The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed a plea filed by a group of international publishers who argued against the sale of photocopies of their textbooks. While passing the verdict, Justice RS Endlaw said, “Copyright is not a divine right”. The court also lifted a ban imposed on a bookseller in Delhi University's north campus from selling the material.

In the 94-page verdict, the court observed that photocopying was protected in the copyright Act through an exception for educational purposes, reported The court thus said there was no need for a trial in the matter, as there was "no actionable infringement.” The court said that if Delhi University can photocopy, so can its agents.

In 2012, a group of international publishers, including Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Taylor & Francis, had moved court against the sale of certain textbooks by a shop called Rameshwari Photocopy Service. The court had ruled in favour of the petitioners and directed a stay order on the sale of such books at the shop.

The bench had observed, "The photocopier is running its shop under licence from university. Photocopier has no right to compile such course packs and books articles published by the plaintiffs and more so, when the university has taken a stand that they have no intention to breach any law by making such reproductions."

The defendant had argued that if students are free to make photocopies of textbooks at libraries, why can they not have access to books reproduced entirely, reported The Times of India.

Corrections and clarifications: The post has been updated to attribute information that was first reported by