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The Case of the Blog that Brought Trouble

Situation:

Students of a school in Madurai adapted and staged a play based on Stephanie Meyer's Twilight for their annual day. Audience of about 500 comprised of teachers, parents and students. A viewer wrote about the play in his blog. On seeing this, Stephanie Meyer's agent sent a copyright infringement notice to the school.

Agent: Nooo! Infringement!
Students: What does that mean? We only know the fringe you have over your forehead! Mummy!
Court: Go back agent! Performance is not a copyright infringement when performed by the students or staff of educational institutions for themselves.


Law:

Is this performance a copyright infringement? No, the performance is not a copyright infringement.

Can an author claim copyright infringement in the above situation? The author cannot complain of copyright infringement.

Can an educational institution stage a play for their staff and students without the permission of the copyright holder? The Indian Copyright law permits performance by the staff and students of educational institution in the course of the activities of the institution if the audience is restricted to the staff, students, parents/ guardians of students and persons directly connected with the activities of the institution.


Best Practices or Quick, Tell Me How to Avoid Conflict!

Educational institutions are allowed to perform dramatic work without risking infringement. They can even hire professionals to help in the staging. However it is mandatory to acknowledge the playwright in the credits. Blogs and net reviews will immediately attract the attention of infringement watchdogs; they may send notices. Relax! You’re protected by the law, so you can ignore such notices.