Sunday, February 27, 2011

Does the Copyright Act Apply to Unpublished works?- I

I have had this doubt about the status of unpublished works under the current copyright regime for quite some time now. 

Although Sections 22 and 23 of the Copyright Act, 1957 spell out the term of published works, anonymous and pseudonymous works, there doesn’t seem to be any reference to the term of unpublished works. Why? Are unpublished works not protected by copyrights?

I must give a disclaimer here: my research on this point has been very limited, so if I have missed any judgment or opinion which sheds light on this issue in the Indian context, I’d be more than happy to stand corrected.

Let’s take a look at Sections 22 and 23(1) here:

22. Term of copyright in published literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works- Except as otherwise hereinafter provided, copyright shall subsist in any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work (other than a photograph) published within the lifetime of the author until sixty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the author dies. Explanation.- In this section the reference to the author shall, in the case of a work of joint authorship, be construed as a reference to the author who dies last.

23. Term of copyright in anonymous and pseudonymous works- In the case of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work (other than a photograph), which is published anonymously or pseudonymously, copyright shall subsist until sixty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the work is first published:

Provided that where the identity of the author is disclosed before the expiry of the said period, copyright shall subsist until sixty years

In all the situations envisaged under both these provisions, the reference is to a work that is published (in fact under Section 22, publication must occur within the lifetime of the author) . In others words, subsistence of the copyright is tied or connected to the factum of publication.

Does this mean that the 60 year limit on the term of the copyright is applicable solely to published works, and not to unpublished works? If yes, does it follow that there is no limit on the term of the copyright for unpublished works? Or does it follow that there is no copyright in an unpublished work in the first place?

The first consequence seems to go against legislative intent of restricting the term of IP rights. Not just that, it also appears to violate the quid pro quo equation that governs all forms of IP i.e. if enablement, disclosure and use of the invention govern grant of patents, and continuous use governs a trademark right, there must be some requirement on similar lines when it comes to copyright too.

That requirement could be publication i.e. unless the work is published and is accessible to the public, an author/owner cannot expect an IP right such as copyright in return. What this could mean is that mere creation does not vest a work with copyright, publication is necessary for copyright to subsist in the work. 

Does this mean the Indian Copyright regime is not a common law regime, but a statutory regime? It probably is statutory; Section 16 of the Act certainly seems to say so. Section 16 says:

16. No Copyright except as provided in this Act- No person shall be entitled to copyright or any similar right in any work, whether published or unpublished, otherwise than under and in accordance with the provisions of this Act or of any other law for the time being in force but nothing in this section shall be construed as abrogating any right or jurisdiction to restrain a breach of trust or confidence.

A literal interpretation of Section 16 makes it clear that there is no copyright outside the 4 corners of the Copyright Act. This position has been endorsed by the Supreme Court in Entertainment Network v. Super Cassette Industries (2008). The Apex Court observed thus:

“There cannot be any doubt whatsoever that an artistic, literary or musical work is the brain-child of an author, the fruit of his labour and, so, considered to be his property. A copyright, however, unlike a trade mark is a right created under the Act as is evident from Section 16 thereof. When an author of a copyright and other claims a copyright, it is subjected to the provisions of the Act. The rights and obligations of the author ought to be found out within the four corners of the Act. It is not necessary to dilate more upon these aspects of the matter as the object behind enacting the Act is absolutely clear and explicit. It creates a monopoly in favour of the author.”

In the very same judgment, the Court quotes Copinger and Skone Jones on Copyright, which says:

"Finally, it is considered a social requirement in the public interest that authors and other rights owners should be encouraged to publish their work so as to permit the widest possible dissemination of works to the public at large. These four fundamental principles are cumulative and inter-dependent and are applied in the justification of copyright in all countries, although different countries give varying emphasis to each of them

To generalize, it is true to say that in the development of modern copyright laws, the economic and social arguments are given more weight in Anglo- American laws of common law tradition, whereas, in Continental law countries with civil law systems, the natural law argument and the protection of authors are given first place."

Therefore, if the public good aspect of copyright is not satisfied by way of publication, copyright under the Indian Act does not seem to be available to authors/owners.

Does this mean if an unpublished work is published by a third party without the consent of the author, there is no remedy available to the author? No, Section 16 states clearly that nothing in this section shall be construed as abrogating any right or jurisdiction to restrain a breach of trust or confidence. 

Therefore, all that Section 16 precludes is institution of an action for copyright infringement, it does not prevent an author/owner from proceeding to take action under other laws. So, even from the point of view of reasonableness, it does seem reasonable to require publication of a work, for subsistence of copyright in it.

There are a few other provisions of the Copyright Act, which would need to be reconciled with this position, if at all it is correct. I shall elaborate on this in the next post. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lessons for Patent Applicants

Last March, the Delhi branch of the Indian Patent Office gave a decision in Weyerhaeuser’s Application numbered 70/DEL/2005. 

The decision, in my opinion, is a must read to understand how the applicant has to strategize responses to examination reports.

In this case, the applicant had initially filed an application for a product patent.

The order says the application, although filed before January 1, 2005, was a non-mailbox application. It is relevant to note here that prior to the 2005 amendment to the Patents Act, product patents for pharmaceutical substances and substances manufactured by chemical processes were barred.

If Weyerhaeuser's application was for a kind of wood-pulp, it would fall within the scope of the products for which product patents were barred under the un-amended Act. I am not sure how was this treated as a non-mailbox application, unless the applicant had sought only a process patent. But the principal claim reads thus:

(1) A lyocell product, comprising:
at least 7% hemicellulose by weight; and at most 93% cellulose, wherein the pulp used to make the product has a viscosity less than 32 cP, a copper number less than 2, a weighted average fiber length less than 2.7 mm, and a coarseness less than 23 mg/100 m, wherein the pulp is derived from a wood material with a specific gravity of less than 0.41.

Clearly, the application was for a product patent. Anyways, the applicant's grievance was that despite the 2005 amendment coming in force during the examination of its application, the Patent Office did not examine its application for grant of a product patent.

This, according to the applicant, was owing to an internal decision taken by the Patent Office during that period, which disallowed product patents even after the amendment to the Act. Did the decision have  statutory sanction?...

Let me clarify the facts further. The "non-mailbox application" claimed a product patent, but was disallowed:
1.  firstly, because the patent office took an internal decision not to grant product patents even after amendment to the Act allowing product patents for all technologies

2. secondly, because the application was deemed to have been abandoned under Section 21 of the Act, namely the application was not put in order for grant within the time prescribed in Section 21 and

3. finally, because the invention was deemed to have been anticipated by a bunch of prior documents.

Meanwhile, during the pendency of the "non-mailbox application", the applicant, in order to secure his interests, thought it fit to file a divisional application during the pendency of his parent non-mailbox application.

This too was objected to by the Patent Office citing Section 16(2) and (3) of the Act. Section 16, in substance, proscribes claiming substantially the same invention in the parent and the divisional, to avoid double-patenting.

On Section 16, the Patent Office may have got the law right, but I think the non-application of the Act on grant of product patents seems to have cost the applicant dearly. That said, the applicant too ought to have appealed against the order of rejection of parent application, instead of filing a divisional.  (Probably he did, I don’t know for sure...)

I think this case is a lesson for practitioners to take into account unpredictability when they prepare their responses to office actions. It goes without saying that this also requires practitioners to bear in mind that not  everyone shares the same views, even those which most of us take for granted, when it comes to the interpretation of the Act. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chinese Counterfeits Undermine Indian Generics

This Monday, I read an article in The Mint titled “Made in India, Faked in China”, written by Roger Bate. This article seems to have captured even the attention of the Indian Government, so much so that one can read it on the website of the Ministry of External Affairs.

Roger Bate is someone who has done extensive work on counterfeit drugs and their implications on public health. From what little of his work that I have read, he believes in calling a spade a spade.

In this article on counterfeit Chinese drugs, he says that while the developed world is pre-occupied with India on the issue of counterfeit drugs which emanate from here, “a vast Chinese network behind the fakes is getting away”.

He backs this claim with an empirical study that his team has undertaken since 2006. Here’s the relevant portion of the article:

“My research team collected drugs from 22 cities in 20 countries over the past four years. Of these, 911 antimalarial and antibiotic products were, according to their packaging, made in India. They were procured from 14 countries, mainly in Africa, but also in Thailand and India. Of those products, 79 (or 8.7%), failed basic quality control tests and hence were unfit for their intended use. Of these 79 products, we were able to establish that 37 were counterfeits. 

More products may have been counterfeit, but without responses from the manufacturers or regulatory agencies, it was not always possible to be sure. Of the 37 counterfeits identified, 22 were definitely faked in China and delivered straight to African nations from China. Hence, from our small sample, over half (59%) of the fake Indian drugs were actually made in China.” 

Dr.Paul Orhii, head of Nigeria’s anti-counterfeit drug agency, who helped Bate with his study, discovered that there were vast Chinese criminal networks which had successfully infiltrated every aspect of drug production and distribution.

Bate, in fact, goes to the extent of saying that even counterfeits found in India could be largely of Chinese origin...Should we be probing another angle to this issue...namely State-sponsored counterfeiting?

Most of these drugs apparently source their origins to the Shenzhen free-trade zone in China. Given that China isn’t exactly a democracy as we understand it, State supervision is usually presumed, particularly in commerce. Is it possible that the Chinese State has absolutely no knowledge of manufacture of counterfeits in its most popular and successful Special Economic Zone?

Empty speculation without further research may not do justice to a topic of such gravity...I’ll write more on this after further reading.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Counterclaim and the High Court's Jurisdiction Over a Suit for Patent Infringement

In the last post, I had discussed the possibility of excluding a counterclaim under limited circumstances. Continuing with that discussion, what is the consequence of a counterclaim being excluded from the suit for infringement of a patent?

If the suit for infringement was filed before a District Court and was subsequently transferred to the High Court only because a counterclaim was filed (such transfer being the consequence of the proviso to Section 104), then, upon exclusion of the counterclaim, the suit must be remanded to the District Court for trial. Why? Since Section 104 of the Patents Act mandates that a suit for infringement of a patent is to be filed in a District Court. 

Here’s Section 104: 

104. Jurisdiction- No suit for a declaration under section 105 or for any relief under section 106 or for infringement of a patent shall be instituted in any court inferior to a district court having jurisdiction to try the suit:

PROVIDED that where a counter-claim for revocation of the patent is made by the defendant, the suit, along with the counter-claim, shall be transferred to the High Court for decision.

In other words, if the counterclaim of revocation is no more treated as a counterclaim, the suit must be adjudicated by a forum which has the power to do so under Section 104 of the Act, namely the District Court (of course, in the case of Courts such as the Delhi High Court, the High Court would be the Court of first instance if the suit is valued for Rs.20,00,000).

To my surprise, there is a short order on this issue that was delivered by the Allahabad High Court in Fabcon Corporation v. Industrial Engineering Corporation (AIR 1987 All 338). In this case, the Plaintiff claimed that since a defence of invalidity of the patent under Section 107 (1) was taken by the Defendant, such a defence must be deemed as a counterclaim under Section 64 of the Act. This meant that the suit for infringement had to be transferred along with the deemed counterclaim to the High Court.

The High Court disagreed with the Plaintiff and took a view, which I fully agree with and have always believed in, that a defence as envisaged under Section 107(1) is not the same as filing a counterclaim of revocation under Section 64 of the Act. What does Section 107(1) provide for?

 The provision basically says that every ground of revocation which is available under Section 64 of the Act can be used as a defence by the defendant. That said, merely because such a defence has been raised by the defendant, it does not translate to filing a counterclaim for revocation of the patent. This is precisely what the Allahabad High Court observed in the Fabcon order. Following is the Court’s observation on the issue:

It is urged that since the defendant has asserted that the patent in question be held invalid, this be taken to be a counter-claim for revocation within the meaning of the aforesaid proviso. This is not acceptable. According to Section 107(1) in any suit for infringement of a patent, every ground on which it may be revoked under Section 64 shall be available as a ground defence. Section 64 enumerates the grounds for revocation of patent.

 Under the scheme of the Act itself, therefore, there is a distinction maintained as between the defence raised to a suit for infringement of a patent (vide Section 107) on the one hand and the revocation sought of a patent on the other (vide Section 64). The grounds may be the same, but still there is no inconsistency on account of the suit being defended as liable to dismissal in a particular case and a case where the defendant seeks also that the patent asserted by the plaintiff be revoked."

Consequently, since a defence under Section 107(1) cannot be treated as a counterclaim, the Court held that the Plaintiff’s suit for infringement cannot be transferred to the High Court, and must be decided by the District Court. Following are the relevant observations of the Court:

It is only when there is a counterclaim seeking revocation of the patent that the jurisdiction of the District Court is ousted. The proviso to Section 104 being in the nature of an exception to the general rule, it has to be strictly construed. There is no express claim on the part of the defendant for revocation of the where of infringement is alleged by the plaintiff.

That the defendant pleads that the patent set up by the plaintiff is invalid amounts only to the defendant raising a ground for the relief sought by the plaintiff being declined; it does not follow necessarily that the defendant also seeks by way of a counterclaim that the patent be revoked. The defendant has not asserted in the pleadings anywhere that they are the patentee or that they are entitled to be registered as such, The grounds raised are cumulatively and also individually by way of defence to the plaintiffs action.

I think our Courts understood the law of patents (or for that matter any law) better in the past...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Can a Counter-claim of Revocation of patent be excluded from the suit for infringement?

I had a random thought today- Is it necessary for a counter-claim of revocation to be heard along with the suit for infringement of a patent? Could there be limited circumstances which could warrant/justify the de-linking of the two?

For this, I searched for a possible answer in the Code of Civil Procedure, and turns out that there is a provision for de-linking a suit for infringement of a patent, from a counterclaim of revocation of the patent- Order VIII, Rule 6C.

The Rule reads thus:

“6C. Exclusion of Counter-claim- Where a defendant sets up a counter-claim and the plaintiff contends that the claim thereby raised ought not to be disposed of by way of counter-claim but in an independent suit, the plaintiff may, at any time before issues are settled in relation to the counter-claim, apply to the Court for an order that such counter-claim may be excluded, and the Court may, on hearing of such application make order as it thinks fit”

What would be that specific circumstance which would warrant invoking this provision in a suit for infringement?

Let’s assume the Defendant/alleged infringer claims that he is not guilty of infringement because his product uses a technology different from the patented invention or that he is clearly not within the scope of the claims of the patent, his defense is not that of invalidity of the patent, but that of plain and simple non-infringement.

In such a case, if the defendant has still filed a counterclaim to create a cloud over the validity of the patent, I think, (and I could be wrong here), the counterclaim can be de-linked from the suit for infringement because invalidity of the patent is not the defendant’s ground of defense on the issue of infringement. His defense is simply that his product does not infringe the patent’s claims.

It must be borne here that Section 104 of the Patents Act merely provides that when a counter-claim is filed, the forum it must be transferred to along with the suit for infringement is the High Court. Nowhere does Section 104 forbid or prohibit de-linking the suit from the counter-claim. The CPC would still govern the conduct of the proceedings, and if the co-adjudication of the counterclaim results in embarrassment of the proceedings or complication of the trial, it is best excluded and treated as an independent suit.

But can there be an independent suit before a High Court for revocation of a patent? The Patents Act envisages only a counterclaim of revocation. There does not appear to be a provision in the Act for filing of an independent suit for revocation; the only independent proceeding the Act envisages for revocation of patent is a petition under Section 64 of the Act before the IPAB.

If that be the case, I think it would still be within the High Court’s powers to exclude the counter-claim of revocation and direct the Defendant to file it by way of a revocation petition before the IPAB.

Opinions and corrections from practitioners are welcome!

Image Source:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

“Unsolicited Delivery of Goods Could Lead to First Sale Exhaustion” Says US Court

Here’s something some of our copyright owners might want to know. If you were to send a promotional CD, which contains your copyrighted work, make sure you build in all trappings of a license. 

If you do not, it could amount to first sale, which means you have no control over the product’s movement in the stream of commerce.

In a judgment delivered on January 4, 2011, in UMG Recordings v. Augusto,the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that for a license to be treated as one, it must:

1. Call itself a license

2. Prohibit transfer of title and

3. Contain notable use restrictions.

In the absence of either of these requirements, the transaction, even if undertaken for no consideration, would amount to sale or at least transfer of title. The case in which this judgment was delivered makes an interesting read, the facts of which are as follows:

A. UMG Recordings sent unsolicited promotional CDs to select individuals with the caveat that the CDs were meant solely for promotional use and that they were being licensed the CDs. The notice on the CDs read thus:

This CD is the property of the record company and is licensed to the intended recipient for personal use only. Acceptance of this CD shall constitute an agreement to comply with the terms of the license. Resale or transfer of possession is not allowed and may be punishable under federal and state laws.”

B. Some of these promotional CDs ultimately found their way into the hands of the Defendant Augusto, an individual. Augusto auctioned these CDs on Ebay.

C. UMG wanted Ebay to take down Augusto’s offer since his acts violated UMG’s copyright.

D. Ebay did not budge, so UMG took Augusto to Court

Augusto’s Defense

1. UMG’s transaction with the initial recipients of the CDs was in the nature of “sale”, therefore they had no further rights to control the movement of the CDs

2. In the alternative, he had rights under the Unordered Merchandise Statute, which gave original recipients of the CDs rights to retain, use, discard, or dispose of the CDs in any manner they saw fit.

3. Since Augusto had received the CDs from the original recipients, who had to per force be treated as owners, and not licensees, his possession of the CDs and subsequent auction on Ebay were legitimate acts.

Court’s Verdict

A. Mere label of a license did not make the transaction one

B. No recipient of the CD was expected to revert to UMG recordings with an acceptance of the terms. UMG could not have assumed their acceptance (sounds more like the Google books project...)

C. No recipient was charged even a dime for the CDs

D. There was no mechanism by which the possession of the CDs could be traced

E. There were no use restrictions or requirement for return or destruction of the CDs

F. Further, first sale doctrine was a misnomer of sorts in the sense that the sale envisaged in the doctrine need not be one for consideration. It could be transfer of title through any other means, including a gift.

Considering all the above reasons, the Court observed that it was a stretch of an argument for UMG to contend that the transaction was a license.

Moral of the Story
Sometimes free lunches could cost you more than you can imagine, so be careful when you handout doles! 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Guest Post: A Constitutional Approach to Intellectual Property

I am delighted to bring this pithy thought-provoking post by a very close friend of mine and a brilliant mind, Divya Subramanian. Divya is currently an LL.M. candidate at Franklin Pierce Law Center, Concord. 

In this post, Divya ventures to fit in Intellectual property Rights within the proprietarial framework of the Indian Constitution. She cautions that her thoughts are testy and do not have the benefit of rigorous substantiation through case law.

That said, I personally feel she has pointed to some wonderful areas of potential research. Hopefully, we will build on her thoughts in the near future. Without much ado, here’s Divya’s post.

A Constitutional Approach to Intellectual Property- Divya Subramanian
A resident on my street, one  day walked up to my home at 10 p.m. (knowing that would be the only sane time to catch me, and of course distracting me from my favourite show on TV!) with some   papers in her hand.  She showed herself in and asked me if I could help her out.

I took the paper in hand, and alas it was a Sale deed for a house down south (in India). I politely asked her, as to how I could help her.

She said.. ”You deal in property matters right??” And I quipped…“Aunty…Intellectual Property!!!” The conversation didn’t last long after, but did leave a few lingering thoughts...

I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you have had similar encounters. It is true, a large section of Indians are mistaken on this count, and I believe that they are not to be blamed for it. The Indian Intellectual Property space has gained prominence only over the last 5-10 years, which is not long enough for a country like ours where downloading a song is perfectly normal for most.

My short stint at a place with starkly different cultural differences (including IP related culture), namely the US, makes me wonder, is the Indian Constitutional framework the one to be looked at in order to bring  a sea-change? The constitution for sure recognizes the “right to property” but does it act as the Kelsenian grundnorm, pertinently with respect to Intellectual Property??? I believe only tangentially, and not expressly.

A part of me, strongly sees the need to recognize Intellectual Property as property under the Indian Constitution. One of the driving forces behind such a belief is the way I read Section 48 of the Patents Act, 1970. 

To me, the provision seems to be imposing an absolute duty (as envisioned by Austin) upon the Rest of the World to not interfere with the right of the patentee/licensee.  Section 48, is sure subject to the exceptions under Section 47 as also the experimental use exception. The nature of this seeming ‘absolute duty’, to me, is reminiscent of the rationale behind Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in our constitution. 

Another attributing factor is the treatment of Right to Property over time by the Indian Constitution. Its de-recognition as a fundamental right under Art.19 and inclusion in Art 300A clearly highlights the shift in thought- from a fundamental right, to a right which could have a constitutional remedy in case of a State interference, not interference by private parties. 

The fact that the government via legislations, has reserved certain exceptions/leeway (compulsory licensing in patents for instance) to itself, is reflective of its recognition of Intellectual Property as a form of pure property. However, on the flip side, would express Constitutional inclusion of intellectual property lead to a battery of writ petitions being filed, is a question I fail to answer. 

When this comes across, I often feel the way our Constitution is worded is fine, allowing room for liberal interpretation where necessitated.  But on the other hand, to my eyes Constitutional recognition of IP would also lead to greater respect for IP rights and right holders.

While the Constitution seems to have been the driving force behind many legislative amendments, perhaps including the coparcenary movement, my stronger leaning is to the view that recognition would only aid the IP awareness and enforcement movement in our country. 

A country where this has worked rather well, is the United States, where copyrights and patents are expressly recognized under the constitution. The reason for this comparison also arises from the common historical influences, however, treatment and exposure to the same, albeit incomparable.

While Art.1 Section 8 Clause 8 of the US constitution need not be the absolute guiding light, the fact that it indeed proves effective in IP enforcement cannot be ignored. The jurisprudence behind the theories of induced and contributory infringement, fair use in the US, the balance between free speech and trademark rights, all relate back to its Constitution, thus laying a very strong basis for the extent of IP protection in the country.  

Again, on the flip side, it also seems extremely utilitarian in nature, explaining for the lack of adequate “moral rights” proposition in its copyright regime.

I do not intend to state that US practices are the very filmy “pathar ki lakeer” (Kelsenian absolute), and I hold a different viewpoint on many counts that it has adopted. However, on this point, I do feel there is something we could draw cue from...

Off-Topic: Populism: The Bane of Academic Writing

A Court which yields to the popular will thereby licenses itself to practice despotism, for there can be no assurance that it will not, on another occasion, indulge its own will. Courts can fulfil their responsibility in a democratic society only to the extent that they succeed in shaping their judgments by rational standards, and rational standards are both impersonal and communicable.”

So goes a paragraph from Page 328 of Fali Nariman’s “Before Memory Fades” where he quotes Justice Krishna Iyer’s judgment in Mohinder Singh Gill v. Election Commission, who in turn was quoting Alan Barth from his book Prophets with Honour (1975).

As I read this para, I just couldn’t help thinking that this thought is so true of almost every endeavour in public life, which includes academic writing.

Academic writing, for me, is not within the realm of the strictly personal. It is, by its very nature, a public activity, not just because it is directed to an audience, but also because it relates to the very audience.

At the outset, let me state that when I refer to academic writing, I do not restrict myself to journals/publications. So long as the topic of discussion is public policy, this rule applies to all fora, mainstream and alternative.

Academic writing is a notch above journalism in the sense that where the topic of writing requires the audience to elevate its thought, (as condescending as this may sound) academic writing must help the audience go beyond the obvious and the superficial, instead of dumbing down the subject. If advanced mathematics requires a better equipped student, why shouldn’t the same apply to readers of academic writing?

Not for a moment am I suggesting that that one must not observe simplicity in articulation, even if the subject of articulation is an esoteric thought. I am simply saying that let not the diktats of an “audience” dictate the logic of a proposition.

I think we must never lose sight of the fact that academic writing first and foremost demands honesty which in turn demands spine or let’s call it “vertebracy”.  This includes the spine to probe an idea, even if the audience or readership finds the idea boring or politically incorrect.

Slowly but surely, this golden rule of academic writing appears to be taking a back seat in the Indian IP discourse since other considerations such as molly-coddling the audience have begun to take precedence. This is bad news, without doubt. Why?

Voices or faces which have the undivided attention of stakeholders from within and outside the country have a responsibility towards the subject and the stakeholders. This responsibility requires us to conduct ourselves with utmost honesty sans a smidgen of exhibitionism. The moment the proponent puts himself before and above the cause, I think objectivity and reason are the first casualties.

In the process, opportunities which could be put to fantastic use to engage people in a meaningful discussion and thereby goading them into action, are squandered because we are scared of losing them or disenchanting them. 

Anyone who has the best interests of the people at heart must not worry about people’s short-term perceptions of her or his ideas. Ultimately, if one is right or at least honest, people are bound to come around and give some thought to what is being said.

Anyways, I’ll end my rant here hoping that sooner than later the Indian IP debate or discussion turns the corner for the better.