India Introduces Major Copyright Reform Bill

Michael Geist has the good news and a link to the actual bill. Cory at Boing Boing has pulled out the pertinent details.

it declares private, personal copying to be “fair dealing” (like US fair use) and limits the prohibition on breaking DRM so that it’s only illegal to do so if you’re also violating copyright. That means that you can break the DRM on your iPad to move your books to your Kindle or vice-versa. It also makes it legal to make, distribute and sell tools to accomplish this.

Sounds very enlightened and I hope it passes. India is what, the 2nd most populous country on the planet? They are a booming economy with clear aspirations towards competing with if not entering the set of developed nations. If this does pass, I hope that it has a tempering effect on the copyright ratchet that is global normalization of intellectual monopoly. It would be unprecedented but can you imagine the negotiations, especially against the US’s historical position? I like to imagine that the blustering of copyright maximalists would be undercut by the very real threat of closing access to India’s massive and cheap labor market.

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