Students and Copyright: The Battle of Oxford

Oxford University Press Logo     We all believe that knowledge should be pure and free. Even Wikipedia, the world's largest on...

Oxford University Press Logo
We all believe that knowledge should be pure and free. Even Wikipedia, the world's largest online encyclopedia, is driven with this motto. Information should not be owned by a single person, but rather, shared with all. This is the common practice, but some foreign publishing companies, including Oxford, is against this. Isn't this a violation of the Right to Information Act? It is! They are violating one of our fundamental rights yet very few speak up against them. Oxford Publishing house filed a case against Rameshwari Photocopying house recently. I'm going to highlight it in detail.

Rameshwari Photocopying is one of the many photocopying (Xerox) stores in India. It photocopies the books of Oxford for the students. On learning this, Oxford India filed a lawsuit against the store. The store responded by saying, "If we do not photocopy books, from where do you think good doctors will come?" This is so true. There are thousands of photocopy stores across the country, yet Oxford never files lawsuits against them! We, knowingly or unknowingly, also photocopy copyrighted stuff from tons of books for our research papers, projects and things like that. If Oxford filed copyright cases against all of us, we all would have been suffering in jail now.

Publishing companies require copyright protection. I fully support that ideology. But that doesn't mean prosecuting anyone who copies their materials for good-faith reasons. Illegal copying of images and text includes anyone who copies their images, claims it under their own name, and sells it to earn money. As I said, Rameshwari Photocopying photocopies images and text from the books for students to learn and use, and that is never an illegal thing. Not every student has a good financial status at home- so everyone can't get their hands upon a costly book. Photocopying is a cheaper option, so if they photocopy the materials required, they will at least be knowledgeable about that particular topic. Students are the future of the country. If they are illiterate and/or financially weak, India will be doomed. We all would have to painfully suffer through bad economical crisis's and our hope of being recognized as a "Developed" country would never exist in reality. It'd be lost in the sands of time....

I'll conclude here. I wish Oxford would allow copying their images for educational purposes as a legal thing. Please share this post if you can. It concerns all of us. I hope I have made clear my views. It depends on you how you want to act, whether in support or opposition. For, in your hand lies the future of India.

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