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Is Hosting Literary Works on Blog a Publication? An Author Case Law

With the advent of digital platforms like blogs and social media, individuals have found an easier way to express their thoughts and creativity. Among these platforms, BlogSpot is one of the popular places for authors and literary enthusiasts to share their work with a wider audience. This form of distribution of literary content raises an important question regarding its legal implications: "Does hosting literary work on a BlogSpot amount to publication?" To delve into this issue, we need to first understand the term "publication" under the Indian


Facts of the Case: Blogging and Literary Works

In the present scenario, an author has hosted his literary work on a BlogSpot. BlogSpot is a platform that allows users to create their own blogs and post content accessible to the public. The author has made his work available to the public by posting it on this platform.

Issue: Does Hosting Literary Work on a BlogSpot Amount to Publication?

Considering the definition of publication under the Indian Copyright Act, 1957, it is clear that making the work available to the public by sale or other means of transfer constitutes publication. Thus, when the author posts his work on a BlogSpot, which is a publicly accessible platform, it can be argued that it indeed constitutes publication.



Application of Law and Discussion: Blog as a Mode of Publication

Publication Under The Indian Copyright Act

According to Section 3 of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957, "publication" refers to the distribution of copies of the work available to the public, which is done by sale or other transfer of ownership or by rental, lease, or lending. The offering to distribute copies to a group of persons for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display also constitutes publication.


In the case of Burlington Home Shopping Pvt. Ltd. vs. Rajnish Chibber [(1995) PTC (15) 278 (Del)], the Delhi High Court ruled that placing a literary work on the internet for the public to access amounts to publication. Therefore, if we apply the same reasoning, hosting a literary work on a BlogSpot, an open internet platform, could constitute publication under the Indian Copyright Act, 1957.


It is also essential to note that the objective behind copyright laws is to ensure the authors' rights to their works are protected while also balancing the public interest in accessing such works. As such, when an author posts his work on a public platform, he is voluntarily giving access to the public to read his work. However, it does not mean that he is relinquishing his copyright over his work. The copyright still vests with the author, and any unauthorized reproduction, distribution, or display of his work would constitute copyright infringement.



Conclusion: Publication and Protection of Literary Rights

To sum up, hosting a literary work on a BlogSpot indeed amounts to publication under Indian law, considering that it makes the work available to the public. While this allows the author to reach a wider audience, it is crucial for him to remember that he retains copyright over his work. Thus, any unauthorized use of his work by others without his consent could constitute copyright infringement.


Moreover, to further protect his rights, the author could consider attaching a copyright notice with his work or registering his copyright. While registration is not mandatory under Indian law, it provides a public record of the copyright and can be helpful if a dispute arises. By being mindful of his rights and protections available under the law, the author can continue to share his work with the public while safeguarding his interests.

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