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  • Writer's pictureAnkita Sabharwal

Infringing content to be removed within 48 hours of receiving takedown notice,rules Delhi High Court

Vide a recent order[1], the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi has directed messaging platform companies, i.e., Telegram and Mega to remove all the illegal/unauthorized content posted or uploaded or communicated on their platforms belonging to DocTutorials Edutech Private Limited (hereinafter the “Plaintiff”).

The present suit was instituted by the Plaintiff, which is an online medical entrance coaching platform providing audio and video medical content, accessible through its website as well as mobile application.

According to the Plaintiff, several unknown persons have been habitually uploading and transmitting video lectures provided by the Plaintiff on publicly accessible platforms. These individuals have been making use of cloud-based messaging platforms including Telegram and Mega (hereinafter “Defendant Nos. 1 and 2 respectively”) for the purpose of unauthorized distribution of the Plaintiff’s content. Despite efforts, the Plaintiff could not identify the unknown persons, who were indulging in such illegalities. Accordingly, the present suit was filed seeking blocking orders against the said websites, URLs and Telegram channels.

The Defendant Nos.1 and 2 informed the Hon’ble Court that due to their platforms being free-to-use cloud services having limited storage, only limited details are required for registration. It is only after the first level of storage is crossed that the same becomes a subscription service and requires further details for registration. Thus, even the Defendants were unable to provide identifiable information regarding the infringers sharing the Plaintiff’s copyrighted content.

Taking into consideration the merits of this case, the Court directed that whenever unauthorized and illegal content relating to the copyrighted data or any content using the Plaintiff’s mark is noticed in any of the channels/websites/URLs hosted by Telegram or Mega, the Plaintiff would be free to issue notice to Defendant Nos. 1 and 2. Upon receiving such notice, Defendant Nos.1 and 2 shall immediately take down all the illegal/unauthorized content posted or uploaded, or communicated on their platforms within 48 hours.

A further direction has been issued to Department of Telecommunications (Defendant No. 3) to block the concerned URLs, websites, as communicated by the Plaintiff from time to time, within 48 hours, which shall be given effect to by the ISPs.

Orders of this nature not only provide remedies to owners of original content but also protect the sanctity of social media platforms, especially owing to the user dependence on the same.

[1] DocTutorials Edutech Private Limited v. Telegram, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 2056, decided on 14-07-2022


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