The Library Exception Under the Indian Copyright Act 1957

32 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2010 Last revised: 24 Feb 2010

Date Written: January 15, 2010


An essential aspect of India's post-independence copyright system is the elaborate list of ‘fair dealing’ exceptions that are contained in Section 52 of our Act. This section carries an extensive narration of uses by various actors - both individual and institutional - that would not amount to infringement of copyright. These ‘exceptions to infringement’ were inserted as safeguards to ensure that the operation of copyright law did not yield outcomes that encumbered the very objective of copyright itself - the widest dissemination of knowledge.

This paper in an analysis of Clause (o) of Section 52(1) of the Indian Copyright Act which grants special permissions to public libraries to reproduce materials for their use. The clause is examined in the light of recent technological advancements, and with an eye on India’s treaty obligations under the Berne Convention and the TRIPs agreement

Keywords: copyright, libraries, fair use, fair dealing, law, library law, S.R. Ranganathan, laws of library science

Suggested Citation

Iyengar, Prashant, The Library Exception Under the Indian Copyright Act 1957 (January 15, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Prashant Iyengar (Contact Author)

MESAAS, Columbia University ( email )

New York, NY 10027
United States

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