Saturday 28 January 2012

Legal Arsenal For Delhi High Court To Decide Google And Facebook Case

A recent DMCA complaint to Google incorporation and notice to Google India has resulted in the emergence of very interesting situation. The situation asks a simple question i.e. what should India do when websites like Google, Facebook, etc deliberately avoid implementation of and compliance with Indian laws and legal requirements.

This is a difficult question that requires practical solutions. Fortunately Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) has even suggested alternatives to DMCA complaint to foreign websites and companies like Google and Facebook.

PTLB has suggested the following:

(1) All subsidiary/Joint ventures companies in India, especially those dealing in information technology and online environment, must mandatorily establish a server in India. Otherwise, such companies and their websites should not be allowed to operate in India.

(2) A stringent liability for Indian subsidiaries dealing in information technology and online environment must be established by laws of India.

(3) More stringent online advertisement and e-commerce provisions must be formulated for Indian subsidiary companies and their websites.

These are very good suggestions that would take away the fa├žade of subsidiary status and make the companies that are getting commercial gains from India to be personally liable for objectionable contents and various civil and criminal violations and contraventions.

The Delhi High Court would hear Google, Facebook, etc on 02-02-2012 and there is nothing that prevents it from taking note of these suggestions.

Meanwhile, the trial court adjourned the matter till March 13, 2012. The trial court has also directed the external affairs ministry to serve the summons issued to foreign-based websites. With this the excuse of being an Indian subsidiary is also gone and now parent companies would have to face the heat.

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