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Did CLAT 2015 infringe copyright by plagiarising questions? SpicyIP thinks maybe yes

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2015 paper-setters may have breached the copyright of an online portal and Common Admission Test (CAT) guidebooks, in addition to committing a cognizable offence under the Information Technology Act 2000, argues SpicyIP.

All but 15 out of 153 questions in CLAT 2015 were exactly lifted from various sources online and offline, according to an open letter published on Legally India.

27 out of the 153 plagiarised questions, were lifted from gktoday.in which has published a total of 300 questions on its website.

It has been held that question papers are copyrightable but separate questions are not, allowing a small portion of copyrighted papers to be copied without breaching copyright, but this does not apply to a situation where a staggering 10 per cent of the paper is plagiarised, argues the post.

The Supreme Court has also held that fair dealing cannot be a defense for copyright infringement.

CAT specifically published a disclaimer on its website that “disclosing, publishing, reproducing, transmitting, storing, or facilitating transmission and storage of the contents of the CAT or any information therein in whole or part thereof… may constitute a cognizable offence punishable with imprisonment for a term up to three years and fine up to Rs. two lakhs”.

The CLAT committee is now selling the copyright-breaching question paper for Rs 250 online, through a paywall, and at further cost if it is to be posted to an offline address.

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