Thursday, February 01, 2007

When court calls bloggers.!?

Blog blips need not be tolerated. In Mumbai’s first legal attempt to regulate slanderous speech on Internet blogs, the Bombay High Court recently restrained Google from publishing allegedly slanderous content on three blogs — mediamalice, mediamamu and indiamediareview.
Responding to a defamation suit filed by a city journalist, the HC on January 15 in an ad-interim order also directed Google, which provides the free blog service, to disclose names, addresses and any other information regarding the people who man these blogs.
Offended by the “grossly scandalous and defamatory” articles published on the three blogs, the senior journalist has filed a suit claiming damages worth Rs10 lakh. Since the identity of the people providing the content on the blogs is not known, only Google has been named as a defendant in the case.
“Once we know the identity of the offenders, they too will be made party to the case,” plaintiff’s lawyer YR Shah .The offensive articles were published on the blogs between September 2006 and November 2006 under the heading ‘Mumbai Press Club: A Pick-up Joint’, ‘Leader Cons Member’, ‘Mumbai Press Club rots and reeks’. The articles directly attacked the journalist and others, attributing several nefarious activities to them.
The suit states that it is the duty of Google to regulate the content of the blogs. But lawyers feel that the fixing liability on an internet service provider especially when content is pasted by a third party is still a grey area.
Google’s terms of service for bloggers are clear that it does not endorse, verify, monitor or take responsibility of the content on or But it does urge users to abide by its content policy, which says users should not publish unlawful, defamatory and fraudulent content.
“The responsibility of an Internet service provider remains undefined,” says Shridhar Gorthi, partner in Trilegal, a law firm. “Does the liability end with screening content, installing community watch by appointing moderators or simply by listing rules and regulations?” he asks.
In December 2004, the Delhi police had arrested CEO Avnish Bajaj after a Delhi school kid sold eight Cd's containing MMS clips of a sexual act with his girlfriend on the Internet portal.
The case is still spending in the Delhi Sessions court.
Lawyers also point out that tracking faceless offenders in cyberspace may be a difficult task.
There is a good possibility of mischief mongers listing false e-mail addresses and fraudulent details to avoid tracking, says lawyer Gautam Patel. “In such cases, the service provider can only provide the IP (internet protocol) address,” he says.

Analysis:Blogging is an independent medium where commoners get a platform to share and shoe there viewpoint,it should not be abused to settle personal scores,inflame religious passion and cheating,But as part of today's world there will always be aberrations but its the individual responsibility of we bloggers to keep it clean and True.


satish said...

Interesting story..could you provide the link to this information.

Amit Shekhar said...

Sure thanks for the suggestion will put a link now.Keep reading.

Hiren said...

while it may be true that certain things are undesirable, blogging as a tool represents empowerment of the individual and that freedom of speech should not be curbed under any cost.

Amit Shekhar said...

Very true dear.