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Firm of Sheikh Ghafoor Bakhsh and Sons, Proprietors of Abdul Ulai Press Vs. Babu Jwala Prasad Singhal and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in61Ind.Cas.394
AppellantFirm of Sheikh Ghafoor Bakhsh and Sons, Proprietors of Abdul Ulai Press
RespondentBabu Jwala Prasad Singhal and anr.
Excerpt:
copyright - compilation from other works--arrangement of contents--compiler, whether has copy, right--reproduction of compilation, whether infringement of copyright--hindu law--succession--copy, right, inheritance of, - - the plaintiffs are the son of their father and as such heirs to all the property he had, so that the argument regarding the want of the in the plaintiffs to 816 must fail. there can be no doubt whatever that, except the title, which is very touch like that of babu pyare lal book, the whole work is practically the same as that of the plaintiffs. the points taken in appeal by the defendants fail.1. this is an appeal by the defendants arising out of a suit for damages for infringement of copyright and for an injection. the plaintiffs are the sons of one babu pyare lal, m.r.a.s, the author of the book styled english teacher, hoth urdu and hindi editions of which were published by the vidya sagar depot, aligarh. the allegation of the plaintiffs is that babu pyare lal was the owner of the oopyright in the said book and the various editions of this book were registered under sections 18 and 19 of the press and reinstitution of books act (xxv of 1867), the act then in force, that their father the said babu pyare lal died on the 15th of june 1917, that the plaintiffs were his heirs and as non entitled to all the right, that he had in the aforesaid book, that the firm of the defendants,.....
Judgment:

1. This is an appeal by the defendants arising out of a suit for damages for infringement of copyright and for an injection. The plaintiffs are the sons of one Babu Pyare Lal, M.R.A.S, the author of the book styled English Teacher, hoth Urdu and Hindi editions of which were published by the Vidya Sagar Depot, Aligarh. The allegation of the plaintiffs is that Babu Pyare Lal was the owner of the oopyright in the said book and the various editions of this book were registered under sections 18 and 19 of the Press and Reinstitution of Books Act (XXV of 1867), the Act then in force, that their father the said Babu Pyare Lal died on the 15th of June 1917, that the plaintiffs were his heirs and as non entitled to all the right, that he had in the aforesaid book, that the firm of the defendants, who are publishers of school books, copied largely from the 'English Teacher' referred to above and published a book named 'English Teacher with Letter Writer', following the same arrangement as that of the book published by the plaintiffs' father. The defendants' father thus infringed the copyright, the plaintiffs sued for a permanent injection restraining the defendants from printing, publishing or selling the copies of the book which they have compiled or in any other way infringing the copyright of the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs further claimed that all the copies of the said book printed by the defendants be ordered to be delivered to the plaintiffs and in case of default the plaintiffs might be allowed the price thereof as damages. The defence raised on behalf of the defendants was that the plaintiffs had no right of suit, as their book was not an original book, but it was erotically a compilation made of materials found in other books on grammar. The learned District Judge of Agra same to the conclusion that the defendants had slavishly copied almost word for word a large number of pages of the plaintiffs book. He, further, found that, as the arrangement was the same as that of the 'plaintiffs' book and as it was impossible to separate the portions slavishly copied from the other parts of the work, the injunction should apply to the whole book and not to those particular pages only. On the Question of damages the Court came to the conclusion that the plaintiffs would be entitled to the profits made by the defendants on the sale of these books in much as the defendants had not offered to deliver any copy printed by them to the plaintiffs as they had in fact sold them. He, therefore, passed a preliminary decree in favour of the plaintiffs for the taking of accounts and granted the injunction prayed for. The defendants come here in appeal. Their first contention is, that the plaintiffs book itself being not an original book, as it is a compilation from other works, the plaintiffs have no right to sue, and that in any event the plaintiffs have no copyright in the title of the book. They farther argue that, as the Court below has found that only some pages have been copied from the plaintiff book, the infringement could be deemed to relate to those pages only and the injunction should be confined to those parts of the book. Those were the two main points argued. As regards the first point, we have no hesitation in saying that the book published by the plaintiffs father in arranged in a way totally different from the earlier books on the subject which have been put before us. The arrangement is a novel one and there can be no doubt that Babu Pyare Lal had a real copyright in the book. The question that the said copyright passed to his sons does not seem to admit of any doubt. It was at one time argued on behalf of the appellants that the plaintiffs claimed a right in the copyright by virtue of survivorship, their late father and they having been members of a joint Hindu family. It is not necessary for us to decide whether the right of survivorship would apply to such properties or not. The plaintiffs are the son of their father and as such heirs to all the property he had, so that the argument regarding the want of the in the plaintiffs to 816 must fail. Now, as to the second point, we have compared about sixty pages of the one book with the other and we find that the book published by the defendant is copied verbatim, so far as those pages are concerned from the book published by the plaintiffs father. We also find that they have followed the same arrangement which was adopted by Babu Pyare Lal in his book. There can be no doubt whatever that, except the title, which is very touch like that of Babu Pyare Lal book, the whole work is practically the same as that of the plaintiffs. In some places we find that even the spelling mistakes found in the original work are repeated in the book published by the defendants firm. In fact, the book published by the defendants is not the result of any independent labour on their part, but is practically a reproduction of the book published by the plaintiffs father. There has thus been a clear infringement of the plaintiffs' right. The points taken in appeal by the defendants fail. The plaintiffs are, therefore, entitled to an injunction as prayed for. During the course of the argument it was admitted by Mr. Pyare Lal Banerji, the learned Vakil for the respondents, that the injunction would not affect the title of the defendants back, vis., 'English Teacher with Letter-Writer'. This is a small matter but we think, in order to avoid further complications, we should make this point clear in our final order. This disposes of the point taken in appeal by the defendants. The plaintiffs put in an application regarding the mode in which damages are to be assessed. That application is not pressed and it is not necessary to say anything as regards that application. We think that the method adopted by the Court below is, the right method and for calculating damages would simplify the assessment of damages and lessen complications. The result is, that this appeal fails and is dismissed with costs including, in this Court, fees on the higher sale, with this modification that the injection would not extend to the name of the book.


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