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Suggestions: Online Anti-Piracy Copyright Reform In India

India Urgently needs major copyright reforms, especially with regard to online piracy and protected content, such as movies, TV shows and music. The Parliament urgently needs to Amendment the Copyright Act, by introducing new anti-piracy proceedings. Which will give Copyright holders access to advanced enforcement tools in order to obtain protection for their works, primarily from online infringement.

My First Suggestions to Anti-Piracy Copyright Reform in India:

  1. Indirect Copyright Infringement

    The first major change required is to create the scope of indirect copyright infringement, which has to be widened by the new definition of ‘indirect infringement by making available to the public’.

    Under this suggestion, an indirect infringer is a person who, by way of business and to make a profit, posts or makes available a link to a website that facilitates protected works - provided that they know or should have known of the infringing use.

    This means that posting a link to a site that contains infringing content can be indirect copyright infringement if the person posting the link knew or should have known that the work was made available to the public while infringing copyright, and that activity was carried out for profit.

    This broader definition of indirect infringement has far-reaching consequences, especially with regard to blogs and forums that publish links to websites with infringing copyright-protected works. This step will eventually make it harder for users to find infringing content online.
  2. Allows Copyright Holders To Obtain An Order From The Court To Restrict Access To The Website Where The Infringing Copyrighted Content Is Available

    This second Change will allow Copyright holders to obtain an order from the court to restrict access to the website where the infringing copyrighted content is available.

    This will give court the authority to issue orders to service providers so that they limit access to copyrighted content sources, partly or fully. Service providers are intermediaries that can block access to a website with infringing content. Since the Internet allows for anonymity, the person responsible for the infringement cannot always be located and sued.

Therefore Copyright holders will get the right to block access to sites that contain infringing content via internet service providers, even though they are not directly involved in the infringement. The court can grant an access restriction order after considering the following Conditions:

  • Severity of The Infringement;
  • Effect On The Public As A Result of The Order;
  • Expected Degree Of Privacy Violation of Internet Users; And
  • Possibility Of Providing Other Remedies Instead.

3. Copyright holders to obtain the identity of the infringer:

A party that claims for copyright infringement by an unknown party online will get the power to file a motion to disclose information about the unknown infringer from the service providers.

This way, the rights holder can file an infringement claim against the infringing party. The court can therefore order the disclosure of details that may lead to the identification of this party, after being convinced of the existence of an infringement and sufficient information with regard to the identification of the infringer in order to file a claim. It can also appoint an expert to clearly identify the infringer and can also grant this entity the opportunity to deliver its arguments and object to the disclosure. This procedure has to be introduced in legislation.

4. Adjustments need to be made in the Indian Copyright Act:

This will ensure that there is no longer a difference between copyright enforcement in the physical world and online.

Therefore following the Suggested amendments, copyright infringement by way of making the work available to the public through the Internet will also be a criminal offence, similar to selling a physical copy of a protected work.

Furthermore Criminal liability will only arise if the infringing action was made by way of business and for making a profit.

I would Request my Readers to please throw light on what they feel about my suggestions in the comment box hoping to hear from you all.

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