This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

“Who Is Afraid Of Copyright Infringement?” Campaign To Save D School Photocopy Shop

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Anshul Kumar Pandey:

Delhi, Wednesday, 10th October 2012: A Public Meeting organised by Campaign to Save D School Photocopy Shop, was held at Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University. This event was a part of the long drawn campaign on the issue of ‘copyright infringement’ provoked by the clamping down on photocopying by the Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor and Francis Group. The public meeting saw the attendance of several authors and people associated with the field of writing and publishing and discussed a range of issues and matters related to authorship, workings of the publishing industry, the Delhi University system of promotion and its nexus with publication houses. The meeting began with an introduction of the campaign and the law suit taken up by the three publishers against Rameshwori Photo Copy Shop on the “course pack”. In spite of the spontaneous nature of the campaign the need to caution against taking this as a stray incident was emphasised by Mr. Usman, a representative of the campaign.

Prof. Nivedita Menon signing the Photocopied Copy of her book “Recovering Subversion: Feminist Politics beyond the law” at the protest organized by Campaign to Save D-School photocopy shop at Delhi School of Economics. Photo by Anshul Kumar Pandey

Touching upon the workings of the publishing industry Mr. Sudhanva Deshpande, Managing Editor, LeftWord Publishing expressed that he also works with the publishing house and emphasised that many from the publishing world are also with the campaign of the students and that the three publishers Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor and Francis group are not representative of them. Appreciating the organising of the public meeting on the issue of ‘copyright infringement’ Mr. Deshpande further stated on the ecosystem that needs to be in place for publishing of books to happen, knowledge is required to be shared and spread widely as possible and it makes sense to have a system where books are read and discussed.

Besides those present for the meeting, a number of authors/ speakers who were unable to attend the meeting also send their statement to be read out in solidarity with the campaign. Nandini Sundar, Sociologist and Activists in her statement picked up from The Law Suit Para 17 filed by the publishers and said “Para 17 is the worst since it insidiously invokes the rights of the authors. For one, authors of academic book s are paid such small percentages in royalties and the print runs are so low, that this is scarcely a matter of concern for them. Second, the primary interest of authors is having their books read and being prescribed in courses. Any academic author would tell you that they would much rather have their books widely photocopied than not read at all… ”

Professor Satish Deshpande Head of Department, Sociology signed his book “Contemporary India” as a part of the public meeting. He emphasised that the social obligation of the academic writer is not with the publishing houses but rather the books are being written with public funding and support from public academic institutions.

Echoing similar views Prof. Nivedita Menon spoke from the point of view of University Promotion System and the Publishing houses. She shared that there is no academic writer that she knows of who is not livid with the actions of the publishers. It is their action that is illegal. She further stated “You (students) pay us, the publishers does not pay us” and further stated that the publishers should not speak on our behalf. She shared the letter of protest and said that the 99 percent of the academic writers would endorse the actions against the erring publishing houses.

Public intellectual and author, Arundhuti Roy who couldn’t make it to the meeting had sent a signed photocopy of her latest book Broken Republic and also conveyed her ‘best wishes to the campaign’.

Uma Chakravarty, feminist historian who could not be there for the public meeting sent her signed photocopied book The Social Dimensions of Early Buddhism. She also sent in her statement “For an academic the photocopying revolution is as important or even more so than the Neolithic revolution and the Industrial Revolution for history. All my works are mine, my labour and the more it is read the more fulfilled I am as scholar. Copyright can go to hell”

Subhash Gatade, activist and columnist signed his book The Saffron Condition and expressed his solidarity with the campaign. Dr. Aditya Nigam after signing a copy of his book The Insurrection of Little Selves reiterated the need to look at long term solutions to fight the might of the likes of Oxford University Press. He expressed the need to form a consortium with small publishers and work out a modality of copyleft where the profits of the publishing houses are also not adversely affected and also the academic writers have the option of shifting from publishing houses like them.

Ravi Sundaram, Senior Fellow, CSDS expressed his solidarity by signing a copy of his book Pirate Modernity and stated that the incident is not a one off stray incident but rather a new trend which will lead to privatisation of the education system. Prof. Ujjwal Singh, Department of Political Science DU, voicing similar concerns also donated his signed photocopied book The State democracy and anti-terror laws in India.

Sudha Vasan, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology spoke on the need to resist the monetary value assigned to books on the pages, quality of cover etc. She stated that “the value of book is decided by the number of readers (of the book) and the discussions initiated by the book”. Voicing an earlier discussion on the same issue “Eklavya’s burden” Sudha spoke on the accessibility to education and books and the trend which has been since centuries of denying certain people of certain caste, gender etc.

Lawrence Liang of the Alternative Law Forum and Prof. Shamnad Basheer of National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) Kolkata, also reiterated that the issue is not of a singular lawsuit and eloquently emphasised on the life of literature as not encompassed within the four corners of law and legality but rather that thoughts are free-flowing and does not recognise the such set corners. They said that efforts were on to students and authors in the law suit since they will be affected the most through the outcome of the case.

The public meeting concluded with the speakers and authors donating their photocopied books to the Ratan Tata Library for greater reach and accessibility to the student community. A consistent mobilisation being needed, the meeting concluded with a call for a regular conglomeration on the issue which will be held every Wednesday, 3:00 p.m. in DSE campus.

Statement by Prof. Amartya Sen (Nobel laureate) in support of the campaign against the consortium of three publishers.

I am very distressed to learn via my friend Partha Chatterjee about the attitude of the OUP on the use of photocopied course packs for the benefit of students. I do not sign join letters but I would like to state that I am personally distressed as an OUP author to learn about this policy decision. I hope something can be done to make the academic arrangements for the education of students less difficult and more sensible.

You must be to comment.

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Pradyumn Singh

By Md Ghalib Hussain

By Mayank Aswal

    If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

      If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        Wondering what to write about?

        Here are some topics to get you started

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

        Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

        The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

        Read more about his campaign.

        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

        Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

        Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

        Read more about her campaign.

        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

        With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Read more about her campaign. 

        A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

        As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Find out more about the campaign here.

        A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

        She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

        The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

        A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

        Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
        biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

        Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
        campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

        Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below