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Timeline of Intermediary Liability Cases

Online communication, e-commerce and exchange of information are an essential components of our daily lives. Online intermediaries such as social media websites, search engines, e-commerce sites, internet and telecommunication service providers (TSPs), have a substantial role to play in facilitating such online activities. "Intermediary Liability" refers to the allocation of legal responsibility to online platforms, for the content which is hosted on their platforms. Online intermediaries often find themselves locking horns with the Government on this issue. While the former claim that they are not responsible for the content on their website, the latter disagrees and tries to find ways to hold them accountable. This boils down to issues like allowing for the posting of hate speech by users. Currently, Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 protects intermediaries from being held liable in certain cases. These include cases where the intermediary does not initiate the transmission, select the receiver of the transmission, and select or modify the information contained in the transmission. This page gives a chronological listing of the prominent cases in India which deal with the issue of intermediary liability. In case we have missed any listing, please use the report link

 

07.10.2020

 
 
Name : Reliance Industries Limited &Anr.v OLX India B.V. & Anr, CS(COMM) 144/2020

Court : Delhi High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 07.10.2020
 

Summary : The Plaintiffs filed a suit alleging that immense harm and injury had been caused to the Plaintiff's goodwill and reputation due to the fake and fraudulent advertisements which were being published on the Defendant's website, olx.in, through the usage of words such as Jio Jobs, Reliance Trend Jobs, etc., consequently infringing Plaintiffs' registered trademarks Jio and Reliance. Plaintiffs further contended that a number of job seekers were being duped and money was being extorted from them under the false pretext of a job. Plaintiffs provided four such fake and fraudulent links in the plaint.

Judgement/ Last Order : The court granted the plaintiff an interim injunction against OLX India and restrained it from publishing certain advertisements which were allegedly causing harm to the company’s goodwill and reputation. The court further directed the defendant to file the written statement and reply affidavit to indicate the process implemented by them as also consequently infringing Plaintiffs' the due diligence carried out, and the precautions which were being taken so the platform of the defendants was not misused for posting illegal advertisements. The matter is pending before the High Court and is listed on 27.11.2020.
 

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07.10.2020

 
 
Name : Reliance Industries Limited &Anr.v OLX India B.V. & Anr, CS(COMM) 143/2020

Court : Delhi High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 07.10.2020
 

Summary : The Plaintiff filed a suit alleging that fake and fraudulent advertisements had been posted at the defendant's web portal, quickr.com, which were luring innocent job seekers into fake and fraudulent assurances for jobs, while also infringing the Plaintiffs' registered trademarks and trade names, Jio and Reliance including their variations. The Plaintiff also filed documents to show that two persons were lured by such advertisements and they were issued fake job letters after payment of fees. The plaintiff also put across the fact in front of the Court that Quikr charges its customers on the basis of the facilities it provides.

Judgement/ Last Order : Court observed that the Defendant was not running its portal for charity but to earn income, therefore its plea that it had no mechanism to ascertain the authenticity of the posts, could not be accepted. The Court held that any action of the defendant which had a cascading effect not only on the plaintiffs' right in the trademark, copyright etc. but also affects the gullible job seekers, had to undertaken with sufficient due diligence and in compliance with the relevant provisions. The High Court restrained the defendant, its agents, servants, affiliates from putting on their portal any advertisement containing the name/mark JIO and RELIANCE with its variations and/or any other mark which had deceptive similarity to the plaintiffs' registered trademarks. The matter was last heard on 07.10.2020 and is still pending adjudication before the court. The next date of hearing is 27.11.2020.
 

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23.09.2020

 
 
Name : Jagran Prakashan Limited v. Telegram FZ LLC, CS(COMM) 146/2020

Court : Delhi High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 23.09.2020
 

Summary : The Plaintiff company Jagran Prakashan is a leading newspaper publication having wide circulation both in physical and digital media. The Plaintiff approached the High Court with a grievance that Telegram, a Dubai-based company, had allowed its users to create various channels without disclosing their identity and these channels were being used to upload the e-papers of the plaintiff in PDF format on a daily basis. This was not only causing “serious financial loss” but was also infringing its trademark and copyright in the e-newspaper as this feature was available to a user only if he or she subscribed to the e-paper while visiting its official website.

Judgement/ Last Order : The Court directed the messaging app, Telegram to disclose the basic subscriber information/identity of users/owners of the channels who were using email/address mentioned in the pleadings. It also directed Telegram to take down the channels which were indulging in similar activities infringing the copyright of the plaintiff, within 48 hours. Vide its Order dated 23.09.2020, the High Court directed for the interim order to continue.
 

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02.03.2020

 
 
Name : PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd. v. Facebook, Inc., CS(OS) 291/2018

Court : Delhi High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 02.03.2020
 

Summary : The Plaintiff moved before the Delhi High Court praying for grant of an ex-parte interim injunction against Facebook, YouTube and others to remove, take down or block/ restrict access to the URLs/ links for allegedly hosting a video uploaded by an anonymous person who claimed in the said video that the product of the plaintiff company was harmful since it contained plastic. The person in the video also stated that consumption of the product of the plaintiff would cause death.

Judgement/ Last Order : The High Court gave a direction to the defendants to block the URLs/weblinks or any other video which was similar, and the ones which were mentioned in the list of documents filed by the plaintiff. The case was dismissed as withdrawn on 02.03.2020, after the parties arrived at a settlement.
 

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11.02.2020

 
 
Name : In Re: Prajwala, SMW (Crl) No. 3/2015

Court : Supreme Court of India

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 11.02.2020 (Last Order)
 

Summary : Hyderabad-based NGO Prajwala wrote a letter dated 18.02.2015, addressed to the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India, highlighting the issue of recording and online circulation of videos containing sexual violence. The Court took suo moto cognizance in this case, highlighting that it was an issue of great public importance. The letter also included a set of suggestions, including issuance of directions to the Ministry of Home Affairs to look into the matter with the help of intermediaries like Google, YouTube and Facebook.

Judgement/ Last Order : The court ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to begin an investigation in this case with immediate effect. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Ministry of Home Affairs were directed to put the concerned web portals under the scanner. A Committee was formed under the Chairmanship of Dr. Ajay Kumar, the then Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Electronics and IT, to assist and advise the court on the feasibility of preventing videos containing sexual abuse/ violence, from appearing online. A two-part report was submitted by the Committee, containing its deliberations and recommendations in respect of the issue of upload and circulation of sexually abusive/violent videos online. All parties including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo!, WhatsApp and the Government were directed by the Court to implement all the recommendations at the earliest. On 11.12.2018, a short affidavit was filed on behalf of the Ministry of Home Affairs. It was directed by the Hon'ble Court that the Government of India may frame the necessary guidelines/ SOP and implement them within two weeks as to eliminate child pornography, rape and gang rape imageries, videos and sites in content hosting platforms and other applications. The court on 11.12.2018 ordered the Government of India to frame the necessary Guidelines / SOP and implement them within two weeks so as to eliminate child pornography, rape and gang rape imageries, videos and sites in content hosting platforms and other applications. The case was last listed on 11.02.2020 when it was prayed to be listed on a non-miscellaneous day after four weeks. The case is likely to be listed on 19.11.2020.
 

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05.02.2020

 
 
Name : Laksh Vir Singh Yadav v. Union of India & Ors., W.P. (C) 1021/2016

Court : Delhi High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 05.02.2020 (Last Order)
 

Summary : The petitioner had initially placed a request before Indian Kanoon and Google to remove his name from their search results as it was affecting his employment prospects. He then filed a Writ Petition before the High Court, contending that the criminal case between his wife and his mother was being reflected in the search results, each time his name was searched on the Internet, which gave an impression that he was in some way involved in the matter, thereby adversely affecting his reputation.

Judgement/ Last Order : This case is still pending before the High Court. In its last hearing on held 05.02.20, the application seeking impleadment of the wife of the petitioner as a co-petitioner was allowed by the Court.
 

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14.01.2020

 
 
Name : YouTube LLC v. Geeta Shrof, FAO 93/2018

Court : Delhi High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 14.01.2020
 

Summary : An appeal arose before the High Court as a consequence of non compliance of an injunction Order passed by the trial Court which had directed the Appellant to remove the allegedly offensive post which had caused damage to the reputation of the Respondent.

Judgement/ Last Order : The Court stated that it was the absence of data localization laws which allowed platforms to claim the inability to remove illegal content. The Court held that the appellant had not challenged the injunction order and therefore it had attained finality. The Court found no merit in the appeal and held that it was liable to be dismissed. As noted in the Order dated 14.01.2020, the Respondent did not want to pursue the case any further and the review Petition was disposed off in terms of the said request.
 

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10.12.2019

 
 
Name : Google v. Visakha Industries, Criminal Appeal No. 1987 of 2014

Court : Supreme Court of India

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 10.12.2019
 

Summary : Vishakha Industries had earlier filed a criminal defamation case against an individual who had published allegedly defamatory articles in a group under the name “Ban Asbestos”. Since Google was hosting the group on its Google Group platform, it was made a party in this case. It was alleged that Google had failed to take down the defamatory articles despite being sent multiple requests by the company. Google approached the High Court of Andhra Pradesh for quashing of the complaint, claiming that as it was an intermediary under section 79 of the IT act, it could not be held liable for publications which were made in the group. The Petition filed by Google was rejected by the High Court which held that being an intermediary, Google had failed to show due diligence by not removing the defamatory content and therefore it could not be allowed to claim exemption under section 79 of the IT act. Google then filed an appeal before the Supreme Court.

Judgement/ Last Order : The Court held that since the complaint had been filed before Section 79 of the IT Act had been expanded with the scope of safe harbor, the case had to be decided as per the un-amended section 79. The court held that an intermediary under the extant provisions of section 79 could not seek protection of the said provision if it had failed to remove or disable access to objectionable content even after receiving actual knowledge thereof. The Court found that in the instant case, despite receiving notice about dissemination of defamatory information, the appellant did not take any action to stop the dissemination of unlawful and objectionable material and this conduct on part of the appellant disentitled it from claiming protection under the unamended section 79.
 

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24.10.2019

 
 
Name : Janani Krishnamurthy v. Union of India & Others, W. P. 20214/2018

Court : Madras High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 24.10.2019 (Transfer of the case before the Supreme Court)
 

Summary : Animal Rights activist Krishnamurthy filed a writ of mandamus to link Aadhaar number with social media accounts as she was being trolled and harassed on Facebook. Her PIL was linked with the PIL filed by Antony Clement Rubin.

Judgement/ Last Order : The HC had rejected the possibility of linking Aadhaar to social media accounts, and instead it chose to expand the scope of the case to deal with issues such as curbing cybercrime and issues around intermediary liability. Vide its order dated 24.10.2019, the Supreme Court has directed this matter to be transferred to the Supreme Court.
 

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24.10.2019

 
 
Name : Antony Clement Rubin v. Union of India & Ors, W.P. No. 20774/2018

Court : Madras High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 24.10.2019 (Transfer of the case before the Supreme Court)
 

Summary : The Petitioner was a member of the Jallikattu Monitoring Committee which had been formed to make sure that bulls were not ill-treated during the Jallikattu event. By virtue of holding that position, the petitioner was subjected to abuse and harassment on social media. He then approached the police but the abuses and threats continued. Troubled by his plight, the activist approached the Madras High Court, which gave a direction to the police to arrest the accused persons. The police then expressed their inability to arrest the perpetrators and the case was dismissed. The Petitioner then filed another Petition, praying for linking of Aadhaar numbers with social media accounts to ensure traceability of anonymous users on the Internet who were engaging in cyber crimes.

Judgement/ Last Order : The HC had rejected the possibility of linking Aadhaar to social media accounts, and instead it chose to widen the scope of the case to deal with issues such as curbing cybercrime and issues relating to intermediary liability. The last order was passed by the Madras High Court on 27.06.2019, before the case was transferred to the Supreme Court. By order dated 24.10.2019, the Supreme Court has directed this matter to be transferred and heard by the Court.
 

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23.10.2019

 
 
Name : Swami Ramdev and Anr. vs. Facebook Inc. & Ors, CS(OS) 27/2019

Court : Delhi High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 23.10.2019
 

Summary : The Petitioner in this case Swami Ramdev requested the Court to order global takedown of content (videos) which was allegedly defamatory in nature, from online platforms Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter and a few other online intermediaries. The content in question were videos about a book on Swami Ramdev titled 'Godman to Tycoon - The untold story of Baba Ramdev'. The Petitioner had already obtained a restraining order on the publishing of the said book in a separate suit before the Delhi High Court. All the intermediaries agreed to remove the objectionable/defamatory content from their respective India specific domains and ensure blocking of access but on the question of global takedowns, the intermediaries raised objections based on the principles of international comity, different standards of speech and defamation in different jurisdictions and upon the assertion that they did not actively monitor uploads on their platforms.

Judgement/ Last Order : The court held that online platforms can be ordered to take down content globally by a competent court in India. The court held that when information is uploaded on internet platforms, it is available on their global services and therefore at the time of takedown too, the platforms must remove the content from their global domains and not just globally. The court also said that the IT Act provides for extra territorial application for offences or contraventions committed outside India, as long as the computer system or network was located in India.
 

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22.10.2019

 
 
Name : Facebook Inc. v. Union of India, T. P. (C) No. 001943 - 001946/2019

Court : Supreme Court of India

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 22.10.2019 (Transfer Petitions were allowed by the SC)
 

Summary : Facebook approached the Supreme Court seeking to transfer a set of cases regarding Aadhaar-social media linking. In particular, it prayed for the transfer of four cases pending before three High Courts: two before the Madras High Court, one before the Bombay High Court and one before the Madhya Pradesh High Court, before the Supreme Court. Facebook's concern was that the High Courts may produce conflicting judgments, which would consequently hinder its ability to operate its platform uniformly across India. The main issue in the petitions is about the manner in which the intermediaries should provide information, including the names of the originators of any content which is shared on their platforms. Some intermediaries have submitted that they cannot provide information about the content or the originator of the content because they have end to end encryption and therefore they are unable to find the originator or what the content is. A professor from IIT had filed an affidavit before the Madras High Court, stating that he was in a position to provide the technology which would allow intermediaries to de-encrypt encrypted messages and both the content and the identity of the originator of content can be traced. Another professor filed an affidavit taking a contrary stand.

Judgement/ Last Order : The SC vide its Order dated 24.09.2019, underlined the various issues involved in this case and highlighted the point that if de-encryption was made available easily, it could defeat the fundamental right to privacy and although de-encryption of messages could be done in special situations, it must be ensured that the right to privacy of individuals was not infringed. Vide its Order dated 22.10.2019, the Hon'ble Supreme Court allowed the transfer of cases and called for the records of the cases before itself.
 

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08.07.2019

 
 
Name : Amway India Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. v. 1MG Technologies Pvt. Ltd., CS (OS) 410/2018

Court : Delhi High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 08.07.2019
 

Summary : The plaintiff company namely Amway India Enterprises Ltd, filed a few suits against a number of defendants (e-commerce companies), praying for directions to restrain them from selling, offering for sale and advertising the products which carried the brand of the plaintiff, without any prior consent or authorization. Amway did not allow sale of its products without prior permission and its "Direct Selling" model is based on the sale of products through direct seller members under a contract and is in line with the Direct Selling Guidelines, 2016 issued by the Indian Government.

Judgement/ Last Order : The Court held that safe harbor could not be claimed by an e-commerce platform if: • it did not strictly observe and adhere to its own internal policies • it did not demonstrably comply with the due diligence requirements under the Intermediary Guidelines, 2011 • it did not take measures to ensure that it was not inducing breach of third party contracts, once notified of the same. The Court issued directions to the Defendants, restraining them from advertising, displaying, offering for sale of products of the plaintiff on the e-commerce platforms. It was also held that the Direct Selling Guidelines are binding on e-commerce platforms and the sellers on such platforms.
 

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10.05.2019

 
 
Name : UTV Software Communication Ltd. & Ors. v. 1337X.to & Ors., CS (COMM) 724/ 2017

Court : Delhi High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 10.05.2019
 

Summary : The Petitioners filed a case, praying for issuance of injunctions against a number of websites which were allegedly claimed were hosting copyright protected content.

Judgement/ Last Order : On April 10, 2019, the Delhi High Court formulated a new jurisprudence around copyrighted content on the internet - 'dynamic injunctions' thereby allowing rights holders to directly approach the joint registrar of the Delhi High Court, seeking blocking orders against similar websites which stood in violation of the same content, instead of taking the arduous route of obtaining a judicial order in each case.
 

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24.04.2019

 
 
Name : S. Muthukumar v. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, WP(MD) No.7855 of 2019

Court : Madurai bench of the Madras High Court & Supreme Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 24.04.2019
 

Summary : The petitioner S. Muthukumar filed a Public Interest Litigation praying for imposition of a ban on the download and use of the mobile application TikTok, which allegedly hosted explicit content that degraded culture, encouraged pornography and adversely affected teenagers who had become addicted to the platform.

Judgement/ Last Order : On April 3, 2019, the court issued an ex parte interim order, directing the authorities to ban the download of TikTok mobile app in India along with restricting media from telecasting videos made on the app. The court stated that the use of TikTok could prove to be harmful to children and it was the responsibility of the government to prevent misuse of such apps. Following the said order, the TikTok app was removed from mobile app stores. The court did not consider TikTok's intermediary status as per the Information Technology Act, 2000, before issuing the ban. Subsequently, an appeal was filed by Bytedance (parent company of TikTok's), before the Supreme Court which on April 22, 2019, directed the Madras High Court bench to decide on the matter by April 24, 2019. On April 24, 2019, after hearing Bytedance and considering the reply filed by TikTok as an undertaking that negative and inappropriate content would be removed from its platform, the court vacated its order banning TikTok.
 

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12.11.2018

 
 
Name : Skullcandy, Inc. v. Shri Shyam Telecom & Ors., CS(COMM) 979/2016

Court : Delhi High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 12.11.2018
 

Summary : The plaintiff filed a suit seeking an injunction against use of the trademark 'SKULLCANDY' by the defendants and against the sale of the 'SKULLCANDY' products on the defendant's website www.shopclues.com.

Judgement/ Last Order : The court held that the website www.shopclues.com could not be deemed to have an exemption under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 as the role of the website was more than that of an intermediary, because of the following factors: i. the website guaranteed that "all products are 100% genuine" ii. repeated sales of counterfeit products had been found on the website. iii. Despite several infringement actions against it, the website did not take any precautions to stop sale of counterfeit products. iv. There was a separate category for replicas on its website. v. The REPLICA window encouraged sellers to post lookalike products as the feature of the replica window would constitute aiding and abetment of violation of intellectual property.
 

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02.11.2018

 
 
Name : Christian Louboutin Sas v. Nakul Bajaj & Ors, Civil Suit No. 344/2018

Court : Delhi High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 02.11.2018
 

Summary : The plaintiff was a manufacturer of luxury shoes having good reputation and goodwill of its brand. The name "Christian Louboutin" in word and in form was registered as two separate trademarks in India. The defendant was the operator of a website called www.darveys.com. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant on its website had put up the products of the plaintiff for sale but it had also put up counterfeit products, giving an impression that it was in some way sponsored, affiliated and approved for sale of luxury products bearing the mark of the plaintiff and the said action infringed the plaintiff's trademark.

Judgement/ Last Order : The court found that the defendant website had complete control over the products which were listed on its platform and it was also involved in identification of sellers, promotion and sale of their products in India and therefore their role was beyond that of an intermediary. It held that any active contribution by the platform or online marketplace completely removes the ring of protection or exemption which exists for intermediaries under section 79 of the IT Act.
 

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23.08.2018

 
 
Name : Luxottica Group S.P.A. and Ors. v Mify Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and Ors., CS (COMM) 453/2016

Court : Delhi High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 23.08.2018
 

Summary : Plaintiff was a company which was in the business of manufacturing and marketing of products related to eyewear including lenses, optical frames, sunglasses and related goods. A company titled M/s. Oakley Inc. was created in the year 1975 and it had created the mark "OAKLEY" which was registered in India under various classes. This word was also used as a part of the trademark and trade name for goods such as sports gear equipment, pads, helmets etc. Plaintiffs filed a suit against the defendants for sale of counterfeit goods on their website, claiming they were selling low quality and counterfeit products under the brand name "OAKLEY".

Judgement/ Last Order : The Court held that the defendant website would not receive the benefit of safe harbor as: The website policy made simultaneous claims in respect of the authenticity of products on its platform while also stating that it was only a facilitator for sale of products; It was not meeting its due diligence requirements under Section 79; It was also involved in the shipping of the counterfeited products. The defendant website was held to have been actively participating in the commission of an offence and therefore could be proceeded against together with the actual sellers of the (illegal) products. The court held that the defendants were guilty of infringement of trade mark and copyright. The defendant website was directed to disclose all the details of all its sellers, their addresses and contact details, on its website. It was also directed to get a certificate from its sellers, stating that the goods were genuine. The defendant website was further directed to enter into proper agreement with its sellers wherein it would obtain a guarantees and warrantees from the sellers in respect of authenticity of the products and that it would only list those sellers on its platforms which gave it certain guarantees.
 

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13.12.2017

 
 
Name : Sabu Mathew George v. Union of India, W.P. (Civil) No. 341 of 2008 (2017) 7 SCC 657

Court : Supreme Court of India

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 13.12.2017
 

Summary : The petitioner filed a writ petition seeking a ban on advertisements related to pre-natal sex determination from search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. The petitioner alleged that the display of results containing such advertisements, violated Section 22 of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 (PCPNDT Act).

Judgement/ Last Order : The court held that intermediaries have an obligation to remove unlawful content from their networks. Despite there being a ruling in Shreya Singhal which stated that intermediaries must not be asked to exercise their personal judgment for determination of legality of content on their platform, the court in this case imposed an obligation upon the intermediaries to proactively filter their platforms for illegal content.
 

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12.09.2017

 
 
Name : The Registrar (Judicial), Madurai bench of Madras High Court v. The Secretary to Government, Union Ministry of Communications, Government of India, New Delhi and Ors., 2018 (1) CTC 506

Court : Madras High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 12.09.2017
 

Summary : This case arose from the unfortunate demise of a 19-year old student, allegedly after playing the online game “The Blue Whale Challenge”. The game consisted of a series of 50 extreme tasks which ended with the player committing suicide. When the news of the suicide was published on 01.09.2017, the High Court directed the registry to register the case as a Suo Moto Public Interest Litigation.

Judgement/ Last Order : The Court issued directions to the Central and State Governments to take steps to block access to the game, as well as requiring internet service providers to take due diligence to remove all links and hash tags related to the Blue Whale Challenge. The High Court gave a direction that the internet service providers must be directed to take due diligence to remove the links and hash-tags being circulated on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter etc and also in dark net URLs/links related to the Blue Whale Game. The central and state governments were given other directions to ensure removal of links and access to the game. In addition to the aforementioned steps, government was also directed to ensure that educational institutions in Tamil Nadu sensitized and warned students and parents about the game and the dangers of the digital world.
 

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21.08.2017 (Order)

 
 
Name : Kamlesh Vaswani v. Union of India, [W.P.(C) No. 177/2013]

Court : Supreme Court of India

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 21.08.2017 (Order)
 

Summary : A Public Interest Litigation was filed before the Court, challenging Sections 66, 67, 69, 71, 72, 75, 79, 80 and 85 of the IT Act as being unconstitutional, as they were argued to be insufficient in dealing with the rampant availability of pornographic material in India. The petitioner also prayed that intermediaries should be asked to proactively filter out pornographic content from public access.

Judgement/ Last Order : The court directed the Cyber Regulations Advisory Committee to explore ways to block pornographic content online. It tasked the Internet and Mobile Association of India with identifying a list of websites to be blocked. In its last order on 21.08.17, the status report and the response to the status report had been submitted by the respondent and the petitioner respectively.
 

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05.05.2017

 
 
Name : Ashish Bhalla v. Suresh Chawdhary [CS (OS) No. 188/2016]

Court : Delhi High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 05.05.2017
 

Summary : The plaintiff had filed a suit for permanent injunction and seeking damages for defamation against the administrator of Telegram and Google groups on which the alleged defamatory content had been shared by another user.

Judgement/ Last Order : In its interim Order dated 29.11.2016, the Court stated that the admin would not be held responsible for the posts made on the group. The Court opined that making an administrator of an online platform liable for defamation would be like making the manufacturer of the newsprint on which defamatory statements are published, liable for defamation. It is not like without the permission of the admin, the members will not post anything bad. It has that holding the admin responsible for such content was of no use. The suit was disposed of binding the Defendant with the statement made by him.
 

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23.01.2017

 
 
Name : [Name Redacted] Vs. The Registrar General, High Court of Karnataka and Ors, Writ Petition No. 62038 of 2016

Court : Karnataka High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 23.01.2017
 

Summary : A Writ Petition was filed under Article 226 and 227, praying for removing the name of the daughter from the digital records which were maintained by the High Court. The Petitioner prayed that the Registry be directed to mask his daughter’s name in the cause-title of the order passed in the petition filed by her husband (accused in a disposed-off criminal petition) when a name-wise search was initiated by any person through any of the internet service providers such as Google and Yahoo, to safeguard her identity and reputation.

Judgement/ Last Order : The Court held that the Registry ought to ensure that an internet search should not reflect the name of the Petitioner's daughter in the cause list or the Order or in the body of the Order of the Court which was disposed of on 15.06.2015. The Court observed that this plea would be in line with the trend in the western countries where they follow this as a matter of rule "Right to be forgotten" in sensitive cases which involved women in general and in highly sensitive cases which involved instances of rape or cases affecting the modesty and reputation of the person concerned. Accordingly the Court disposed of the petition in favor of the petitioner/father.
 

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18.01.2017

 
 
Name : Kent RO Ltd & Anr. v. Amit Kotak & Ors, 2017 (69) PTC 551 (Del)

Court : Delhi High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 18.01.2017
 

Summary : The plaintiff in this case was the manufacturer of water purifiers which had obtained design registrations under the Designs Act, 2000 relating to the aesthetic appearance of its water purifier systems. The plaintiff filed a complaint with defendant no. 2 (eBay) stating that the action of eBay in allowing Defendant No. 1 to advertise and sell the water purifier systems through its portal, amounted to an infringement of the rights of the plaintiff under the provisions of the Designs Act. The plaintiff sought a relief against eBay, praying for a direction to take down, remove and delist all the products which were infringing the rights of the plaintiff, an injunction from allowing sale of infringing products on its platform and for account of profits made.

Judgement/ Last Order : Court held that the law did not oblige the intermediary to screen all information that was hosted on its platform in respect of infringement of rights and therefore it was not expected of the eBay to screen every information except when the same was brought to its knowledge. The court held that to require an intermediary to do such screening would be an unreasonable interference with the rights of the intermediary to carry on its business.
 

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23.12.2016

 
 
Name : MySpace Inc. v. Super Cassettes Industries Ltd., 236 (2017) DLT 478

Court : Delhi High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 23.12.2016
 

Summary : Super Cassettes Industries Limited (SCIL) initially filed a suit against Myspace in 2007, claiming infringement of copyright as Myspace allowed users to share files on its platform which were allegedly found to have been copyrighted works of SCIL. The Single bench found Myspace liable for copyright infringement even though it proved that it had no knowledge about the different instances of infringement.

Judgement/ Last Order : The division bench of the Delhi High Court overturned the decision of the single judge bench which had found Myspace liable for infringement of copyright. The division bench held that if intermediaries were burdened with the responsibility of identification of illegal content, it could have a chilling effect on free speech. The Court further distinguished the "actual knowledge" requirement from the Shreya Singhal case to mean "specific knowledge" in cases of copyright infringement meaning that if intermediaries were given notice of specific infringing material by the holder of the Intellectual property rights, then they were obligated to remove such content, without there being the necessity of a court order.
 

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24.03.2015

 
 
Name : Shreya Singhal v. Union of India, (2015) 5 SCC 1

Court : Supreme Court of India

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 24.03.2015
 

Summary : The police in Maharashtra arrested two women who had allegedly posted offensive and objectionable comments on Facebook, expressing their displeasure at the shutting down of Mumbai after the demise of a political leader. The police arrested them under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The women approached the Supreme Court, challenging the constitutionality of Section 66A as being violative of the right to freedom of speech and expression

Judgement/ Last Order : The court invalidated section 66A in its entirety, as being violative of the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. The court also held that the section left a number of terms undefined, making it void for vagueness. It was further held that since the section failed to define terms such as "inconvenience" or "annoyance", a large amount of protected and innocent speech could be curtailed. The court also read down the concept of "actual knowledge" under Section 79(3) of the IT Act and it held that an intermediary would only be obligated to remove content on its platform when it received a court Order or a notification from a government agency to that effect.
 

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29.05.2008

 
 
Name : Avnish Bajaj v. State, 150 (2008) DLT 769

Court : Delhi High Court

Date of Judgement/Last Order : 29.05.2008
 

Summary : In November, 2004, the website titled baazee.com hosted a listing for sale of a pornographic video clip. The Petitioner, who was the Managing Director (MD) of the company which owned the website, filed a petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 praying for the annulment of his criminal prosecution under Section 292 Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act 2000. The said petition also raised the question as to whether or not a director could be held criminally liable for the offences attributable to a company, both under the IPC as well as the IT Act, especially when the company was not arraigned as an accused.

Judgement/ Last Order : The court held that a prima facie case for obscenity could be made out against the website Baazee.com but it could not be made against Avnish Bajaj under provisions under the IPC, but he may still be charged for publication of obscene content in an electronic form under Section 67 of the IT Act. It also held that the question of vicarious liability in the form of intermediary liability could only arise when the company was arraigned as an accused party.
 

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