FIR against ShareChat undermines liability rights: IAMAI
Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in a press statement has said that the FIR filed by the Bengaluru Police against ShareChat and its board of directors for an alleged copyright violation is prima facie of an act overreach of the current provisions of law. The usual process in such cases of alleged copyright violation is “notice and takedown” mechanism as stipulated under the IT Act (Amended) 2008. As per the provisions, digital intermediaries must first be given proper notice about any violative content and is expected to act only after receiving such notice. The FIR which is based on a complaint by Lahari Recording Company for alleged copyright violation goes against the safe harbor provisions enjoyed by digital intermediary platforms.
The association reiterates that it must be borne in mind that ShareChat is an intermediary and thereby under provisions of the safe harbor under Section 79 of the IT Act is not liable either in a civil or in a criminal case for alleged copyright violations by contents hosted on their platform by third party users of the platform.
IAMAI is deeply concerned that a criminal and a civil case has been filed directly against directors of the company for violating copyright that is unprecedented According to IAMAI, if this becomes a norm, then the digital intermediaries in India will suffer and the Government of India’s vision of Digital India will take an enormous hit.