The concept of Intermediary Liability is widely used in context of Intellectual Property on various levels. The role played by the Intermediaries in the use and spread of Intellectual Propertu is what accounts for their growing value and makes them easily accessible and available, serving the very purpose of their creation. Currently, intermediary liability in case of an IP infringement is to the extent when they actively participate in the process and are not just mere service providers for transmission of data. This is so because the internet intermediaries, since they are service providers, have a responsibility to keep a tab on what is being published on their platform. On this point intermediaries usually defend themselves on two grounds:
- They are only a providing a platform wherein third parties can connect with each other.
- The different variety of content along with the extent and time at which it is published or uploaded on the portal makes it almost impossible for them to scrutinize each and every content that is uploaded on their site.
Therefore, whenever an intermediary fails to act against an infringement, even after sufficient knowledge of it, then it would be liable. This rule is followed by most countries across the globe.
The concept of “safe harbor” under Section 79 of the IT Act, 2000 acts as a defense for the intermediaries but there are instances where there is a clear infringement of Intellectual Property Rights by the intermediaries.
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