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Delhi HC directs YouTube to stop hosting content that violate existing laws

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You must have come across various “how to” videos on Youtube, to perform operations like jailbreaking an OS or cracking into a system. You would also know those are essentially illegal. In a recent case, Delhi Hight Court has asked YouTube to take down such videos without waiting for any complaints by affected companies.

The statement by the court came after a case registered by Tata Sky against the popular video streaming platform. Tata Sky had objected against some videos on YouTube involving its name.

Those videos showed how to hack into a Tata Sky set top box without subscribtion. The company had filed a complaint the same but YouTube apparently took its own time in deciding the category of complaints.

In August last year, the court had passed an interim order against the streaming platform after the plea of Tata Sky. Tata Sky had asked to prohibit YouTube from using its trade name or copyright in any form on its platform. After that, those objectionable URLs were removed from the platform.

For now, the court has disposed the plea of Tata Sky as Youtube has removed those objectionable URLs already. However, it has issued a statement to the same to act immediately on such complaints.

There was a confusion between parties if the complaint fell into copyright or trademark category. This had led to a delay in the action by the video streaming service. On this matter, the Delhi HC said in a statement,

There could be complaints regarding some material on the website of YouTube which by their very nature require it to act immediately without insisting on the complainant having to clearly demonstrate that the complaint falls within one or the other category that YouTube has identified for the purposes of acting on such complaints.

The court said that in the case of Tata Sky, the video review team of YouTube wasted time in deciding the category of complaints instead of taking it down as it was illegal anyway.

Justice Murlidhar of Delhi HC further asked the video streaming company to address its complaint redressal mechanism and act immediately on complaints. He said,

In terms of Rule 3(1)(e) of the Information Technology Intermediaries Guidelines, YouTube is obliged not to host content that violates any law for the time being in force.

The advocate representing YouTube, however, defended the company. He said that they take prompt action to remove videos which require immediate attention such as those involving child pornography. In such cases, the company does not wait for any investigation. However, it is not possible for it to police all content hosted on the platform.

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