Comments on the Proposed Amendments to ITA-2000

Naavi: Praveen Dalal: Sarbajit Roy: Kamal Dave

Optical Disk Protection Act? ..or Indian DMCA? ..Watch out for the discussion

RIAA Culture enters India..When you buy music, will you be Buying Trouble?

RIAA (Recording Industries Association of America) has made news for itself with the aggressive pursuance of Copyright on music in America. Its exploits with Naspter and MP3 downloads are too well known to need reiteration. However, it is not clear if RIAA's approach is good for the music industry in the long run since in principle RIAA is targetting its own potential customers and often with unreasonable demands. A manifestation of this culture now appears to be on view in India where PPL (Phonographic Performance Ltd), a copyright society appears to have moved courts in Chennai and obtained an injunction against a few hotels so that they will not play music during new year parties without a specific license from them.

Will PPL endear itself to the music industry by hoisting cases against college students or drive music lovers away from music?.....we need to wait and see.

In the mean time, it is preferable for music users to remember that when they buy records of any of the above labels, they may be actually buying trouble. It is also necessary for all sellers of the above labels to prominently notify the buyers that the purchase of these records are subject to the conditions imposed by PPL. Any suppression of this information at the time of sale would be deemed as an unfair business practice aimed at trapping innocent members of the public to litigation for profit...More Restrained use of deeplinks

It is reported that has succesfully brought restraint on form providing deep links to its pages using the logic of "loss of advertising revenue" through a verdict from Delhi High Court. (Also refer ). The argument that a site loses revenue because of deep linking provides legitimacy to its unreasonable refusal to use "No Crawling" in the meta tags and also opens up an issue of how a reader's right to read a publication in any order can be restrained by the revenue considerations of the publication. If this view goes unchallenged, then news papers may insist that no body can turn to the sports page without first looking at the front page and the ads there in.!   Report at BS

Right To Information Act adds a new dimension to CyLawCom

The Right to Information Act (RTI) has introduced a new dimension to the Cyber Law Compliance process being advocated by Cyber Law College and It has now become necessary for all relevant institutions to make disclosures as provided in the act and also appoint a suitable information officer to receive and respond with requests for information. The websites of e-Governance projects and institutions which come within the scope of the act need to review their web content and ensure that they comply with all the necessary requirements. This will henceforth be recommended under any CyLawCom process applicable to Government agencies by Cyber Law College

Tamil Nadu to introduce Cyber Cafe Regulations

Following the recent bomb threat sent through e-mail from a Cyber Cafe in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu is preparing to introduce regulations for Cyber Cafes. It is expected that the regulations will include "Registration/Licenisng" of Cyber Cafes and also photo IDs/Visotor's register maintenance. Details are awaited.

Multi member CRAT in the offing?

More than 5 years after ITA-2000 came into effect, CRAT (Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal)  is yet to be set up in India. It is now reported that MCIT is considering adding an amendment to ITA-2000 to make CRAT, a multi member panel. If this is done, it would be a good move since it would enable a judicial expert and a technical expert to join in the functioning. With the envisaged increase in the responsibility of the Adjudicators (and therefore the CRAT) under the proposed amendments, it was imperative that the composition of CRAT had to be planned to include techno legal expertise...Report in BL

Maker of Encase Software Hacked !

In an interesting cyber crime from USA, Guidance Software, maker of the leading forensic evaluation software "Encase" has reported that its systems were hacked and confidential data of the employees of the company were entered into by intruders. Details in Washington Post

Is this Cyber Terrorism?

The e-mail bomb threat that caused a scare in the Parliament on 17th December has obviously raised the issue of how this incidence would be treated by law enforcement agencies. Though the crime was committed with the use of Cyber Space, it falls in the definition of an offence under the "Unlawful Activities Prevention Act". In the process of investigation and prosecution however, provisions and principles enunciated by the ITA-2000 along with the consequential amendments made to Indian Evidence Act would become relevant.

The incident would however focus on the responsibilities of the Cyber Cafe owners in maintaining the visitor's register or an equivalent user identification system which was a responsibility cast on them under the concept of "Due Diligence" in the ITA-2000. In the current case the Cyber cafe involved is reported to be one which adopts a membership system. However it is to be tested if the system is capable of meeting the current requirements. If not, it may amount to "lack of Due Diligence" and make the Cyber Cafe vulnerable.

It is also the right time to question the wisdom of the authors of the Proposed ITA amendments which would make it impossible for the Police to break the protection to be granted to the Intermediaries under the proposed new section 79 under which the Cyber Cafe (and also an ISP) would not be liable under " any law for the time being in force, for any third party information, data, or link made available by him, except when the intermediary has conspired or abetted in the commission of the unlawful act." ..

Report in Pioneer

Optical Disk Protection Act? ..or Indian DMCA?

It is necessary for the industry and professional circles to start discussing the possible direction in which the legislation should move. Some points for discussion are therefore presented here for comments from other IPR specialists and industrialists....The first question that needs to be sorted out is whether the name given to the act indicate that the scope of the act would be limited to "Regulation of the CD/DVD medium"?

In this context, we may also draw the experiences of the US market in respect of Digital Millennium Copyright Act which has been in existence for more than 7 years now. The experience however has not been a very pleasant one as can be gathered from the US IPR specialists, Library Managements and other Activists. Hence it is necessary to make the Indian DMCA a better legislation than the US DMCA balancing the interests of the industry with the needs of the society...Details

Seminar on IPR at Hyderabad

Cyber Law College conducted a seminar in Hyderabad on 14th December addressing the IT industry professionals and discussed the issues involved in the proposed new legislation termed "Optical Disk Protection Act" and the "Compliance Requirements for an IT Company in the light of the existing IPR Laws in India". Ms Sonia Katyal, Assistant Professor, Fordham Law School, New York, Mr Vivekanandan, Professor, Nalsar Law University and Naavi were the speakers. The programme was coordinated by Prominds Consulting, Hyderabad engaged in IT Security Audit services.

WiFi Hot Spots as Cyber Cafes

It has now dawned on a county in US that regulation is required to enforce security standards on WiFi hotspots. Westchester, a county in the US State of New York has submitted a bill that would require locations such as Internet cafés with public access points and businesses with wireless networks to ensure that their networks are secure..Report in

In India, WiFi hotspots have already been  under the definition of "Cyber Cafes" under the regulatory regime of the Information Technology Act and specific State regulations on Cyber Cafes. At least one major player in this area in South India has adopted the "CyLawCom" process in its system to comply with the Karnataka Cyber Cafe Regulations. Some are under discussion with the undersigned in developing an appropriate system of compliance. However there are many other network players who are yet to appreciate that they are legally nothing different from "Cyber Cafes" despite their more sophisticated appearance. Sooner these units get into the act of "Cyber Law Compliance", better it is for them.

Details of CyLawCom Audit process suggested by Cyber Law College is available here. 

Information Technology Act of Bangladesh.. An Overview

At a time India is debating a major revision of the ITA-2000, it is interesting to observe that Bangladesh is all ready to enact a law which is a replica of the Indian ITA-2000.

However, it must be said that the Bangladeshi Law as proposed  failed to take advantage of the experience of the neighboring countries in the drafting of the law and exhibits a lack of vision.


ISPs in India guilty of Unfair Bundling of Services?

When Microsoft bundled its Browser software with the Windows OS it was held illegal. Why should it be different for Indian ISPs?.... Domain Names are established as identification marks on the Cyber Space akin to Trademarks. Why should e-mail ID s be different?... Consumers are to be protected from Spam? Why Should it be used an excuse for putting chains on the consumers?. Digital Signatures are meant for developing a responsible communication system on the Internet. Why should ISPs be allowed to sabotage the system for their vested interests?.These are the issues that confront Indian ISP customers who want to switch ISPs. Certain e-mail policies followed by ISPs are indirectly aimed at preventing consumers of ISP services from switching their service providers. We call upon Thiru Dayanidhi Maran, Honourable Minister of Communications and Information Technology to immediately address these issues...Details

Comments welcome

720 pages of Comprehensive Coverage on Cyber Laws

Naavi's "Cyber Laws in India..ITA-2000 and Beyond", first E-Book on Cyber Laws to be published in India consisting of 720 pages of comprehensive coverage on Cyber Laws and relevant issues, available for online purchase at RS 300/- in download form and at RS 400/- on CD.

 For more information click here.



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