Intermediaries rejoice after key appeal win by Myspace

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.

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.

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