Technology and Business Law Blog

Cyberlaw is Being Tested in Indian Courts

A business based in India is suing Google India (which was used as a blogging platform by a blogger) for hosting material that the plaintiff found to be defamatory and stated in its petition that a series of articles that amounted to a ‘hate campaign’ against the company were posted on Google’s blogging site with a title ‘Toxic Writer’ between January and February.

Cyberlaw is a new area of law that is still in its infancy all over the world and India is no exception. A case of this nature is for the first time being litigated and the court’s decision will set a precedent for similar cases to follow. The courts have to weigh this carefully before forming a judgement.

In the U.S. bloggers have the same constitutional protections as mainstream media and the First Amendment rights of free speech are zelously protected. According to EFF, First Amendment protections for publications are strong and can help you defend against unwarranted legal threats. If one receives a notice of a subpoena and they wish to retain their anonymity, they can file a motion to quash (drop) the subpoena. Many courts have required the subpoenaing party to show a compelling need for the information that outweighs the speakers’ constitutional rights to free speech and privacy.

Investigations by the Mumbai police’s cyber crime cell police could not make a break through as Google’s India office refused to co-operate.

August 16, 2008 Posted by | cyberlaw, Defamation, Free Speech, Google, India | 3 Comments

Demise of the Print Media

Steve Ballmer of Microsoft looks into his crystall ball and states that in about 10 years or so there will be no print media and everything will be in digital format. Here is what he says in an article in the Washington Post.

In the next 10 years, the whole world of media, communications and advertising are going to be turned upside down — my opinion.

Here are the premises I have. Number one, there will be no media consumption left in 10 years that is not delivered over an IP network. There will be no newspapers, no magazines that are delivered in paper form. Everything gets delivered in an electronic form.

New media with all this digitization has created numerous copyright issues and one is confronted with them on a daily basis. If there is only going to be an online media which could be accessed by everyone around the world then, does it not make sense to have uniform Intellectual property laws that would be applicable to the whole world? The concept of jurisdiction or forum would become less meaningful and then a set of courts adhering to the same IP laws will have to established around the world. In this age of IP infringement and the muddled state of the law in this area, this would make sense even if it sounds like a fantasy now.

June 16, 2008 Posted by | Copyright, cyberlaw | Leave a comment

Cyberbullying

My cell phone has tons of features, most of which I don’t use, don’t know how to and don’t even know exist! My son is barely 11 years old and he can navigate with ease through any kind of electronic gizmo without reading any manual or instructions. The “now generation” seem to be wired at birth to these things.

Watch any preteen or teenager and they are always online or talking or fiddling with their cell phones and some of these kids don’t always use technology with the best of intentions. It is bad enough that lots of kids have to put up with regular old fashioned bullying but cyberbullying seems to be the latest form of harrassment by text messaging and on online social networks like MySpace. In some cases it becomes so bad that kids have committed suicide since they haven’t been able to handle it.

This has led to efforts by lawmakers to control it and Marian Merritt an internet safety advocate says that “when bullying becomes a personal attack or identity theft, it can be easier to handle as legal precedents exist”. This informative article titled “Web’s now the playground for kid’s who like to bully” discusses the problem and gives some suggestions on how to handle cyberbullying.

July 3, 2007 Posted by | cyberlaw | 1 Comment