India has been ranked as the country with the world's most consumer friendly intellectual property (IP) laws since its copyright regulations allow citizens great freedom to access and utilise information for educational and development purposes. This emerged in a study of 16 countries, including economically advanced ones, undertaken by the Malaysia-based Consumers International, which calls itself the 'world's only global consumer advocacy body.' Consumers International said its first IP Watch List focused on copyright – which has 'the most immediate impact on consumers' access to knowledge and thereby on their educational, cultural and developmental opportunities.' In the listing which saw India come out on top, the other countries with good ratings were South Korea, China, the US and Indonesia. At the bottom of the list were Britain, Thailand, Argentina, Brazil and Chile. India was rated high (with a B average on a scale of A to F) in terms of its scope and duration of copyright as well as the freedom of access and use it gave to home users, content creators, the press and those in public affairs. However, despite topping the list, India didn't do so well and got a C scale in terms of the leeway it allows for disabled users to access copyrighted work. Likewise, it got only a D when it came to freedom to access and use copyrighted work by libraries. Consumers International called for a 'balanced copyright regime in which the importance of copyright flexibilities and of the maintenance of a vibrant public domain are upheld.' India's strengths and weaknesses of its copyright laws – from a consumer's perspective -were closely studied.
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