A case in the Supreme Court of India is going to set an important precedent in the way user generated content is looked at. Ajit D had started an anti-Shiv Sena community on Orkut, and following anonymous abusive comments on the community, a Shiv Sena member filed a police complaint under Sections 506 and 295 A. Ajit D reportedly sought the quashing of the complaint, suggesting that the comments were restricted to a community, and were an exercise of an individuals freedom of speech. Gauravonomics has put together a timeline. A Bench of Supreme Court Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam said that "We cannot quash criminal proceedings. You are a computer student and you know how many people access internet portals. Hence, if someone files a criminal action on the basis of the content, then you will have to face the case. You have to go before the court and explain your conduct." Why is this important for us? We're looking at this from a liability perspective. Apart from blogs, websites like Rediff, IBNLive, NDTV.com and communities like Yahoo Groups, Orkut and Facebook receive significant number of comments. Every one of the posts on Amitabh Bachchans blog receives hundreds of comments (466 comments for the latest). When a comment is published on a website, blog or a social network, the following entities are involved: -- Commenter - who has left the comment -- Moderator - who has the ability to moderate comments -- Owner - who owns or…
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