Intermediaries rejoice after key appeal win by Myspace

By Daksh Kumar, LexOrbis
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Freedom of speech and expression over the internet influence the entire online community, professionally and personally, in varying degrees. In India, the statutory framework on these issues has been inept and judicial precedent to shed light on the complex legal and technical issues involved has been lacking.

Daksh_Kumar at LexOrbis
Daksh Kumar
Managing associate
LexOrbis

The debate of online free speech and expression versus private censorship has been raging for nearly a decade in India and during its course the Copyright Act, 1957 (CA), the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act), and the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011, have been amended. The amendments have ensured specific clarification of terms and concepts such as “intermediary”, “primary and secondary copyright infringement”, “actual knowledge”, “due diligence”, “notice and take down” and “safe harbour”, to achieve a balance between safeguarding of rights and interests and effective law enforcement.

The debate dates back to a dispute in 2008 between Myspace – an entertainment and social networking website that allows users to upload and download music, videos and images – and Super Cassettes Industries (SCIL), a popular Indian music production house. SCIL filed a civil suit against Myspace seeking a permanent injunction and damages, claiming copyright infringement as Myspace was allegedly hosting SCIL’s content without obtaining a valid licence.

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Daksh Kumar is a managing associate at LexOrbis.

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