Ex-VC sues VTU over copyright muddle

Ex-VC sues VTU over copyright muddle

On May 19 last, former VC Balaveera Reddy lodged a private complaint in the 2nd Judicial Magistrate First Class Court, Belgaum accusing Registrar K V A Balaji and another former VC H P Khincha of "breach of trust, cheating, and defaming the complainant" by removing his name as an author from a prescribed textbook.

According to Reddy, he and eight other professors - S Mohan Kumar, Umesh, Thryambaka Murthy, Rajashekhar Patil, Pilli, Uday Kokatnur, Purohit and Shashidhar - had written "A Primer on Computer Aided Engineering Drawing" in 2006 when he was the VC.

Later, they handed over the book to the University for making it available to students at an affordable price and also to avoid royalty issues.  The university published the book, pricing it at Rs 50 but also prescribed it as a textbook for first and second semesters of all streams.

All the authors comprised the Editorial Board of which he was the Chief Editor on account of being the Vice Chancellor, Reddy added.  However, Reddy said, his name and photograph and preface were replaced while keeping the names of eight other authors intact for the second edition in September 2009 after he became the VC.

Hearing the deposition of four witnesses - S Mohan Kumar, Umesh (two co-authors), M S Shivakumar, and V Nagaraj Rao - and inspecting the relevant documents, Vasudev G Gudi, the 2nd JMFC Judge, registered the complaint as a criminal case and issued the summons to the duo for appearing before him in person on October 28.  On their part, both Balaji and Khincha refused to comment on the issue saying the matter was sub judice. Further, they have not received the summons yet.

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