutually beneficial working relationships and formal platforms for consultations between Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs).
    • NRLM has also developed an activity map to facilitate convergence in different areas of interventions where NRLM institutions and PRIs could work together which has been disseminated to all SRLMs.

Source: TH/PIB

Cognitive Science Research Initiative and SATYAM-Yoga


Cognitive Science Research Initiative and SATYAM-Yoga


Recently, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has initiated the Science and Technology of Yoga and Meditation (SATYAM) programme. Under SATYAM, DST has invited proposals to study appropriate intervention of yoga and meditation in fighting Covid-19 and similar kinds of viruses.


To provide assistance to society in today’s critical condition arising due to pandemic Covid-19.

This is a need-based call, therefore, proposed work should be completed within 6-12 months.

  • Dimensions of Covid: Covid-19 usually has three dimensions, related to:
    • Stress (worry, sitting at home).
    • Respiratory.
    • Immune system.
  • Scientific Investigation: The effects of yoga and meditation on the life of a person during such stressful times have to be scientifically investigated.
    • Sometimes, there is an empirical correlation in the actions and the outcome, but it needs to be understood scientifically.
  • Modern Tools: All the participants are expected to work together using the modern tools of life science and bio-sciences to understand what works and what does not.
    • If something works then what is the efficacy and in what conditions does it work.
  • Holistic Target: The project may address improving immunity, improving respiratory systems and interventions to overcome respiratory disorders and other dimensions like stress, anxiety and depression-related issues due to isolation, uncertainty and disruption in normal life.

Science and Technology of Yoga and Meditation Programme

  • It was conceptualized in 2015 by the DST under its Cognitive Science Research Initiative (CSRI).
  • Aims: To foster scientific research on the effects of yoga and meditation on physical & mental health and on cognitive functioning in healthy people as well as in patients with disorders.
  • Themes:
    • Investigations on the effect of Yoga and Meditation on physical and mental health and well being.
    • Investigations on the effect of Yoga and Meditation on the body, brain, and mind in terms of basic processes and mechanisms.
  • Eligibility:
    • Scientists/academicians with research background in ‘Yoga and Meditation’ and having regular positions are invited to participate in this initiative.
    • Practitioners actively involved in yoga and meditation practices are also encouraged to apply in collaboration with academic and research institutions of repute.
  • Project Duration: The project is tenable for a maximum period of three years.

Cognitive Science Research Initiative

  • DST initiated this as a highly focused programme in 2008 during the 11th Five year plan.
  • The DSRI facilitates a platform to the scientific community to work for better solutions of challenges related with cognitive disorders and social issues through various psychological tools & batteries, early diagnosis & better therapies, intervention technologies and rehabilitation programmes.
  • Aim:
    • To foster scientific research in the interdisciplinary field of Cognitive Science for better understanding of Indian mind sets, languages and cognitive disorders etc.
  • CSRI revolutionizes research in various fields, such as:
    • Nature and origins of mental disorders, of physiological, social and neuro-chemical origins.
    • Design of better learning tools and educational paradigm.
    • Design of better software technologies and artificial intelligence devices.
    • Streamlining of social policy formulation and analysis.
  • Activities Supported under CSRI:
    • Individual R&D Projects.
    • Multi-centric Mega Projects.
    • Post Doctoral Fellowship.
    • Support for Schools, Training, Workshops, Conferences, etc.

Source: TH/web

COVID-19 and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

GS-III : Economic Issues Company laws

COVID-19 and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)


The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has clarified that the contributions to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund or the State relief fund will not qualify as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure, while any donation to the PM CARES Fund will.

Important Points

  • The Chief Minister’s Relief Fund or State Relief Fund for Covid-19 is not included in Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013, and therefore any contribution to such funds shall not qualify as admissible CSR expenditure.
    • Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013 provides the list of activities that can be included in CSR.
  • Some political parties criticised this saying it is discriminatory and goes against the constitutional principle of federalism.
  • However, donations to the State Disaster Management Authority to combat Covid-19 can be counted as admissible CSR expenditure.

Corporate Social Responsibility

  • The term "Corporate Social Responsibility" in general can be referred to as a corporate initiative to assess and take responsibility for the company's effects on the environment and impact on social welfare.
  • In India, the concept of CSR is governed by clause 135 of the Companies Act, 2013.
  • India is the first country in the world to mandate CSR spending along with a framework to identify potential CSR activities.
  • The CSR provisions within the Act are applicable to companies with an annual turnover of 1,000 crores and more, a net worth of Rs. 500 crores and more, or a net profit of Rs. 5 crores and more.
  • The Act requires companies to set up a CSR committee which shall recommend a Corporate Social Responsibility Policy to the Board of Directors and also monitor the same from time to time.
  • The Act encourages companies to spend 2% of their average net profit in the previous three years on CSR activities.
  • The indicative activities, which can be undertaken by a company under CSR, have been specified under Schedule VII of the Act. The activities include:
    • Eradicating extreme hunger and poverty,
    • Promotion of education, gender equality and empowering women,
    • Combating Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and other diseases,
    • Ensuring environmental sustainability;
    • Contribution to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund or any other fund set up by the Central Government for socio-economic development and relief and funds for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, other backward classes, minorities and women etc.

PM CARE FUND: The Fund is a public charitable trust with the Prime Minister as its Chairman. Other Members include Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister. The Fund enables micro-donations as a result of which a large number of people will be able to contribute with the smallest of denominations. The Fund will strengthen disaster management capacities and encourage research on protecting citizens.

Source: TH

“Unnayan: Mera Mobile, Mera Vidyalaya” 


“Unnayan: Mera Mobile, Mera Vidyalaya”

Recently, the Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC) has launched a mobile application and plans to book a slot with the All India Radio (AIR) for the audio broadcast of study materials for government school students.

The mobile application named “Unnayan: Mera Mobile, Mera Vidyalaya” has been launched for Class VI to XII of over 70,000 government-run schools. The app has been jointly developed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Bihar government and Eckovation, a social learning platform. In collaboration with UNICEF, class-wise and subject-wise study materials are being prepared which will be broadcast by AIR.

The BEPC has also encouraged students for the use of online education portals like Diksha. On Diksha app NCERT books are available free of cost for Class 1 to XII and have also integrated audio-visual media along with digital textbooks.

Source: TH




United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is a special program of the United Nations (UN) devoted to aiding national efforts to improve the health, nutrition, education, and general welfare of children. It was created in 1946 as the International Children’s Emergency Fund (ICEF) by the UN relief Rehabilitation Administration to help children affected by World War II.

Objective: It is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. It is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989.

Nobel Prize: It was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1965 for “promotion of brotherhood among the nations”.

Headquarters: New York City.

Source: Web

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