- Title: INDIA: Copyright on Mahatma Gandhi's works to expire soon
- Date: 2nd January 2009
- Summary: PEOPLE WORKING INSIDE A PRINTING UNIT PRINETD PAGES BEING ROLLED OUT ON A MACHINE A MAN WORKING ON A MACHINE PEOPLE WORKING AT THE PRINTING UNIT
- Embargoed: 17th January 2009 10:51
- Location: India
- Country: India
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVAD8U3W2WPODYDLIFQLP2BQDXYA
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: With copyright on Mahatma Gandhi's work all set to expire in January 2009 on completion of 60 years after the demise of the author, the writing and speeches of India's iconic freedom fighter would go into public domain. And in the process Navajivan Trust that had exercised copyright on his writings will have to forego royalties in the future.
The thought-provoking literary works of Mahatma Gandhi, India's iconic freedom fighter and referred as the Father of Nation, are all set to go into public domain.
With the advent of January 01, 2009 any publisher would be able to publish the writings and speeches of the legendary leader since the copyrights of the works expire on completion of sixty years after the demise of the author.
Gandhi had entrusted the copyrights of his works with Navajivan Trust.
However, according to the Copyright Act of 1957, works of a person go into public domain after 60 calendar years of his or her death, thus releasing the Navajivan Trust of any copyright hold on Gandhi's works.
Although unfazed by these developments, the Trust authorities do not wish to approach the Government of India for an extension on the copyrights.
"If you consider the spirit of Gandhian thought, one should not ask for such extension. And we have considered this issue and we are not going to ask for such extension," said Jitendra Desai, Managing Trustee, Navajivan Trust, Ahmedabad.
Since its inception Navajivan Trust has published some 300 volumes of Mahatma Gandhi's works including articles, letters and speeches, apart from translations of his autobiography.
And though Gandhi entrusted the copyrights of his works with Navajivan Trust, he never subscribed to the idea of copyright.
"Gandhiji never supported the idea of copyright. But due to some instances, where his thoughts were misinterpreted, he was forced to give into the insistence of his well wishers urging him to get his works copyrighted. So he decided to entrust the copyright of his works with Navajivan Trust, which was founded by him," opined Amrut Modi, Managing Trustee, Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad.
Meanwhile, scholars in Gandhian thoughts and admirers of his philosophy want the copyright to be revived by the Government, as they fear free use of his works would lead to misinterpretation of his texts and concepts by other publishers.
"Once the copyright ends, the prices of the works are sure to shoot up. Besides, the task of taking the Gandhi's thoughts to the people might also be affected. The Government should immediately take steps to do something about it and entrust the copyrights back to Navajivan Trust," observed Dhimant Badiya, a Gandhian, Ahmedabad.
The Navsjivan Trust will however continue to publish Gandhi's works at subsidised prices so that his writings and thoughts would continue to be propagated even after the copyright has ceased.
- Copyright Holder: ANI (India)
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