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Flipkart Not Required to Take “Action” on Copyright Complaints Under Platform Regulation Rules: Delhi HC

As per this order, intermediary responsibilities under the IT Rules, 2021 don’t seem to include taking “action” on third-party content

E-commerce major Flipkart is not obligated to take "action" on complaints of alleged copyright-infringing sellers on its platform under the IT Rules, 2021, India's platform regulations, observed a recent order of the Delhi High Court. Filed by Samridhi Enterprises, the complaint alleged that third-party sellers infringed on Samridhi's copyright by selling near-identical knock-offs of their car covers on Flipkart. Flipkart had also reneged on its "intermediary" duties under the IT Rules, 2021, by not taking "action" on the complaints on the infringing listings, Samridhi added. Intermediaries are platforms that host or transmit third-party content. They're protected from legal liability as long as they follow the due diligence obligations set out by the Indian government—many of which are laid out in the IT Rules, 2021. Under the IT Rules, intermediaries only have to tell their users not to host or display the infringing content, noted Justice C. Hari Shankar's March 1st order. There is no further requirement that they have to take "action" on the complaint. "The court cannot, by judicial fiat, read, into the IT Rules, something which the rule does not contain either expressly or by necessary implication," Justice Shankar observed. The case will be next heard on May 2nd. Why it matters: The Court's order partially clarifies an intermediary's responsibilities under the IT Rules, 2021—which, as per this order, don't seem to include taking "action" on third-party content. This comes after last year's controversial amendments to the Rules, which were unclear on whether platforms should pre-emptively take down illegal…

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