The intermediaries like ISPs, web hosts, social networking sites and blogging platforms provide important tools and platforms that allow users to access the Internet, host content, share files and transact business. Websites like Blogspot, Youtube and Facebook only provide a platform for users to post their content, and do not have any editorial control over this content.
The passage of the IT Act in the year 2000 saw the first version of an intermediary liability law in India in the form of Section 79. It provided expansive protection (a safe harbour) to intermediaries for third party content as long as they had no knowledge of its illegality or exercised due diligence. 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.
“Intermediary” is defined widely and depending on the context can include entities as varied as internet service providers, social media companies, e-commerce apps, and even cyber cafes.
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