Blogging - The Legal Impact

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A presentation given by Advocate and Cyber-law expert Vaishali Bhagwat at the Symposium on Blogging organized by the Department of Communication and Journalism, University of Pune on 28 Feb 2009. (Uploaded here with Vaishali's permission who owns the copyright)

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Blogging - The Legal Impact

  1. 1. Freedom to Blog Not without limitations Vaishali Bhagwat, BCS LL.B Advocate [email_address] (C) Vaishali Bhagwat 2009 Reserved with the Author
  2. 2. Freedom of Speech and Expression <ul><li>Fundamental Right Art (19)(1) (a) </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonable Restrictions </li></ul><ul><li>Walking the tight rope </li></ul>(C) Vaishali Bhagwat 2009 Reserved with the Author
  3. 3. Reasonable Restrictions <ul><li>Defamatory </li></ul><ul><li>Obscene </li></ul><ul><li>Hurting religious sentiments </li></ul><ul><li>Promote Violence </li></ul><ul><li>Against security of state </li></ul><ul><li>Infringement of Right to Privacy </li></ul>(C) Vaishali Bhagwat 2009 Reserved with the Author
  4. 4. Defamation <ul><li>Statement that may harm a persons reputation </li></ul><ul><li>Opinion Vs Verifiable fact </li></ul><ul><li>Eg – “ I hate Mr Vermas Movie” Vs. “I think it is Mr Verma who hacked into the governments protected system “ </li></ul><ul><li>Conveys a provably false factual assertion </li></ul><ul><li>Truth is a defence </li></ul>(C) Vaishali Bhagwat 2009 Reserved with the Author
  5. 5. Obscenity <ul><li>Test of obscenity laid down by Supreme Court in case reported in AIR 1970 (SC) 1390 </li></ul><ul><li>S. 67 of IT Act 2000 attracted </li></ul><ul><li>Transmission and publication </li></ul>(C) Vaishali Bhagwat 2009 Reserved with the Author
  6. 6. Content Accountability <ul><li>Copyright infringement </li></ul><ul><li>Expression of facts as well as original literary work is protectable. Not compulsorily registrable </li></ul><ul><li>Quote – exception of fair use </li></ul><ul><li>If you give credit to the author there is no copyright infringement .. This assumption is FALSE! </li></ul>(C) Vaishali Bhagwat 2009 Reserved with the Author
  7. 7. Copyright Violations <ul><li>Removal of violative material does not absolve you from infringement action </li></ul>(C) Vaishali Bhagwat 2009 Reserved with the Author
  8. 8. Trademark Violation <ul><li>Deep Linking - passing off action - Trade Mark Law </li></ul><ul><li>One of the biggest advantages that blogging has over traditional media is the convention to include links in an article which connect the reader directly with the source. The links could direct the reader to a file, a different page on the same site or to a new site altogether. This amounts to trademark violation </li></ul>(C) Vaishali Bhagwat 2009 Reserved with the Author
  9. 9. Accountability <ul><li>Third Party Posts – you are accountable! </li></ul><ul><li>Content – you are accountable! </li></ul><ul><li>Disclaimer </li></ul><ul><li>“ views in the blog are of the author” does not protect you against legal liability. At best can be construed as part of “due diligence” </li></ul><ul><li>IT Act 2008 – Liability of an intermerdiary </li></ul>(C) Vaishali Bhagwat 2009 Reserved with the Author
  10. 10. Constitution of India vs.Bloggers Rights <ul><li>Freedom of Speech </li></ul><ul><li>Right coupled with an obligation </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonable restrictions </li></ul><ul><li>Infringement of privacy and right to life </li></ul><ul><li>Walking the tight rope </li></ul>(C) Vaishali Bhagwat 2009 Reserved with the Author
  11. 11. Cases <ul><li>Indiaah! and Indiaha! </li></ul><ul><li>Barkha Dutt- NDTV and Chaitanya Kunte </li></ul><ul><li>D. Ajith – Supreme Court has refused to quash proceedings against a computer engineering student who started the orkut community “ I hate Shiv Sena” </li></ul><ul><li>Orkut Community – “ I hate Sonia Gandhi” </li></ul>(C) Vaishali Bhagwat 2009 Reserved with the Author
  12. 12. <ul><li>Thankyou </li></ul><ul><li>Vaishali Bhagwat BCS. LL.B , Advocate </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>(C) Vaishali Bhagwat 2009 Reserved with the Author

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