Is Protecting Internet Intermediaries and Forgetting their Users Wrong

Ed Note: The following is a guest post by Abhijeet Singh Rawaley, a student of NALSAR University of Law.

The law surrounding online intermediary liability in cases concerning copyright infringement has posed a major interpretive challenge in Indian jurisprudence. The division bench of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in its 2016 December judgment attempted to resolve the same in MySpace Inc. v. Super Cassettes Industries Ltd. While the case dealt with a host of issues in copyright law, this post shall limit its analysis and critique the judgment on its discussion and holding concerning the role played by online intermediaries. It is devoted to understanding as to how we can create a framework of internet governance that not only protects intermediaries where they deserve and merit protection from liability, but also makes them more accountable and responsible actors who wield significant command over a valuable media such as the internet. The interpretative impediment in the case arose due to the prima facie discord between Section 79 and the proviso to Section 81 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

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The Right to Be Forgotten – An Explanation

Ed. Note.: This post, by Ashwin Murthy, is a part of the NALSAR Tech Law Forum Editorial Test 2016.

The right to be forgotten is the right of an individual to request search engines to take down certain results relating to the individual, such as links to personal information if that information is inadequate, irrelevant or untrue. For example, if a person’s name is searched on Google and certain information appears relating to that person, the person can request Google to remove that information from the search results. This has its largest application in crime and non-consensual pornography (revenge porn or the distribution of sexually explicit material depicting a person without their consent). If X committed a petty crime and a person searching X’s name finds this petty crime, it leads to an obvious negative impact to X, in terms of job prospects as well as general social stigmatisation. X can ask the providers of the search engine to remove this result, claiming his right to be forgotten. The right is not necessarily an absolute right – in its current stage of discussion it merely applies to information that is inadequate, irrelevant or untrue and not any and all information relating to the person. Further there lies a distinction between the right to privacy and the right to be forgotten – the right to privacy is of information not available to the public while the right to be forgotten is removal of information already available publicly.

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TORRENTS: THE LEGAL RAMIFICATIONS

Ed. Note.: This 101, by Kaustub Bhati, is a part of the NALSAR Tech Law Forum Editorial Test 2016.

Have you ever used a torrent to download something not available freely? You must have. Ever wondered how it works and why there is so much fuss about it being illegal and people using it might face legal sanctions?

A torrent is typically a file sharing method in which large media files are shared between private computers by gathering different pieces of the file you want and downloading these pieces simultaneously from people who already have these files. This process increases the download speed manifold. An example would be if 5,000 people are downloading the same file then it doesn’t put much pressure on the main server itself but what happens is that every individual use contributes upload speed which in turn ensures that the file transfer is fast. The download, hence, doesn’t really take place from the main server but from the 4999 other users currently downloading. This is typically known as P2P or Peer-to-Peer sharing method.[1]

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