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Madras HC directs Google, YouTube to give user details

The Madras High Court has directed Google and its subsidiary YouTube to provide details, including identity and address, of a user who posted a video content dubbed defamatory by a petitioner.

India TV News Desk, Chennai [ Published on: October 26, 2016 23:00 IST ]
Madras HC directed Google and YouTube to provide details of a user

The Madras High Court has directed Google and its subsidiary YouTube to provide details, including identity and address, of a user who posted a video content dubbed defamatory by a petitioner.

The court dismissed an appeal by Google and YouTube against the order of a single judge who directed them to disclose the IP address and other details of the uploader of the content in the title 'Marupakkam Seithigal' on YouTube about petitioner Lebara Foundation. 

"The learned Single Judge has noticed, and in our view rightly so, that it is not some secret information affecting such personal rights of the undisclosed author of Marupakkam Seithigal which are sought to be made available in pursuance of the directions of the court, but only the identity and address so that the court can take appropriate process to determine the rights of the Lebara Foundation, and the author of Marupakkam Seithigal," the division bench said. 

YouTube and Google filed a memo in the high court before the division bench stating that the IP address of the user resolved outside of Indian jurisdiction and as per prevailing Indian law they are not in a position to provide user details. 

Google and YouTube had opposed the sharing of user details on the been ground that it would expose them to legal action by user(s) and that it would be illegal as well as impossible to monitor contents of all video posted on their portal.

Rejecting the argument, the division bench said, "We are of the view that the minimum which is required to be done when the portal is used for materials which are prima facie offensive is to disclose the identity and IP address in pursuance of the direction passed by the single judge. Instead, YouTube and Google want Lebara to go through a circuitous route which is not necessary."

"Appellants having provided the portal and the platform to the respondent this is a minimal assistance which is required," it said. 

Originally the Lebara Foundation filed a civil suit to remove the video posting in the page of 'Marupakkam Seithigal' on YouTube and also sought for a permanent injunction restraining them from uploading the defamatory material.

(With PTI inputs)

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