It is common for intermediaries, such as Yahoo or Google, that have a global presence to include content on their website that can be instantly uploaded and downloaded by an unlimited number of users. This content can also be converted into a single digital stream and easily manipulated to create a variety of works.
However, problems arise when real time or downloadable content is placed on an intermediary’s website without the permission of the owner of the copyright of the intellectual property.
The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011, notified on 11 April, aim to address issues regarding infringement of copyright of content. The rules mandate that all intermediaries need to carry out due diligence before uploading content on a website. This will be necessary in order to enjoy exemption from liability for hosting any third-party information under section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The protection afforded by the “safe harbour” provision under the act corresponds with that in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the US. This provision was analysed in great detail in Viacom International Inc v YouTube, Inc.
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Madhu Chaudhary Gadodia is a partner at Naik Naik & Co. She specializes in IPR, media and entertainment laws and litigation. Rishabh G Mastaram is a senior associate and deals with FEMA, corporate and commercial transactions. The firm was founded by Ameet Naik. It is a full-service law firm with specific focus on entertainment, real estate, retail and technology. It has a pan-India presence.
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