We cannot emphasise more the importance of the Copyright (Amendment) Bill for the digital space in India. It impacts our business and yours – the creation and distribution of content, rights of authors, bloggers, photographers, publishers, search engines. It impacts the personal and private usage of music and video content on the Internet, freedom of speech, defines “fair usage” limits, establishes version recordings that would impact online and mobile singing competitions, distribution of educational documents, and rights to knowledge for the disabled, among many things.

What happened with the Information Technology Act in India must not be repeated – many of us were unsure of the provisions of the act; many still don’t know how exactly it impacts us, and it was passed in Parliament without debate.

The Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2010, introduced in the Indian Parliament last month, has been referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, which has requested citizens to submit their views and inputs within the next 10 days. Frankly, that’s too short a time for an Act of this significance.

We’re in the process of putting together a discussion on the implications of the proposed changes next week. In the meantime, you may download an easy to understand annotated copy of the Copyright (Amended) Bill here (pdf), by Pranesh Prakash of the Centre for Internet & Society. The Rajya Sabha’s official version is here.

Because it will govern your activities on the Internet and your business, please submit your views to the standing committee, to “Shri J.Sundriyal, Director, Rajya Sabha Secretariat, 141, First Floor, Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi- 110001. (Tel: 23034541 and Fax: 23793633) E-mail: sundrial@sansad.nic.in and rsc_hrd@sansad.nic.in”. If you wish:

Share your views with us and our readers for publishing
pre-register for our discussion in Gurgaon, next week. We’re opening registrations for 20 early birds right now, and will limit it to around 100 open registrations.

We’ll update with the details of the event by tomorrow, and announce speakers early next week. Do contact me at nikhil@medianama.com if you need any help or clarifications