A.Ram Kumar


High Court of Andhra Pradesh

Intellectual Property Rights & Information Technology

• (Copyright)

Challenges of Cyber space

• Relationship between law and tech has always been uneasy

• Law had been slow and lethargic to respond to new technologies

• Till recently the law makers handled problems presented by technology with out break down of legal resources

• Convergence of computers and internet posed a much more grave problem

• Legal policy makers find it difficult to address.


Borderless environment

• Cyberspace is borderless environment

• Invisibility of net users facilitates anonymity and pseudonymity

• Intangible nature of the information

• All the above make it extremely difficult to apply traditional legal concepts to cyberspace activity.

• Even in absence of specific legislation the common law was being depended upon

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American Influence

• Internet basically product of US

• Issues relating to cyberspace greatly influenced by

US constitutional and legal issues

• Indian law is basically of British Origin and most of the laws are very archaic

• Indian law makers need to evolve new laws.

Emphasis laid under the IT Act to make the Act applicable to offences committed outside India


Identification – Major Problem

• A person can express his views in anonymity

• Anonymity and pseudonymity causes problems of identification

• Identification of offender is essential for imposing liability

• Identification some times involves technology – forensic or DNA

• Establishing offence becomes a major exercisenexus between equipment and offender


Exercise of Jurisdiction

• Borderless nature of the cyberspace challengers.

• Traditionally jurisdiction is linked with territory

• Court to decide if it has personal jurisdiction over the parties.

• Whether general jurisdiction or extra territorial jurisdiction

• Different views expressed by courts on the jurisdictional matter

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US Supreme Court

• Intl Shoe Co Vs Washinton

• “Ordinarily a non resident defendant may not be sued in the forum unless it is first established that the defendant has sufficient minimum contacts with the forum and the maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice”.

If this test was met the court could exercise its jurisdiction

• The convention on Jurisdiction and Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial matters being negotiated under the auspices of The Hague Conference on Private Intl

Law seeks to address the issue of multiplicity of


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Copy right issues

• Copyright law turned upside down

• Traditional legal doctrines on CR rendered out of date

• 3 indelible way by which information is used and exploited:

– Digitisation of information made reproduction easy

– Networking has made distribution easy

– WWW made publication easy

• Three developments contributed for costs to be shrunk to unimaginable level

• Economics of information value is affected

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Virtual property

• Virtual property is new kind of property spawned by the net

• This virtual property capable of generating astonishing wealth

• Information can be archived, compared, manipulated and distributed at astonishing ease

• Data bases have acquired new value

• TM Rights and Domain names have new virtual property in form of Cyber marks.

• Domain names runs the cyberspace and because of the globalization and commercialization of net DN are business identifiers

• Indian law has made a good head way in recognizing

DN as IP

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Knowledge Economy criminalisation

• Knowledge is third factor of production after capital and labour

• Knowledge is used to create and exploit

• Crucial part in generating wealth

• Knowledge capitalism is the new trend of business economy

• But in the race to achieve this law was left behind

• The pace of development of tech gave rise to on line offenders and criminal

• Speed at which offence is committed is incredible

• Pace at which the crime is detected and solved is slow

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New legal challenges

• The legal system as to be re engineered in so far as digital and cyberspace offences are concerned

• Evidence gathering and law relating to evidenced to undergo substantial change

• Searching and seizing of evidence calls for special expertise

• Legal fraternity has to familiarise itself with advanced evidence techniques like Forensic science, digital foot printing etc

• Legal questions should be settled fast even with judicial intervention

• The entire legal structure for Digital offences to be set up

• (Copyright)

Beginning made

• Courts have started with computerization,digitization and Networking - at lower level

• Hosting of day to day judgments

• Virtual conferencing in criminal matters

• Enterprise Resource Planning and CRM packages to help CJ’s to keep track of progress of litigation and disposals

• Posting of cause lists, judgments, references to acts etc

• By enacting IT Act, 2002, India has signaled to the world that our country is ready to take up challenges.

• Establishing Cyber Crime police stations to deal with digital offences

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Thank you

• Questions please