Home Commercial book ‘No one has copyright over the teachings of holy books like Quran’: Delhi court dismisses copyright infringement lawsuit

‘No one has copyright over the teachings of holy books like Quran’: Delhi court dismisses copyright infringement lawsuit


A Delhi court has dismissed a copyright infringement claim brought for the publication of a book titled “Islamic Studies” and imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on the plaintiff, observing that no one can have a right to author on the teachings of the Quran and other Islamic books.

District (Commercial) Judge Sanjeev Kumar Aggarwal, in his order dated July 25, observed: “Some contents are bound to be similar, because the teaching given in the holy books, the Quran and Hadees, and other religious texts related to the Islamic religion are necessarily the same in all the books which concern the teaching of Islam. In my opinion, no one can have the copyright on these teachings which are written in the Holy Books of the Quran and Hadiths or other Islamic books.

The complaint was filed by Islamic Book Service (P) Ltd, a publisher and exporter of Islamic books located at Daryaganj in Delhi, claiming that Maulvi Abdul Aziz, as the owner and author of the literary work titled “Islami Taleemat”, series of books, Parts I to VIII, had ceded its copyright to the company unconditionally and had also delivered the manuscript of the work for consideration.

The company alleged that in May 2018 it learned that the accused, a certain Abdur Rauf Najeeb Bakali, had begun publishing Maulvi Aziz’s literary work under the name and style of “Islamic Studies from the First to the fifth year.

The company said that it has been publishing the “Studies in Islam” book series (Grade I to Grade VIII) exclusively and continuously since 1992 and it is being sold widely in Delhi as well as abroad. The company alleged that the defendant infringed its copyright on “Studies in Islam” by publishing the book “Islamic Studies”.

While considering whether the defendant had copied the contents of “Studies in Islam Grade I” into his book “Islamic Studies”, the court observed: “No comparison of the books of the plaintiff and the defendant has been given to show either in the complaint or in the evidence. of PW1 (prosecution witness) so that the defendant can be said to have copied the plaintiff’s book and thereby infringed the copyright of the book “Studies in Islam”.

Rejecting the company’s argument that the names of the books ‘Islamic Studies’ and ‘Islamic Studies’ were almost similar because they contained the words ‘Islam’ and ‘studies’, the court said: “In my opinion , there can be no copyright. on the word ‘Islam’ or ‘studies’. The name of the plaintiff’s book is “Studies in Islam” while the name of the defendant’s book is “Islamic Studies”. The color printing of the cover page of the two books is also very different.

The court therefore found that the company had “failed miserably” to prove that it owned a copyright in the book “Islamic Studies” or that the defendant had infringed the copyright of his book by publishing ” Islamic Studies”.

The court declared that the plaintiff was not entitled to any relief and dismissed the company’s lawsuit with a cost of Rs 50,000, which the company must pay to the defendant for the costs and expenses incurred by him.