After Chennai-based record label Lahari Recording Company and Gulshan Kumar-founded T Series filed an FIR against ShareChat accusing the company of copyright violation, the Bengaluru-based Indian regional language social platform has found support from IAMAI in its legal fight.
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has released a press statement, saying that the FIR filed against ShareChat is an overreach of the current provision of the law. The association added that such cases of alleged copyright infringements are usually resolved with a “notice and takedown” mechanism under the IT (Amendment) Act of 2008.
“As per the provisions, digital intermediaries must first be given proper notice about any violative content and is expected to act only after receiving such notice. The FIR which is based on a complaint by Lahari Recording Company for alleged copyright violation goes against the safe harbour provisions enjoyed by digital intermediary platforms,” IAMAI said.
Lahari Recording Company has alleged that ShareChat allowed its users to download copyrighted music content without the consent of the company. This has led to a monetary loss to the company, the company added.
The FIR was filed at the Yeshwanthpur police station in Bengaluru and the police even raided ShareChat’s office in Koramangala neighbourhood, as per a statement released by Lahari Recording Company. The police has booked ShareChat under Section 63 of the Indian Copyrights Act of 1957 and Section 102 of the Indian Trademarks Act of 1999.
Inc42 has reached out to Lahari Recording Company to seek a response. We have also reached out to ShareChat once again, after the company refused to comment on the matter earlier this week.
IAMAI added that since ShareChat is only an intermediary and comes under the safe harbour provision of Section 79 of the IT Act. The safe harbour provision does not hold an intermediary for the content posted by third parties. In this case, ShareChat is the intermediary and the users uploading and downloading uncopyrighted music are the third parties, IAMAI alleged.
“IAMAI is deeply concerned that a criminal and a civil case has been filed directly against directors of the company for violating copyright that is unprecedented According to IAMAI, if this becomes a norm, then the digital intermediaries in India will suffer and the Government of India’s vision of Digital India will take an enormous hit,” said IAMAI.
Even T-Series had released a press statement accusing ShareChat of a similar violation. T-Series and Lahari have entered into a partnership for rights-sharing. ShareChat said that the press statement shared by T-Series inaccurate and referred to the wrong sections under which the police has filed the FIR.
“In any event, the law relating to liabilities of an intermediary is well established, which grants the ShareChat the safe harbour, being an intermediary and otherwise in compliance with, inter alia, Information Technology Act, 2000 and the related rules and regulations,” ShareChat had said.