The union cabinet has approved acceding to the World Intellectual Property Organization's internet treaties. These treaties — the WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performers and Phonograms Treaty — both came into force in 2002 and were designed to protect intellectual property as the internet started getting big. The cabinet said in its statement that acceding to these treaties, sixteen years after they came into force, would help Indian rights holders get 'reciprocal protection' of their IP abroad. In the US, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act — which is known for the web takedown orders it provides a framework for — is the official implementation of these treaties. India did not sign either treaty. IP protection on the Internet in India In 2016, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion issued a memo saying that the Copyright Act, 1957 covers content on the internet as well. On top of that, the IT Act has DMCA-esque provisions to ensure that online platforms take down copyrighted content on their website after being provided notice. As such, India is already compliant with the WIPO's internet treaties. Both the treaties empower copyright holders to deploy technologies like Digital Rights Management software that make it harder to create copies of online content. In India, sections 65A and 65B of the Copyright Act were added in 2012 via amendment, and these amendments essentially harmonized the copyright regime with the internet treaties. All that was remaining was to clarify that the Copyright Act includes internet content, which the DIPP did…
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