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Copyright Protection Granted to Adaptations of Spiritual Texts, Delhi HC Orders Removal of Infringing Content Online

Last Updated on September 26, 2023 by News Desk

The Delhi High Court has ruled that while no copyright can be claimed in scriptures like the Bhagavad Gita or Bhagavatam, any explanation, adaptation, or dramatic work created from these texts would be entitled to copyright protection. The court noted that there can be no objection to the actual reproduction of the text of these spiritual books, but copyright law would apply to the manner in which they are interpreted by different gurus and spiritual teachers.

The court made these observations while dealing with a suit for copyright infringement filed by Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, established by Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

The plaintiff sought an injunction order against four websites, five mobile applications, and four Instagram handles that uploaded and communicated the copyrighted work of the plaintiff. The court found that the books being made available by defendants 1 to 14 were complete reproductions of the works of the plaintiff, authored by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, ‘Srila Prabhupada’.

The court passed an ex-parte interim injunction order against the defendants and ordered Google and Meta to take down the applications and pages.

Written by: Srijan Raj @raaj_srijan

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