Publishing

The Ilchi Lee book, Brain Wave Vibration has reached international acclaim. The book publisher BEST Life Media has sold the rights to publish this natural healing wonder in eight languages in ten different foreign countries like France, Germany, Russia, Japan, China and Taiwan. Using meditation and energy for this new brain fitness routine, this success marks the rise of brain health aspirations globally.



Starting in the year 1996, NBT embarked upon a very successful initiative of providing training in book publishing through introductory and intensive courses of fortnight to one month in different parts of the country. Latest in the series was the course organized at Pune between December 6-18, 2010. Experts from various fields shared their experiences and provided practical lessons to the trainees. There were forty-four participants. The course was organized in collaboration with Marathi Prakashak Sangh, Pune.

Sumit Bhattacharjee, assistant director of NBT, who is the coordinator of these training courses, is of the view that such training programmes are very useful for various state publishing organizations and the aspirants who wish to enter this field. There is no institution which train human resources for such a huge industry which boasts of third largest in the world in terms of number of titles published in the world in English language. The situation of training in regional languages is still worse, that is why problems of regional language are taken up in these training courses.

In Pune training course, experts from various field including specialists in Marathi publishing were invited to speak on different aspects of publishing. Sridhar Balan spoke on structure of publishing house and editorial process. Arun Jhakade, shared his ideas on history of Marathi language and its problems and prospects, B N Varma explained the intricacies of developing a manuscript and GS Jolly introduced the importance of ISBN in the present day book promotion and sales. Avinash Pandit spoke on copy editing in Marathi language and gave practical sessions while Madhav Rajguru gave an insight into making of a dictionary and the use of spelling in Marathi. Sharmila Abraham gave practical lessons on copy editing of children’s’ books.

The participants were awarded certificates at the completion of the course. Next training course will be organized at Silchar from February 24 to March 8, 2011.



says Chandramohan Kulkarni, who has created a distinct niche for himself, be it in the sphere of book illustrations in Marathi or his art works. His illustrations and calligraphy are marked by an alluring imaginative flair with a captivating sensitivity shown in the play of lively swinging lines. Here, Chandramohan Kulkarni shares his experiences at his art school.

Art, my passion…

Chandramohan KulkarniAfter I finished high school, my father said, let’s put you in a drawing school and so I landed at the Abhinav School of Arts. Those days getting admission was not so difficult. Marks in final high school exam hardly mattered and apart from drawing, I didn’t have any interest or marks in other subjects. My high school drop-out police constable father, though rough and tough in appearance and behaviour, had a tender heart. He did not even once question my career decision. The Khaki police uniform understood the value of lines, shapes and colours. He did not think even for a minute about when and how much I will earn after I become an artist.

Art: an expensive affair…

In an art school, apart from college fees, there are many incidental expenses - paper, colours, brushes, rulers, pencils, T-square, set square and what not. In short- art material, which was a costly affair. My father could have sought fee-waiver by submitting his salary documents. But he never did that. So I started working in the morning and evening, outside my college hours. The work was related to drawing.

My classroom memories…

I still remember the classroom for the foundation course. It was a large room and its windows had dark green curtains. Our ‘gang’ liked the colour of the curtains so much that we wanted to make identical shoulder bags to carry drawing material to college. In spite of searching the market, we could not get the fabric that we wanted. So one day, we took away a couple of curtains from the corner windows and got the bags stitched at home. Our teacher used to glance at these bags with suspicion for a long time after that.

There were more than a hundred students in the class, so groups were made according to surnames. Jakkal and I happened to be in the same group. (Later Jakkal was hanged after he and his other friends were found guilty in the series of murders in Pune. These murders shook the country at that time.)

My love for 3D…

Khatawakar Sir used to teach 3D in foundation course. Khatawakar sir used to teach us to ‘subtract’ the chalk from a chalk and what was left was 3D- a chain, female figure, male figure, tower, chain, pillar- anything. It was fun. Parag once took me to Khatawakar’s sculpture studio in the famous Tulshibaug area of Pune. There for the first time in my life, I fiddled with clay. We were allowed to do anything, but first we had to mix clay ourselves. For the first few days we just had to learn to mix and ‘knead’ the clay. Sculpting started after that. Armatures came much later.

We had to make ‘something’ from thermocol in the 3D class. For submissions we made something mundane like a cube, pyramid etc, but the skills came in handy to make sky lanterns for Diwali. Our ‘workshop’ was in Parag’s room. Using the techniques learnt in class, we made beautiful thermocol sky lanterns with intricate designs and sold them ourselves standing on the street. We made enough money to pay the tuition fee for the second term.

Isn’t that education?

During Diwali holidays, I painted name boards of temporary shops selling fire crackers and rate cards of various crackers. During my foundation and elementary years, my lettering was good. I worked in a painter’s shop or worked under painter K B Dev at intermediate level, we started learning calligraphy that soon replaced ‘lettering’. That Diwali we used special calligraphic techniques to paint the boards- very artistic, with different strokes. The shop owner did not approve them. He yelled at us, ‘ What is this gibberish writing? Not a single word can be read. Do it again.’ We did it all over again with simple ‘lettering’. But could pay the fees from that job.

That also was education…

In the second year, we studied a painful subject called ‘life drawing’. A man sat on a high stool or chair and the 10-15 students in that group gathered around in semi-circle, observed him and drew his picture.

Even if we wanted to ‘study’ sincerely, we were faced with numerous problems: our ‘model’ sat with partially closed eyes, so we could not see his eyes properly. Jakkal was smart. His father had a photo studio. During the long break he would take the model to his studio on his motorcycle, make him sit in the same pose, take his photos, and bring him back to college. After college he would finish his drawing in the studio from the negative using an enlarger. Cent percent proportionate drawing. I wondered how he could draw so well.

What an education!

My mother was a voracious reader. Because of her I saw many movies and read a lot. Wasn’t I fortunate to have parents who encouraged me to pursue career in drawing; who wrote and read poems, who encouraged me to read, watch movies?

I used to buy old Diwali issues of famous magazines like Satyakatha, Deepawali, Mouj, Hans, Nawal etc. I could see the works of great artists in those issues. When I was in Intermediate, I got an opportunity to draw for Hans and Nawal. While handing over the manuscript, editor Antarkar used to warn, ‘Be careful. It’s precious. You can’t afford to lose it.’ Even today, in this era of photocopying, scanning, and DTP, I take extreme care of all manuscripts and reserve these.

That’s education…

Udupi sir introduced me to beautiful lettering. We became friends when I was in the Elementary course. He was not my teacher for any subject, but he taught me a lot outside the classroom. During lunch he sat with us and we endlessly drew letters on papers. He was the only teacher who let us borrow books in his name and paid the fine himself if we lost them. I understood the power of letters because of him and got acquainted with stalwarts in advertising through the books he gave me to read.

Gondhalekar sir taught us History of Art. While teaching ‘History of art’ he explained the distinction between ‘work of art’ and ‘art of work’. How true that distinction holds even today!

Those were our teachers. Some professionals turned teachers and some teachers turned professionals. Avachat sir showed us that good artists do not usually become teachers; and even if they do, they do not continue long there.

When did I learn to make portraits?

In commercial art, it’s essential to achieve a plain colour effect. I could never manage that. My paper always had clouds and bumps on it. So I studied and practiced the cloudy effect. Experimented a lot, used enormous amount of paint, scarped a lot of paint. Can’t figure out whether it shaped me or took me off the track. The crux of the matter is, nobody teaches you drawing and painting; it should not be taught and it should not be learnt. Like all other arts, you have to shape and mould yourself and have to find your own path.

The ancient art school buildings will always be there…

They have two doors. The smaller one leads to the art school. It holds a bigger door inside it - the door to the world outside. You enter the art school through the small door. You spend some time there; linger for some time; enjoy the experience. After a while the other door opens - the bigger one that takes you out in the world. There you are on your own. It’s your world. Here you can do what you like.



The proposed amendments to the Copyright Act introduced in 2010 have provoked a lot of healthy discussion, but unfortunately also some acrimonious controversy. A law that is so important—both culturally and economically—should be amended participatively, involving all interest groups, in response to felt needs, new technologies and emerging international trends, discusses Jagdish Sagar.

The amendments till now

It is interesting to reflect that the 1994 amendments – which in their time were no less far-reaching – did not take any of the main interest groups by surprise. This time round, there was a strong feeling of having been taken by surprise: the widely representative Core Committee that had been set up earlier was never convened after 2005, and the Bill when introduced went far beyond the ground that had been covered in earlier discussions sponsored by the HRD Ministry. It is probably this—and the consequent deficiencies in the draft—rather than the Ministry’s wholly unexceptionable intent to protect author and consumer interests, that created such consternation. Not having been exposed to the brain-storming process that such legislation needs, the Bill bristled with ambiguities and apparently unintended consequences.

Both the Copyright Bill 1956 and the Copyright (Amendment Bill) 1992 were referred to Joint Select Committees. This time Parliament adopted the quicker expedient of referring the matter to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development. In the short time available to it the Committee did give a hearing to the interest groups which had made representations (though it did not invite any of the expert witnesses nominated by the Ministry, leaving that gap in the inputs available to it).

To its credit the Committee recommended the removal of some of the seriously anomalous provisions in the Bill, including the well-intended but ill-conceived proposals to amend Sections 33, 34 and 35 pertaining to Copyright Societies, the proposed new definition of “author” in regard to films, and the like. In many cases, however, the Committee has merely given the Ministry a word of caution, and put the ball back entirely into the Ministry’s court. It is to be hoped that this time the Ministry will adopt a more participative approach before introducing a revised version of the Bill in Parliament.

The comments that follow are not exhaustive, but touch on a few important issues, starting with one that is of particular concern to the book publishing industry—though it also affects DVDs, CDs and the like.

Parallel Imports

The proposed insertion of a new proviso in Section 2 (m)/Copyright Act is difficult to understand: it has implications that surely could not have been intended.

There is no dispute about the permissibility in general of parallel imports of copyright works (except for some special exceptions in the case of software, films and sound recordings). It is a misconception that this proposed amendment introduces any new principle of exhaustion of rights in a work after first sale in the interests of consumers. The doctrine of exhaustion already applies to all literary, dramatic and musical works under Section 14(a)(ii) of the Copyright Act, and to artistic works under Section 14(c)(iii): for such works the copyright owner has no statutory rights in a copy that has already been sold once.

The issue here is, rather, that the proposed amendment is inconsistent with the contractual freedom which the same Act gives to copyright owners to assign their rights territorially, rather than globally. Under Section 18 of the Copyright Act, an assignment can be limited to any particular territory (or period of time, or particular rights only). Further, in the absence of specific contractual agreement to the contrary, it is even deemed to be limited to India under Section 19(6) of the Act. The problem with the proposed amendment is that it creates an anomalous situation which seriously affects the publishing industry.

The person in a foreign country who has a limited right to publish a work in that country, infringes copyright by exporting the work to India (see Section 51(1)(a)). The intention of the proposed amendments, apparently, is nevertheless to allow the free import of competing copies notwithstanding that the person exporting them to India has no right to do so, by creating the legal fiction that the copies imported into India are not “infringing copies” as they otherwise would be.

To sell a book in India, a foreign publisher often finds it advantageous to grant an assignment or an exclusive licence purely for a low priced Indian edition. The threat to the Indian publisher who publishes such a book at an appropriate price for the Indian market is that, despite being the sole copyright-owner of the book in India, he cannot stop anyone else from sending competing copies (not necessarily cheaper copies, let it be added) into India. Again and conversely an Indian publisher might license a foreign edition for sale only in one or more foreign countries, but won’t be able to keep copies made under such licence out of India.

The implications for consumers are by no means as rosy as intended. In the long term it does not help them to discourage Indian publishers from bringing out Indian editions of books under licence. And we need to remember that it is not only publishers but also authors who have been objecting to this proposed amendment.

Treaty Compliance and Compulsory Licensing

A more general problem with the Bill, which has not received the attention it needs, is the implications which it has for Treaty compliance. We cannot afford to make our legislation non-compliant with the Berne Convention, not only because of the loss of global protection for Indian works that it would entail, but also because the operative provisions of the Berne Conventin have been incorporated in the TRIPS Agreement. Hence, India might potentially be subjected to wider sanctions through the WTO merely because of a thoughtless amendment to the Copyright Act.

The existing provisions on compulsory licenses in Chapter VI of the Copyright Act have been very carefully designed in order not to conflict with our international obligations under the Berne Convention. Our obligations under the Berne Convention make it impossible for us to issue compulsory licenses against foreign works except where specifically permitted by the Convention, notably in the specific cases referred to in the Appendix to the 1971 Act of the Berne Convention. (In fact, because the Government of India failed to renew our declaration availing of the Appendix to the Berne Convention in the late 1990s, even those exceptions are no longer actually available to us and even in its present form the Act is no longer Berne compliant; since no compulsory licences have actually been issued under the relevant provisions, this problem remains quiescent.)

The implications of the proposed amendments of Sections 31, 31A and 31A(1) making compulsory licences which are currently available only against Indian works available against foreign works as well, are therefore, potentially serious. This was pointed out to the Committee but, disappointingly, the Ministry does not appear to have explained the position to them. The Committee has not reached any conclusion on this point but has rightly alerted the Ministry to possible implications.

WCT and WPPT

Again, the starting point and original first objective of the whole exercise to amend the Copyright Act was to make our law compliant with the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performers and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), enabling us to ratify these treaties. Hence, among other things, the enhancement of performers’ rights. However, one of the main provisions of both these treaties is the requirement of remedies against the circumvention of technological measures (access control and/or use control of works on the Internet). Unfortunately, the proposed amendments do not achieve this objective; rather will create further penalties for infringement by means of circumventing technological measures, but they do not make such circumvention, or the provision of devices enabling such circumvention, into infringing acts per se. The amendments thus fall short of the requirements of these treaties.

Statutory Licences

Another concern for copyright owners is the implications of the proposed statutory licences for broadcasting. It is necessary to consider the need for such a provision (admittedly not contrary to the Berne Convention, but optional) with reference to the relevant industries in India and not merely because such licences exist abroad. Another problem with the draft is that, while the marginal headings seem to indicate an intention to limit the scope of this amendment to radio broadcasting, the proposed Section itself does not do so: there is certainly no apparent case for allowing such statutory licences for television broadcasting.

Assignment

The earlier proposed restrictions on the author’s right to transfer rights in the works included in a film have been modified considerably by the Committee. The Bill proposed to provide that an author of a literary (but not a dramatic) or a musical work should not be able to assign the “right to receive royalty” once the work had been included in a film. This was confusing, to say the least, since the “right to receive royalty” is not a statutory but a contractual right. Again, it subjected the author to commercial risk, depriving him of the possibility of a one-time up-front payment: beneficial if the film was a “hit,” harmful to author interests in the case of “flop” films—and surely the latter outnumber the former.

Now the Committee’s suggestion is that the author of literary or musical works included in a cinematograph film shall not assign or waive the right to receive royalties to be shared on an equal basis with the assignee of copyright for the utilization of such work in any form other than for the communication to the public of the work along with the cinematograph film in a cinema hall; except to the author’s legal heirs or to a copyright society for collection and distribution, and any agreement to contrary shall be void.

This means in effect that every author has a right to a 50% royalty from the film producer for non-theatrical exploitation once the work is included in a cinematographic film: but 50% of what? And what do we mean by sharing royalties on an equal basis with the copyright owner? And how can each author of every work included in a film get 50% (of whatever is meant by 50%)? No clearer than before, and even more difficult to enforce.

Further, this proposal does away with the usual variability of licence rates according to the nature of exploitation, e.g., there might be justification for higher royalty for internet exploitation, where the producer makes less investment, and lower royalty in other cases like the distribution of physical copies. Moreover the provision still creates various and unforeseeable anomalies: for example, in the case of a novel which was first published in book format and then included in a cinematographic film.

There is no denying that assignments once made by an author can prove onerous later: the provisions of Section 19A were introduced in 1994 precisely to address this problem, and perhaps the Copyright Board needs to be made more effective to discharge its duties by making this provision more effective. Another author-friendly amendment of the Act made in 1994, the introduction of a resale share right (commonly known as droit de suite) in Section 53A, has never taken effect because the Copyright Board has failed to perform its duty of fixing the author’s resale share. There is much that can be done for authors within the existing law, if the Copyright Board discharges its duties effectively. (Nor is the greater cultural or other importance of the authors of works included in films, as compared to other authors, immediately apparent.) But perceived problems, howsoever genuine, are not solved by unrealistic or unviable solutions.

On a concluding note

There is much more that could be said. As I stated, this article is not intended to be an exhaustive commentary on the Bill. But the question now is, how participative will the Government be in doing its homework on the Committee’s report before taking it back to Parliament with appropriate changes?



The office of the NGO called Saksham Trust (a member organisation of the Daisy Forum of India) is no different than any other office. One can see people working dedicatedly on their laptops. But may be you will realize the difference later on! Most of the people working diligently on their laptops have print disability – they cannot read!!! But, this is not all, they are helping people with print disability as well. Such people need something more than printed books. Varsha Verma brings an account of the need of books for the print disabled.

Not many people, like me, can read a printed publication, began Dipendra Monocha, president, Daisy Forum of India and founder manager trustee of Saksham Trust (also a member of Daisy Forum of India). “These people may include blind and people with low vision, illiterate, people suffering from dyslexia, people who cannot hold the books and also people with learning disability. All these people need much more than printed books. It is seen that people with learning disability can do much better if they are given not just printed books but also audio books. Infact, the success ratio is 10-20 percent with printed versions but coupled with vision or visual with audio, the success ratio goes to 50 percent,” he added.

So what are the print alternatives? “As is widely known, Braille is one, then there are talking books, digital books in specified format (DAISY which stands for Digital Access Information System) and large print books (for low vision people),” told Dipendra. “And the source of all these formats is of course digital. DAISY is the international standard for digital publications. “All the publications following DAISY standards can be easily converted into the voice books and Braille. DAISY defines all the details like page numbers, headings, images, etc. Even the digital player manufacturers are given those standards so that these players can play the text in DAISY format.”

DAISY standard is defined by 112 not-for-profit organizations from 52 countries like the NLS division of the Library of Congress, USA; Recording for Blind & Disylexic, Daisy Forum of India, TBP of Sweden; Swedish Library for Print Disabled, etc. The Daisy Forum of India has 82 members and all these members have a combined catalogue system to avoid duplication of books. ‘We have the exchange services, where members of the Daisy Forum of India can share the books with each other,” told Dipendra.

“The print disable people have the fundamental right to information. But only one percent of the print publications in India are accessible by the print disabled. The mandate for Daisy Forum of India is huge to bring this one percent to hundred percent, which is only possible when the publishers provide us the text in DAISY standard digital files and when the copyright laws enable us to have them free of publishers’ royalty. We cannot wait for permissions from the concerned publishers as it wastes a lot of time in the process. As many as 50-60 countries have given copyright exemptions to such NGOs and now we are trying to have a similar arrangement in India as well,” Dipendra raised the concern.

We share and are equally concerned about the intellectual property rights of the right owners. We would not want the content of the right owners to be stolen. However, we would like to work hand in hand with the publishers on one hand, protecting their content from piracy and on the other hand to get digital content for producing braille and accessible e-text books that persons with print disabilities could read,” added Dipendra.

It will be effective only when the print is published the same day it is available for the print disabled, just like widely circulated India Today magazine which can be accessed by these people in just an hour of its release. “They give us the digital files and we develop a talking version of the magazine within an hour of the receipt of the digital files. This magazine is developed in the computerized voice as its shelf life is short and if we convert it manually, it would consume a lot of time. As of now, 250 individual members access this magazine and we even send the same to over 40 organizations who then distribute it at their end,” told Dipendra.

“We also have a few tie-ups with well known publishers like Sage, Oxford University Press and Sheth Publishers, who provide us the digital files of the books which our members need from these publishers,” added Dipendra.

Another major challenge faced by the Daisy Forum of India is the lack of Unicode-based fonts (a standard for DAISY) in the regional languages. “All the European language fonts use the Unicode standard, which means that each alphabet is assigned a particular number which is same in all the fonts. This is not so in Indian regional languages. For example, if we convert the text typed in Hindi in Chankya font to a Unicode font like Mangal, it becomes an alien language, because the numbers assigned to the alphabets in both these fonts are different. So although, we have NCERT books available as a free download on their website, it is not of much use for us as the fonts used are not Unicode,” he explained. “Lack of standard keyboard layout is yet another issue faced by us.”

So, what are the formats which can be easily used by them? “XML, Word format, Open Office Word Document or HTML can be easily used. We have tools which can convert these files to DAISY and then they can be further used,” replied Dipendra.

All these books are available free of cost to their members. As of now, they have converted 25,000 books in all genres like textbooks for schools and universities, competitive books, bestsellers and Classics for general reading. “Earlier, it used to take 4-6 months time for a student to get his books, which we are trying to reduce and aim to give the students their books on their first day at school or university.”

Talking about Saksham Trust, Dipendra informed, “At Saksham Trust, we have various projects like digital textbooks production, running a school for the blind and offering books from Bookshare.org in north and east India. We also offer technological solutions to the print disabled people at affordable costs. The talking thermometer was launched by us in 2003, which has enabled them to measure their temperature. We also made the software to add speech in mobile phones in India available at affordable costs.”

“A fun project at our NGO is the audio description of movies where we describe the non-verbal portions of the movies. Few movies that have been audio described include Taare Zameen Par, Munna Bhai MBBS and more recently Peepli Live,” added Dipendra laughing. All these projects are ably handled by 30 direct employees and 70-80 volunteers.

With such strong will and the desire to reach out to all those who need these books, Daisy Forum of India is indeed doing a noble deed. It’s time that all the publishers come forward and help them in disseminating information, which is the prime aim of the publishing industry at large.



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