Copyright Enforcement and Privacy in India

27 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2011

Date Written: June 14, 2011


Copyright can function contradictorily, as both the vehicle for the preservation of privacy as well as its abuse. This paper examines the various ways in which privacy has been implicated in the shifting terrain of copyright enforcement in India. Chiefly, there are three kinds of situations that we will be discussing here: The first is straightforward and deals with the physical privacy intrusion caused by the execution of search and seizure orders during the investigation of infringement. The second situation involves the violation of privacy through the misappropriation of confidential information. The last situation involves the wrongful appropriation of a person’s persona or their ‘publicity’ – the photographs of celebrities, for instance – for private gain. Instances of each of these situations, and the manner in which the courts have negotiated the privacy claims that have arisen are described in the sections that follow. In addition, Copyright law, dealing as it does mainly with offenses of the nature of unauthorized publicity/publication putatively inscribes certain spaces and activities as either public or private. The concluding section of this paper examines the notion of the private that emerges from a tapestry view of various sections of the Copyright Act.

Keywords: copyright, privacy, publicity, IT Act, India, Anton Piller, John Doe, technological protection measures

Suggested Citation

Iyengar, Prashant, Copyright Enforcement and Privacy in India (June 14, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Prashant Iyengar (Contact Author)

MESAAS, Columbia University ( email )

New York, NY 10027
United States

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