SWA sets up legal fund for writers to fight plagiarism.
SWA is gearing up to start offering legal aid to writers so they can defend their intellectual property. It would include paying 50% of the lawyer’s fee and helping struggling writers file a case. The SWA, a 25,000-member union, doesn’t have an enforcement authority and the legal recourse is unaffordable for many writers. Executive Committee member Anjum Rajabali explains, “ We decided to set up a legal aid fund which will work on a case-to-case basis. If there is a need, we will allot more than 50 percent.”
The film body is also in the process of setting up a panel of copyright lawyers who will offer their services at concessional rates. “We have an expert on copyright law who is our first point of contact and examines complaints to determine if they warrant filing a case,” he reveals, adding that the case is then forwarded to the dispute settlement committee.”
He goes on to assert that the SWA puts in thorough research to determine cases of infringement, so a letter from the association should be treated seriously. “The industry should be conscious that the material that they are getting isn’t copied. ”