Abstract: In the age of the Internet, the commission of copyright infringement by innumerable anonymous users through internet intermediaries, has become rampant. Owing to the technical difficulties of tracking down each individual infringer, copyright holders have held the intermediaries who are facilitating the access and use of the Internet, responsible. An argument in support of holding the intermediaries responsible is that the intermediaries are also profiting of such infringing content indirectly. However, the nature of the Internet is such that the normal framework of redressal accorded to copyright infringement in the tangible medium, cannot be applied on the Internet. Imposing a very strict standard of liability on intermediaries will adversely affect the dynamic nature of the Internet and curb economic development in the digital age. Due to these reasons, the development of an intermediary liability and copyright infringement framework which balances conflicting interests, has become essential.
In this paper, the author has made comparisons to the frameworks that exist in India and USA under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA); as the US framework has given rise to a number of successful internet-based businesses. By this, a robust framework has been proposed to be implemented in India. In pursuant to this objective, this paper has been divided into three parts. Part I provides an outline of the legal framework of intermediary liability and copyright infringement that exists in India and USA. Part II makes a comparative study between the legal framework in India and USA, in order to identify the lacunae and deviations that exist. Part III makes certain recommendations to be implemented for having a more conducive and effective intermediary liability and copyright infringement framework in India, and subsequently concludes.

Author:  Ms. Amala G. and Ms. Ananya K. are second year students of the B.A LL.B (Hons.) degree from Christ (Deemed to be) University, Bangalore. They may be contacted at amala.g@law.christuniversity.in and ananya.k@law.christuniversity.in.

The full text of the article can be found as a PDF here.

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