Surat: In a landmark case for the Indian diamond industry, the Surat police have arrested two individuals for copyright infringement, marking the first instance of such a crime in the sector. The Surat District and Sessions Court has remanded both the accused in five-day police custody for the crime.
The accused, former service engineers at Lexus-Octonus, a leading diamond machinery manufacturer, stand accused of selling illegal copies of the company's popular 3D helium diamond scanning and planning software.
"This is a significant development for the Indian diamond industry," says Utpal Mistry, co-owner of Lexus-Octonus. "Copyright infringement not only hurts legitimate businesses like ours but also undermines the ethical and legal framework upon which the entire industry rests."
The accused, Hasmukh Luhar and Ravindra Katariya, worked at Lexus-Octonus for six years before allegedly creating and selling unauthorized copies of the company's software. Lexus-Octonus estimates their losses due to this illegal activity to exceed ₹15 crore.
"Earlier, the accused confessed to their actions and signed a notarized affidavit vowing to cease such activity," shares Nimesh Africawala, Chief Administrator at Lexus-Octonus. "However, they continued to sell the software at extremely low prices, prompting us to file a formal complaint with the police."
Surat police nabbed the duo
The Surat police acted on the complaint and apprehended the duo, securing a five-day remand for further investigation. Industry experts believe this case sets a critical precedent in protecting intellectual property within the diamond sector.
"The use of copied software is not uncommon in the industry," admits an anonymous source close to the investigation. "Many manufacturers, including some De Beers sight holders, are tempted by the lower costs of such unlicensed equipment, ignoring the legal and ethical implications."
Such actions can tarnish Indian diamond industry's image
However, concerns are mounting about the potential damage this practice can inflict on the global image of the Indian diamond industry.
"If this issue of copyright infringement and hacking isn't addressed effectively, it can seriously tarnish the reputation of the industry," observes industry veteran Kirti Shah. "We need to strengthen our legal system and raise awareness about intellectual property rights to ensure the industry operates ethically and sustainably."