YouTube obliged not to host content that violates Indian laws: HC

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 14, 2016 18:55 IST
Tata Sky had requested the removal of videos from YouTube on how to crack the encryption of set top boxes. (Representative Image)

YouTube is obliged not to host any content that violates Indian laws, the Delhi high court has said.

“There could be complaints regarding some material on the website of YouTube which by their very nature require it to act immediately,” the HC said.

The ruling came on Tata Sky’s plea for removal of videos from YouTube on how to crack the encryption of set top boxes.

“In terms of Rule 3(1)(e) of the Information Technology Intermediaries Guidelines, YouTube is obliged not to host content that violates any law for the time being in force,” Justice Muralidhar said.

In cases that require immediate action, the online portal should not insist upon the complainant to demonstrate that the complaint falls in the categories identified by it for taking action, he added.

In an interim order, the HC had on August 27 directed the video-sharing website to remove the content objected to by Tata Sky.

YouTube had on Wednesday told the HC that it had complied with the order and removed the URLs of the said objectionable videos. Had Tata Sky not been unclear about the kind of violation that took place, YouTube may have acted even more promptly to remove the offending content, it claimed.

Tata Sky had contended that the website was legally obliged to act with promptitude once it was clear that the videos were illegal.

The HC said YouTube’s review team appeared to have “got into a bind about correctly categorising” the complaint “instead of actually taking a call on whether the nature of the content required taking down”.

The court said: “If it (YouTube) had focused on the latter aspect, the need for Tata Sky to have approached this court for relief could have been avoided”.

Since YouTube had already removed the offending URLs and said it would act promptly on such complaints in the future, the court disposed of Tata Sky’s petition.

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