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Inohelp IP - Online Copyright Violation

Inohelp IP - Online Copyright Violation

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Published by Kshitij Malhotra

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Published by: Kshitij Malhotra on Apr 06, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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With an explosion in the number of blogs and publisher websites on the internet, there has been a rampant increase in problem of online
copyright infringement. It won’t be uncommon, if one fine
day youfind your blog posts, or articles plagiarized by someone on his/herblog or website. The recent stay ordered by theDelhi High Court in the HT Media Group case (blogged by us here
), indicates the magni-tude of the problem. The fact that the banned websites in this casehad the audacity to plagiarize news from HT Media websites, and sellit as their own news feed, says a lot regarding online plagiarism hap-pening in the Indian online space.Such blatantviolation of copyright is frustrating for online content writers, as they find themselves in an absolutely helpless situation.Dragging copyright infringers into a copyright infringementsuit sounds implausible, considering the scale of infringement, anddamages resulting from such day to day infringement. In the HT Me-dia Group case, the plaintiff (HT Media) has asked for damages intune of 70 Lakhs from the alleged infringers, thereby justifying, to anextent, the institution of the suit. On the other hand, sending copyright violation notices to an infringer may lead toaffording legal costs of a lawyer. In my experience, it is always better to hire a lawyer, who is competent enough tounderstand the intricacies of copyright laws and infringement. But, such lawyers come at a fee, and hiring just anylawyer does not make much sense. Therefore, for the aforementioned reasons, more and more bloggers have be-come vary of the content they are posting on their blogs. This is detrimental to the objectives of open publishing,which is actually meant to encourage untamed expression of ideas, thoughts and philosophies, and sharing of knowledge.However, did you know that there is usually a very easy solution to give such online infringers a rap on their knuck-les? Some days back, while I was reading a blog post by one of my favourite bloggers, Gene Quinn, I got to knowabout utility of DMCA takedown notice.Gene is a US patent attorney and the owner of an IP blog,IPWatchdog.He recently blogged about how he used DMCA takedown notices to bring down a blog (ironically, belonging to an In-dian IP service company) having posts completely ripped off from IPWatchdog.So what exactly is a DMCA takedown notice? To understand DMCA takedown notice, we will have to understandtheDigital Millennium Copyright Act
(DMCA), passed by US senate in late 1990’s. The DMCA is a special enactment
that criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent copyrightmeasures, and heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Now, the DMCA provides provi-
sions of limiting liability of the “service provider” (hosting companies, such as Rackspace, Godaddy etc) for copyright
infringement by a mechanism known as DMCA takedown notice. More specifically, the DMCA takedown noticemechanism allows copyright owners to send notices to the service providers informing about websites and blogs,allegedly having infringing material, hosted or cached on their servers. On notification, if the service providers actswiftly and remove the alleged infringing content, then they become immune from any copyright infringement suitlater brought by the copyright owner.Now, it should be understood that most of the blogs and websites, are hosted on servers of US based service pro-viders, which are bound by the DMCA to act against such notices, even if the copyright owner is based outside US.In other words, an Indian complainant, like you and me, can very well send notices to US based service providers toact against a copyright infringement, irrespective of the fact that the blog/website owner is based in US or not. The
Online Copyright Violation
the Knuckles, and Rap Em’ Hard

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