In a one of its own kind case, Tata Sky recently filed a case against You Tube for hosting videos that taught people how to circumvent the encryption on the latter's Set-TopBoxes (STBs). The provisions of law involved are Section 66 of the IT Act and Section 65A of the Copyright Act, the latter being the provisions protecting Technological Protection Measures.
The Delhi High Court held that that in terms of Rule 3 (1) (e) of the of the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules 2011, You Tube is obliged not to host content that violates any law for the time being in force. The Court also directed YouTube to strengthen its complaint redressal mechanism. The High Court granted an interim injunction on August 27, 2015 in a Case filed by Tata Sky Ltd. and YouTube LLC from using the trade mark "TATA SKY" in any manner directly or indirectly in any of their websites including posts, messages, discussions, forums, blogs or any other form of electronic media, without written authorization of the plaintiff, and to remove any material whereby it is sought to prove any methodology or trick to hack into the system of the plaintiff or to access the plaintiffs services". It was further directed to remove the video clips "how to watch HD channels free in TATA SKY Trick" or "Hack tata sky for free exclusive" from their websites. YouTube LLC has taken down from its websites the URLs of the offending video against which Tata Sky's complaint was directed. The counsel appearing for Tata Sky pointed out that there was an unacceptable delay in YouTube LLC responding to Tata Sky's complaint to it about the offending video which virtually sought to teach the public how to hack Tata Sky's set top boxes (STBs) which were encrypted, thereby enabling free viewership of TV channels/contents which were otherwise available only to subscribers. He referred to Rule 3 (2) (d) and (e) and Rule 3 (4) of the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules 2011 and submitted that YouTube LLC was obliged to act with promptitude once it was clear that the offending videos were illegal inasmuch as that Tata Sky's STBs could be hacked into through simple steps. He referred to the order of the Supreme Court in Sabu Mathew George v. Union of India 2016 SCCOnLine SC 681 in which it was observed that the intermediaries there "cannot put anything that violates the laws of this country." Justice Muralidhar in his Judgment observed that in the present case neither Tata Sky nor YouTube appear to have been clear, in the first instance, whether the complaint pertained to a trademark or a copyright infringement or to some other legal issue. The correspondence exchanged between them reflects this confusion. However, there could be complaints regarding some material on the website of YouTube which by their very nature require it to act immediately without insisting on the Complainant having to clearly demonstrate that the complaint falls within one or the other category that YouTube has identified for the purposes of acting on such complaints.