1. Mr. John Adam has argued the question arising in this case fully, and has drawn our attention to all the authorities bearing on it. Except the case Macmillan v. Suresh Chunder Deb I.L.R. Cale. 951, all the other cases are English authorities. The result of them is that in the case of a book which has been published there is no right to sue on account of piracy, except where the copyright has been registered and subsists under statutory provisions (Copinger on 'Copyright,' pages 29 to 23 and Macklin v. Richardson and Goubaud v. Wallace 7 Ruling Cased 66 at pp. 67, 70 and 128 respectively.
2. In the present case the plaintiffs' almanac was not registered under Act XX of 1847, nor under Act XXV of 1867, which would be equivalent to registration under the Act of 847.
3. No doubt the plaintiff applied for registration under the Act of 1867, but the Registrar refused to register on the ground that the almanac was exempted from registration by notification of the Government of India, dated December 1871, under Section 21 of the Act. It is argued for the plaintiffs that this is equivalent to registration, but we cannot accede to this contention. It is next urged that having regard to the language of the proviso to Section 14 of Act XX of 1847, the law in this country must be taken to be different from that accepted as the law of England subsequent to the decision of the House of Lords which settled it Jefferys v. Boosay 4 H.L. 815. In our opinion, however, the proviso in the Indian Act does not, in substance, differ from the proviso in the English Act (5 & 6 Vie, Ch. 45 Section 24). The effect of it is to protect copyright in unpublished works as also copy-right where there is registry under the statute in the case of published works inclusive of cases in which there has been registry before the suit, though after the infringement complained of. The Calcutta case on which the Judge relies is not in conflict with our view for the work was in that case registered prior to the filing of the suit.
4. It follows that the plaintiffs' suit was unsustainable. We therefore reverse the decree of the Judge and dismiss the suit. Having regard, however, to the fact that the plaintiff asked for registration and Was, as far as we can judge, improperly refused, we direct that each party bear his own costs throughout.