Google India in a statement has said that it cannot be held liable for content published on blogger, it’s blogging platform.
As per Google India lawyer, Google India has no control over the blogging site and the same is being managed and provided by Google Inc, USA.
Google India was recently sued by Mumbai based cardiologist Dr Ashwin Mehta who approached the court after finding that over 20 blogs on the website were defaming him.
The offensive blog posts have been removed and Google India has now filed an appeal stating that the blog hosting company/platform cannot be held liable for the content.
This is not the first time, Google India has faced trouble with Blogger earlier as well. Mumbai-based firm, Gremach Infrastructure Equipments & Projects filed a lawsuit against Google for hosting a series of articles on its blogging site, campaigning against its mines in Mozambique.
No wonder, Indian government wants Google/Yahoo/MSN and foreign firms to host their servers in India and the new IT act bill which empowers Indian Govt. to block websites (and you cannot contest the decision) – IT Act Bill
IT Act 2008
This is what India’s IT Act 2008 has to say :
Any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device,—
(a) any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or
(b) any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will, persistently by making use of such computer resource or a communication device,
c) any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages,shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.
Freedom of Expression – What’s that?
While we couldn’t find the *offensive* content published, there are open questions related to freedom of expression
– What if a person just wants to review an experience? [there are enough content sites where you’d see people cribbing about services – so do you ban them all? Are they all liable to being sued by ‘known/famous’ faces?]
– Does Google has a stand on these issues? It seems to comply with all things law without giving a damn to users (Orkut happily shares IP address of users)
– Is there a legal rule around UGC in India? Protection/Guidelines for bloggers? Sadly, none.
What’s your opinion on this issue? Isn’t it high time that government sets up some regulations sorrounding blogging and new media, in general? Or is a regulation really needed, first of all?
Related: Orkut user faces legal case over anti Shiv Sena community