Category Archives: Useful Information

The Monkey selfie and why Wikipedia is wrong

This article deals with the detailed explanation on why in the case of the Monkey Selfie, Wikipedia’s stand is wrong and why the photographer David J Slater is the true author of the work uploaded on Wikipedia.

The case in brief:

  • In 2011, nature photographer David Slater travelled to Indonesia to take photographs of the Celebes crested macaques
  • He had dropped one of his cameras which was picked up by one female monkey, who clicked a self-image / selfie.
  • The author distributed those images to various people.
  • One such image was uploaded on Wikipedia.
  • The author requested removal claiming copyright.
  • Wikipedia refused to remove the image claiming that no one held the copyright and it fell in the public domain. See: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Macaca_nigra_self-portrait.jpg

Wikipedia’s Stand:

“This file is in the public domain, because as the work of a non-human animal, it has no human author in whom copyright is vested.”

See: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Macaca_nigra_self-portrait_(rotated_and_cropped).jpg

Wikipedia said that the photo is uncopyrightable, since current US Copyright Office policy is that animals can’t own copyrights.

US Copyright Law: Copyright Compendium § 202.02(b):

The term ‘authorship’ implies that, for a work to be copyrightable, it must owe its origin to a human being. Materials produced solely by nature, by plants, or by animals are not copyrightable.

Is Wikipedia right?

No. Wikipedia has ignored the same yardstick that they are claiming to follow.

The US Copyright law clearly states that:  for a work to be copyrightable, it must owe its origin to a human being

The term origin definitely includes the facts that took place before the image was taken. This means that if David Slater had not gone to visit the monkeys with a camera, there would have been no photograph. It was his labour, skill and capital which was invested in the trip, which led to the taking of the photograph. The monkey would never have been able to lay her hands on a camera otherwise.

The law goes on to state that: Materials produced solely by nature, by plants, or by animals are not copyrightable.

This in itself shows the legislative intent that a design in the sand or a beautifully eroded rock cannot be copyrighted, because there was no human element behind it. However, this work was not solely created by the monkey. Unless monkeys invent camera’s in some form, they will not be able to claim sole rights to the photographs that they take.

Is David Slater the author of the work?

Yes. In order for a person to claim copyright, he should have expended a non-trivial amount of creativity or intellect to create the work. This means that the person claiming the work should not only have expended labour, skill and capital, but he must also have applied some creativity to the work. In the current case, David Slater has a strong argument to show that due to his creativity of setting up the camera system, he is the copyright holder.

Under UK Copyright law, would David Slater have got the copyright?

Yes. Under UK Copyright law, David Slater only required to show that he had taken some basic effort to create the work, whether it was original or not. Read: Sweat of the brow doctrine

Under Indian Copyright law, would David Slater have got the copyright?

Yes. As per the Indian Copyright Act, the author of a photograph is:

2(d)(iv) ….. the person taking the photograph;

The word “person” implies an individual or body of individuals whether incorporated or not. Animals are not “persons”

The word “taking” includes the meaning “causing the photograph to be taken”

It can be reasonably said that David Slater “caused the photograph to be taken” by dropping or losing the camera and then recovering it.

Is the selfie picture in the public domain?

No. The author owns the copyright and reserved his work from being published. The work does not fall in the public domain.

What about the monkey’s rights?

As of now the monkey has no more rights than chattel i.e. immovable property. This means that the monkey has no rights to hold property under any law in any jurisdiction.

Similar examples to buttress the submission:

  • In game sanctuaries, camera traps are setup to catch poachers or other wildlife. The camera is motion activated and clicks a picture upon detecting motion. Does this mean that the copyright belongs to the poachers? It cannot be.

 

High BEST Electricity Bill? Steps to complain and what to check before that

Off late many residents in Mumbai have been complaining that the B. E. S. & T. Undertaking, which supplies electricity to Mumbai, has been sending inflated or erroneous bills to Commercial as well as Residential users. BEST has been dealing with many unnecessary and incorrect complaints of high bills due to improper advertising of the Revised Electricity Tariffs as well as the ignorance of users.

This article explains how to deal with the legal aspects of a high BEST electricity bill and how to check what is causing the high bill before complaining and how to deal with the authorities to claim a compensation or rectification in the bill.

My BEST Bill is of a very high amount. What could the reasons be?

There are many reasons why you could be getting a high electricity bill. Some of them include:

  • Improper or old wiring
  • Old appliances, especially with heating elements like Water Geysers, Irons, Electric Stoves etc.
  • Theft of Electricity
  • Incorrect reading by the BEST
  • Faulty meter or Meter display broken
  • Mistake by BEST in processing the bill
  • Past outstanding bills accumulating
  • Revised tariff  (Most common cause)

How can I check what the correct reading of my BEST Bill should be?

1. Calculate your Electricity Consumption on the BEST Website:

http://bestundertaking.com/electric/electricity_calculator.asp

The Electricity Calculator will tell you approximately how many units should ideally be reflected on your bill.

Note: This may not be accurate if you have faulty or old equipment. An old fan will consume more units than what has been given as a reference in the electricity calculator.

2. Once you have the number of units consumed, you can check the tariff slab that you fall within.

MERC has permitted a revision in tariff by BEST with effect from 1-Apr-2014. The Revised Tariff for each month can be seen at:

http://bestundertaking.com/electric/fac_rates.asp

You need to check which user category you fall under and then accordingly multiply the number of units with the amount in each heading.

Eg: If you are User Type LT- 2(A) i.e. Commercial and have used 280 units in June 2014 your bill should be as follows:

  • Energy Charges = 280 x Rs. 7.45 = Rs. 2086
  • Transport Division Loss Recovery Charges = 280 x Rs. 1.48 = Rs. 414.4
  • FAC Rate / Fuel Adjustment Rate = 280 x Rs. 1.10 = Rs. 308

3. If you feel that the number of units used is very high, check your bill to compare with the units consumed in the last year same month.

This will give you an idea if your consumption has increased or the tariff has increased.

My bill seems to be incorrect or very high for the current month. I have suddenly got a very high bill of a ridiculous amount. How can I complain?

If after thorough checking you are sure that your bill is incorrect or high, you can follow the steps below:

1. Draft a complaint to the Internal Grievances Redressal Cell or use the draft sample below.

The Address of the office is given on your electricity bill. You can also find the details here: http://bestundertaking.com/pdf/Brihan%20Mumbai%20Electric%20Supply.pdf

Attach copies of the past 2 – 3 bills showing the discrepancy.

 

 

The law on Pollution Under Control (PUC) in India

The law on Pollution Under Control (PUC) in India

The law on Pollution Under Control (PUC) in India

This article explains about the Certification Mark of PUC for Motor Vehicles in India.

What is PUC?

PUC (Pollution Under Control) is a Certification Mark issued to certify that motor vehicles in India meet emission and pollution control norms.

Which vehicles must have PUC?

All motor vehicles must have a valid PUC Certificate.

The term motor vehicle is defined in Section 2(28) of The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988:

(28) “motor vehicle” or “vehicle” means any mechanically propelled vehicle adapted for use upon roads whether the power of propulsion is transmitted thereto from an external or internal source and includes a chassis to which a body has not been attached and a trailer; but does not include a vehicle running upon fixed rails or a vehicle of a special type adapted for use only in a factory or in any other enclosed premises or a vehicle having less than four wheels fitted with engine capacity of not exceeding twenty-five cubic centimetres; is transmitted thereto from an external or internal source and includes a chassis to which a body has not been attached and a trailer; but does not include a vehicle running upon fixed rails or a vehicle of a special type adapted for use only in a factory or in any other enclosed premises or a vehicle having less than four wheels fitted with engine capacity of not exceeding twenty-five cubic centimetres;”

What are the charges for PUC checking?

PUC charges vary from place to place, but are usually between Rs. 60 to Rs. 100 for a 4 wheeler – Petrol LMV.

What is the procedure for PUC tests?

For Diesel vehicles:

  • The accelerator should be fully pressed.
  • The reading of pollution levels should be noted with the acceleration pedal fully pressed.
  • The average of five readings is considered as the Final Reading

For Petrol vehicles:

  • The vehicle is kept idling without the accelerator pressed.
  • Only one reading is taken.

What is the validity of a PUC Certificate?


Sr. No. PUC Test Reading Validity
Petrol Diesel
1 Less than 3 % Less than 1.5 % Less than 50 Hartridge Smoke Units. 6 Months
2 3 to 4 % 1.5 to 2.5 % 50 to 60 Hartridge Smoke Units 4 Months
3 4 to 4.5 % 2.5 to 3.00 % 60 to 65 Hartridge Smoke Units 2 Months

What is the validity of PUC for a new car? When should the first PUC check be done on a new car?

The validity of PUC for a new car is 1 year from the date of registration.

Thereafter PUC tests must be done every 6 months. In the case of higher CO2 levels, refer to the table above.

What is required to undergo a PUC check?

Just your car.

What should be mentioned on the PUC Certificate?

The PUC certificate must mention:

  • the certificate serial number
  • the vehicle license plate number
  • the date of testing
  • the expiry date
  • the emission readings

Who is authorised to conduct a PUC test?

The persons conducting the test should hold a minimum qualification of certificate in Automobile Engineering or Motor Mechanics issued by Industrial Training Institute of Government of Maharashtra and should also know the procedure for minor adjustments/repairs with which the pollution levels can be brought down, without affecting overall performance of the engine.

What are the pollution limits?

Refer to the table above to know the permitted emission limits.

What if my motor vehicle exceeds the pollution limits?

Incase of vehicles showing higher level of emissions than the prescribed limits under Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 the registration number of such vehicles should be informed to concerned RTO, Dy. RTO Or Asst. RTO by the permit holder of the testing Centre within 24 hours.

What should I do with the PUC Certificate? Do I need to keep the PUC Certificate in the vehicle?

Yes. You must carry a valid PUC certificate in the vehicle.

As per the Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 Rule 115:

115. Emission of smoke, vapour, etc. from motor vehicles:
(7) After the expiry of a period of one year from the date on which the motor vehicle was first registered, every such vehicle shall carry a valid ‘Pollution under control’ certificate issued by an agency authorised for this purpose by the State Government. The validity of the certificate shall be for six months and the certificate shall always be carried in the vehicle and produced on demand by the officers referred to in sub-rule (1) of rule 116.

This means that you must have the PUC Certificate in the vehicle at all times and it must be produced immediately when asked by any officer not below the rank
of Sub-Inspector of Police or the Inspector of Motor Vehicles.

I have heard that it is NOT mandatory to keep the PUC Certificate in the vehicle and I can produce it within 7 days from the RTO officer asking me in writing.

That is NOT correct.

Section 115 (given above) is very clear that “the certificate shall always be carried in the vehicle and produced on demand”

It has been misinterpreted as being part of Section 116 which states that:

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-rule (7) of rule 115 any officer not below the rank of Sub-Inspector of Police or the Inspector of Motor Vehicles who has reason to believe that a motor vehicle is not complying with the provisions of sub-rule (2) or sub-rule (7) of rule 115, may in writing direct the driver or any person incharge of the vehicle to submit the vehicle for conducting the test to measure the standards of emission in any one of the authorised testing stations, and produce the certificate to an authority at the address mentioned in the written direction within 7 days from the date of conducting the check.

Section 116 clearly starts with the word notwithstanding.

This means that even if a vehicle has a valid PUC Certificate as given in section 115, but the officer believes that the vehicle maybe a source of pollution beyond the limits, he may ask for the vehicle to be rechecked.

This order to retest the vehicle for PUC norms, must be in writing and can be replied to within 7 days.

It does not mean that the PUC certificate need not be carried with the vehicle or that it can be produced within 7 days.

Is the PUC valid throughout India? Do I need to take a separate PUC if I am travelling to a different state in India?

Yes. The PUC certificate is valid throughout India.

As per section 116:

(8) The certificate issued under sub-rule (7) shall, while it remains effective be valid throughout India.

 

Noise Pollution complaint in Delhi

This article guides the reader on how to complain about Noise Pollution in Delhi.

  • Chronic Noise Pollution (Industrial Noise)
    Complain to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee: [email protected]
  • Noise from processions, festivals and private establishments
    Call Delhi Police on 100

    Ask for a complaint number. You can use this Complaint Number to follow up by SMS or call. You do not need to give your name or identity. 

Please send us feedback about your complaint experience and which method worked best for you at info @ lawgic.info

Noise Pollution complaint in Bangalore

This article guides the reader on how to complain about Noise Pollution in Bangalore.

  • Chronic Noise Pollution (Industrial Noise)
    Complain to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board:
    Call the Help Desk: 080-25589114
    Send an SMS Complaint to: 9449049049Email photographs of the location or offenders to:
    Chairman: [email protected]
    Member Secretary: [email protected]
    General: [email protected]
  • Noise from processions, festivals and private establishments
    Call Bangalore Police on 100 or 103Ask for a complaint number. You can use this Complaint Number to follow up by SMS or call. You do not need to give your name or identity. 

Please send us feedback about your complaint experience and which method worked best for you at info @ lawgic.info