Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cabinet to take up copyright Bill today - Indian Express

Cabinet to take up copyright Bill today - Indian Express

Anubhuti Vishnoi Posted online: Thu Apr 26 2012, 00:44 hrs
New Delhi : The Cabinet is likely to take up long-pending Universities of Innovation Bill and Copyright (Amendment) Bill on Thursday. Both the legislations will come with changes factoring in recommendations by stakeholders and parliamentarians.
While the amendments to the Copyright Bill will drop the controversial statutory licensing clause for radio broadcast, the Innovation Universities Bill will drop the clause to set up 14 such varsities.

The new Cabinet note will allow existing varsities to upgrade to innovation university status if they adhere to required standards. The numerical target of setting up 14 such varsities has been dropped on grounds of non-feasibility and the argument that even a few of them will help serve the purpose of fostering a research eco-system, as aimed. While the Bill, when it first went to Cabinet earlier this year, ran into trouble with 20 ministries/ departments raising red flags over a range of issues, the legislation has passed muster after being vetted by a Committee of Secretaries.

The Universities of Innovation Bill aims at establishment of varsities that will encourage superlative academic quality and research output. These will be set up either by the
government or private entities or through public
private partnerships and offer unmatched academic freedom.

The amendments to the Copyright Act, 1958, on the other hand, aim at according unassignable rights to ‘creative artists’ such as lyricists, playback singers, music directors, film directors, dialogue writers, who will be paid royalty every time the movie they have worked for is aired on a television channel. The Bill has run into a series of difficulties with clauses challenged by the film industry, book publishers and broadcasting industry. The legislation was opposed in Parliament in the last session over the statutory licensing for radio broadcast of literary and musical works.

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