Originality for Copyright Protection in Literary Works: After EBC v DB Modak

Sharma, Sparsh


Originality, can be termed as the grund norm (the basic norm) for copyrightability. However, no one-size-fits-all formula is adopted by countries on this aspect, and this article first explores the position and benchmarks to determine original literary work (because even for different ‘works’ the criteria differs). Pursuant to this inquiry of identifying the ambit of the respective thresholds, the Indian perspective is analysed with special emphasis on the decision delivered by Indian Supreme Court in DB Modak. The judgement is critiqued to identify lacunae and absurdity in determining the law laid down and its application in the factual matrix. Finally, subsequent Indian decisions are looked upon by the author to find out the underlying approach by the courts wrt interpretation of DB Modak and what common threads emerge from them.


Copyright; Original Literary Work; EBC v DB Modak; Copy-Edited Judgements; Copyright Act 1957

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