(1) Where, after the expiration of the relevant period from the date of the first publication of an edition of a literary, scientific or artistic work:-
- The copies of such edition are not made available in India; or
- Such copies have not been put on sale in India for a period of six months to the general public, or in connection with systematic instructional activities at a price reasonably related to that normally charged in India for comparable works by the owner of the right of reproduction or by any person authorised by him in this behalf, any person may apply to the Copyright Board for a licence to reproduce and publish such work in printed or analogous forms of reproduction at the price at which such edition is sold or a lower price for the purposes of systematic instructional activities.
(2) Every such application shall be made in such form as may be prescribed and shall state the proposed retail price of a copy of the work to be reproduced.
(3) Every applicant for a licence under this section shall, along with his application, deposit with the Registrar of Copyrights such fee as may be prescribed.
(4) Where an application is made to the Copyright Board under this section, it may, after holding such inquiry as may be prescribed, grant to the applicant a licence, not being an exclusive licence, to produce and publish a reproduction of the work mentioned in the application subject to the conditions that:-
- The applicant shall pay to the owner of the copyright in the work royalties in respect of copies of the reproduction of the work sold to the public, calculated at such rate as the Copyright Board may, in the circumstances of each case, determine in the prescribed manner;
- A licence granted under this section shall not extend to the export of copies of the reproduction of the work outside India and every copy of such reproduction shall contain a notice that the copy is available for distribution only in India:
Provided that no such licence shall be granted unless:-
- The applicant has proved to the satisfaction of the Copyright Board that he had requested and had been denied authorisation by the owner of the copyright in the work to reproduce and publish such work or that he was, after due diligence on his part, unable to find such owner;
- Where the applicant was unable to find the owner of the copyright, he had sent a copy of his request for such authorisation by registered airmail post to the publisher whose name appears from the work not less than three months before the application for the licence;
- The Copyright Board is satisfied that the applicant is competent to reproduce and publish an accurate reproduction of the work and possesses the means to pay to the owner of the copyright the royalties payable to him under this section;
- The applicant undertakes to reproduce and publish the work at such price as may be fixed by the Copyright Board, being a price reasonably related to the price normally charged in India for works of the same standard on the same or similar subjects;
- A period of six months in the case of application for the reproduction and publication of any work of natural science, physical science, mathematics or technology, or a period of three months in the case of an application for the reproduction and publication of any other work, has elapsed from the date of making the request under clause (1), or where a copy of the request has been sent under clause (2), from the date of sending of a copy, and a reproduction of the work has not been published by the owner of the copyright in the work or any person authorised by him within the said period of six months or, three months, as the case may be;
- The name of the author and the title of the particular edition of the work proposed to be reproduced are printed on all the copies of the reproduction;
- The author has not withdrawn from circulation copies of the work; and
- An opportunity of being heard is given, wherever practicable, to the owner of the copyright in the work.
(5) No licence to reproduce and publish the translation of a work shall be granted under this section unless such translation has been published by the owner of the right of translation or any person authorised by him and the translation is not in a language in general use in India.
(6) The provisions of this section shall also apply to the reproduction and publication, or translation into a language in general use in India, of any text incorporated in audio-visual fixations prepared and published solely for the purpose of systematic instructional activities.
Explanation – For the purposes of this section, “relevant period”, in relation to any work, means a period of:-
- Seven years from the date of the first publication of that work, where the application is for the reproduction and publication of any work of, or relating to, fiction, poetry, drama, music or art;
- Three years from the date of the first publication of that work, where the application is for the reproduction and publication of any work of, or relating to, natural science, physical science, mathematics or technology; and
- Five years from the date of the first publication of that work, in any other case.