Copyright,Creative Economy,Right to Property,Technology

Copyright policy in India: Reconstructing the narrative

Independent India’s copyright law has mostly centred around facilitating “access”. This is because India is a large country with a predominantly poor population, limited research facilities and budgets, and constrained access to knowledge-driven products and services. The politics of standard-setting in international copyright frameworks, however, has prevented government from realising a completely access-based copyright regime. It has had to resort to anachronistic measures to actualise such a framework, resulting in a lack of emphasis on enforcement-centric provisions in the Copyright Act, 1957. Little has changed over the years, despite the emergence of a flourishing domestic creative economy that is driven by knowledge and technology. In contrast, property theory and the right to property in India have, over time, adapted to reflect economic exigencies. This paper argues that India must make a concerted effort to reconstruct its copyright narrative to balance the requirement for access to knowledge products and services — such as those made available through the creative economy — against the need to extract commercial value for sustaining such economies.


Meghna Bal