Friday, December 16, 2011

Social Networking Laws In India

With the fast growing social networking platforms in India it has become essential to enact effective social media laws in India. Presently social networking laws in India are not mature enough to take care of social media in the most appropriate manner. Social media is considered to be an Internet intermediary as per Indian cyber law. The recent controversy of Internet censorship in India has once again reiterated the importance of effective social media laws in India.

Social networking in India has increased tremendously. This has also given rise to many legal issues as well. Most of these legal issues are related to online acts or omissions that are resulting in giving rise to civil and criminal liabilities.

Laws ranging from intellectual property rights (IPRs) to information technology laws are applicable to social networking acts or omissions in India. The growing demands for cyber due diligence in India has further necessitated for adopting of a sound social networking policy in India by various stakeholders.

Social networking media is an “intermediary” within the meaning of Indian information technology act 2000 (IT Act 2000). Thus social networking sites in India are liable for various acts or omissions that are punishable under the laws of India. For instance, social networking sites are liable for online IPRs violations, including online copyright violations in India.

Although we have no law on the lines of online copyright infringement liability limitation Act (OCILLA) of United States yet the “safe harbour” provisions protecting intermediaries are not available under certain conditions as per Indian laws. Social networking sites must be aware of these limitations while operating in India.

At Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) we have been spreading public awareness about social networking issues in general and cyber laws in particular. We hope that social networking sites would be cautious while operating in India.