Cyber Law News-1

(From December 1999 to  February 24,  2000)

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February 24: 

Do  Search Engines violate Copyright?

Given an opportunity, some would like to kill the web in the name of Privacy and Copyright protection. Close on the heels of the case against Double click on privacy invasion, a case has been filed in USA against a search engine accusing them of stealing pictures. Read the detailed article here.


February 23: 

Bank of Baroda to use Digital Certificates:

An article published in Business Line today highlights how Bank of Baroda is using Digital Certificates for authorising internal communications through a system designed by Ramco Systems of Chennai. An extract of the article is available here.


February 14: 

The western Craze hits India

News papers in India reported today that has  has filed for a  copyright on the concept of revenue sharing on the Internet. It is strange that fancy ideas about establishing copyright on all and sundry aspects are being entertained even in India. While the grounds on which the copyright is sought is still not clear, it is difficult to believe that the "Concept of Revenue Sharing" is a copyrightable material. First of all is not the pioneer of the concept. All as well as Utopoiad and Gotoworld have already been using the concept. ruppes4surfing has also announced the service. Pay for Chat is also available on the Net. Basically the model is used even in the real world scenario. If such concepts are copyrightable then no business can be run. 
What is copyrightable in this contest is the software code developed for the service by 
In order to stop such crazy ideas from being copyrighted by mistake as the "Neem" and "Turmeric" patents, a supplementary bill on "Copyright of Cyber Documents" should be thought of at the earliest by the government. However this can be a separate Bill not in any way delaying the passage of the current IT Bill-99. 


February 7: 

Trade Mark Rights and the Domain Name:

Domain Name disputes are one of the hot Cyber Law related issues in the global arena. A new dimension has been added to the dispute with the growing popularity of domain names in non english languages including indian languages such as Tamil and Kannada. The dispute revolves around whether " A subset of  a set of ascii characters which, when entered in a specific place on a browser is capable of locating a specific IP address and making a http request for a default page in a specified directory on the Internet and cause it to be displayed  in the browser" can be construed as a violation of the trade mark rights of some business entity which holds a trade mark registration for writing the same subset of ascii characters in English on print in a specific style, font, colour etc with or without a logo. 

Simply said, the issue is whether a trade mark right of a product "My Product" can be used by a person who doesn't own the trade mark, as a part of a URL as long as the site itself does not attempt to either take advantage of the trademark owners brand value to further its own interest or to damage the trademark owner's interest. Now the language dimension to the URL adds a new dimension to the dispute. 


January 16: 

Export of Encryption Products from USA permitted:

The Commerce Department  of USA announced on 12 th January that encryption products of any key length can be exported under a license except to the seven countries providing state support to  terrorism. This would make the strongest security software  available to non government end users in countries such as India. 

December 12, 1999 "Information Technology Bill 1999 set to be passed in the current session"- says secretary to MIT Ministry
December 16, 1999 "Information Technology Bill to be tabled today"-Economic Times report
December 21, 1999 "Information Technology Bill may be referred to a select committee"-says Pramod Mahajan
December 22, 1999 E-Secure plans to become a Certification Agency.