The SpicyIP Blog provides a helpful review of India's proposed digital copyright reforms. The Indian government unveiled the reforms late last year, announcing that the amendments would bring the country into conformity with the WIPO Internet Treaties. India is a leading copyright producing country, with "Bollywood" currently one of the world's major film centres. The Indian approach to digital locks is very similar to the proposals from those supporting fair copyright in Canada. The anti-circumvention provision states:
(1) Any person who circumvents an effective technological measure applied for the purpose of protecting any of the rights conferred by this Act, with the intention of infringing such rights, shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.
(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall prevent any person from:
(a) doing anything referred to therein for a purpose not expressly prohibited by this Act:
Provided that any person facilitating circumvention by another person of a technological measure for such a purpose shall maintain a complete record of such other person including his name, address and all relevant particulars necessary to identify him and the purpose for which he has been facilitated; or
(b) doing anything necessary to conduct encryption research using a lawfully obtained encrypted copy; or
(c) conducting any lawful investigation; or
(d) doing anything necessary for the purpose of testing the security of a computer system or a computer network with the authorization of its owner or operator; or
(e) doing anything necessary to circumvent technological measures intended for identification or surveillance of a user; or
(f) taking measures necessary in the interest of national security.
There are two key points here: First, the provisions link circumvention to copyright infringement since the law is limited to the intention of infringing rights and states that the anti-circumvention provision does not prevent any person from circumventing for a purpose permitted by the law. For greater certainty, the law includes several permitted reasons to circumvent. Second, there is no ban on the distribution of circumvention devices as found in the DMCA but not required by WIPO.
This WIPO-compliant approach seeks to preseve copyright balance and should be considered carefully by Canadian officials as a potential model (Canada is currently working on an economic trade agreement with India).