‘Violation of copyright’: Bombay High Court restrains release of translated edition of Bhagavad Gita

The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust told the court that they hold the copyright of Srimad Bhagvatam.

Written by Radhika Ramaswamy | Mumbai | Published: February 14, 2017 12:45 am
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The Bombay High Court has temporarily restrained the release and distribution of a translated edition of the Bhagavad Gita by Thomson Press, a printing and publishing company, after another publisher approached the High Court citing a violation of copyright rules in reprinting its work without licence or authorisation. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) through its counsel told the court that they hold the copyright of Srimad Bhagvatam, a translated work of which has been reprinted. The suit also says that a photograph of the reprinted work indicates that the reprint does not claim to be an independent work, adding that it is a classic edition by BBT and that it has obtained a licence from them to print and publish this work as well as other works of Swami Prabhupada, the founder of BBT. The plaint states that no such licence was granted to Thomson.

As the print is ready for distribution, Justice G S Patel, who was hearing the plaint, granted a temporary injunction that prevents Thomson Press to distribute or further print this work till March 22, by when the court will pronounce its final order based on the reply of Thomson.

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The court, in its order, stated, “Pending the hearing and final disposal of the suit, the defendants by themselves, partners, distributors, dealers, stockists, servants, subordinates, representatives, agents licensee, and all other persons claiming under them be restrained by a temporary order and injunction of this Hon’ble Court from in any manner printing, using reproducing, displaying, advertising, exporting, selling, offering to sell or and promoting impugned works in any manner works which violates and infringes copyright of the plaintiffs in their work of Srimad Bhagavatam.”

The court also clarified that Thomson Press “should not part with possession, release, distribute or otherwise deal with its printed copies of the work in question”. The court has kept the hearing and final disposal of the plaint on March 20 and has asked an affidavit in reply to be filed by March 3.

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