About CopyrightX

CopyrightX is a course on Copyright Law, developed by Professor William Fisher III at Harvard Law School and first offered online in the spring semester of 2013. The course explores the current law of copyright and the ongoing debates concerning how that law should be reformed. Through a combination of pre-recorded lectures, weekly seminars, live webcasts, and online discussions, participants in the course examine and assess the ways in which law seeks to stimulate and regulate creative expression. In 2014, CopyrightX is also being offered as a satellite course in 10 other countries, including India.

Indian Satellite course 2014

The Indian satellite of CopyrightX 2014 is being offered to the students of the National Law University, Delhi and is being taught by Chinmayi Arun, Research Director at CCG.  Manish is assisting her with teaching the course, and the course is also supported by Sarvjeet Singh.

The Indian satellite course follows the outline of the Harvard online course, with added material and particular emphasis on Indian law. The course engages extensively with the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 (amended in 2012), in the context of the theoretical background provided by Professor Fisher’s lectures. Classes at NLU Delhi are held for two hours each week, and supplemented with online discussion and assigned reading.

Syllabus and Reading Material

Week 1

Lecture 1: The Foundations of Copyright Law


Indian Material:

Week 2

Lecture 2: Fairness and Personality Theories


Harvard Event (February 6, 0600 IST): Creativity in Music

Indian Material:

Week 3

Lecture 3: The Subject Matter of Copyright


Indian Material:

Cinematograph film: s. 2(f), Indian Copyright Act

Dramatic works: s. 2(h), Indian Copyright Act

Literary works: s. 2(o), Indian Copyright Act

Musical works: s. 2(p), Indian Copyright Act

Performer’s rights: s. 38, Indian Copyright Act

Week 4

Lecture 4: Welfare Theory


Week 5

Lecture 5: Authorship


Indian Material:

Authorship in India: ss. 2(d), 2(uu), 17 and 54, Indian Copyright Act

Week 6

Lecture 6: The Mechanics of Copyright


Indian Material:

Term of Copyright: ss. 22-28A, Indian Copyright Act

Assignment: ss. 18-20, Indian Copyright Act

Licensing: s. 30, Indian Copyright Act

  • Iyengar’s The Indian Copyright Act, pp. 239-246

Week 7

Lecture 7: The Rights to Reproduce and Modify


Indian Material:

  • s. 14, Indian Copyright Act

  • Iyengar’s The Indian Copyright Act, pp. 161-165

  • Star India v. Leo Burnett, 2003 (2) Bom. CR 655 (paras 4-7)

Harvard Event (March 12, 1950 IST): Copyright and Development

  • Guest: Ruth Okediji

Week 8

Lecture 8: The Rights to Distribute, Perform, and Display


Indian Material:

Week 9

Lecture 9: Fair Use


Harvard event (April 2, 1950 IST): Berkman Centre Discussion

Guest lecture by Yogesh Pai:

Overview of US fair use doctrine:

Rethinking fair use/ fair dealing:

Overview of International standards for Limitations and Exceptions:

Fair dealing in the context of Indian Copyright Act, 1957: 

Case study: DU Photocopying case (discussed in detail at the end of the course with a guest lecturer who will be one of the lawyers involved with the case)

Week 10

Lecture 10: Cultural Theory


Indian Material:

Compulsory licensing in India: ss. 31-31D, Indian Copyright Act

Week 11

Lecture 11: Supplements to Copyright: Secondary Liability and Para-copyright


Indian Material:

Week 12

Lecture 12: Remedies


Indian Material:

Harvard Event (April 23, 1950 IST): Negotiating Copyright Treaties

Indian Material:


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