Delhi University shop at centre of publishing row

A cramped, one-room shop tucked away in India's Delhi University seems an unlikely battleground for a publishing war that, academics warn, threatens quality of and access to higher education in the world’s second most populous nation, reports AFP.

The busy shop, where photocopiers churn out papers for a steady stream of students for a small fee, is at the centre of a court battle brought by three venerable academic presses over the interpretation of India’s copyright law. The lawsuit filed by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Taylor and Francis against Delhi University and the shop threatens production of ‘course packs’ – de facto ‘textbooks’ made of photocopied portions of various books.

Course packs are common across much of the developing world – where most university students cannot afford to purchase new or even second-hand textbooks – and are seen as key to the spread of education. Distinguished Indian academics have lined up to express dismay over the suit, including Nobel Prize winner and Harvard University professor Amartya Sen, warning that the packs could become expensive or unavailable, hitting students hard.
Full report on the Livemint site