Directorship, employment and copyright ownership

By Dheeraj Kapoor, LexOrbis
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Delhi High Court in August dealt with a highly contentious matter pertaining to the ownership of copyright in a work involving the aspects of fiduciary duties of a director and work done in the course of employment.

Dheeraj KapoorAssociateLexOrbis
Dheeraj Kapoor
Associate
LexOrbis

In Neetu Singh v Rajiv Saumitra & Ors, ownership of copyright in the book English for General Competitions, which was authored by Singh in 2012, was in question. Singh authored the book while she was a director of Paramount Coaching Centre (defendant No. 2). Saumitra (defendant No. 1), Singh’s then husband, was also a director of the company. Singh had also obtained a copyright registration certificate in her name for the book, which remained unchallenged. Since 2012 the book authored by Singh had been published by the company’s key publishing house and sold and marketed by the company.

In June 2016 defendants 1 and 2 had an identical book published, with no mention of the author’s name. This book was priced at half of the original price. Singh then filed a suit to restrain the defendants from infringing the copyright in her book.

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Dheeraj Kapoor is an associate at LexOrbis.

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