In many cases the trademarks and copyright violators hide behind the Google’s platforms and contacting Google becomes the only available option. The case we are presently pursuing with Google US and Google India is one such case.
We have been managing many blogs and the offending blog in dispute was one of them. For suitable arrangement of our contents, we shifted the contents of the same to another blogspot address in the past. However, before we could block the previous blog address somebody else registered the same and misappropriated it. The only content available at the offending blog belongs to us and is our copyrighted content. Even the title and style of the offending blog is ours and many people still consider the same as our blog.
This amounts to not only violating our copyright and trade mark but also an act of impersonation. We have contacted Google earlier but till now no such action has been taken. We have once again contacted Google Incorporation on 22-01-2012 and filed a DMCA complaint for copyright violation, trademark violation and other allied issues.
We are waiting for the response of Google Incorporation vis-à-vis copyright violation. Further, a response regarding trademark violation has been given by Google Incorporation against which we have asked for further details and clarifications. So for the time being our DMCA complaint is still pending before Google Incorporation for all the matters.
We intend to pursue this matter at both US and Indian levels with various judicial, quasi judicial and administrative authorities. The process in this regard has been started in US through DMCA complaint. Through an e-mail notice we have also expressed our desire to take all possible legal and administrative actions, wherever applicable, against Google India Pvt Limited as well, unless the infringing activities are discontinued within 36 hours of serving of this notice. We have also sent an electronic legal notice to Mr. Thirumalesh Gangappa, the official legal representative of Google India on 27-01-2012.
As per the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011, the “safe harbour” protection of Internet intermediaries like Google is lost the moment they become aware of “objectionable contents” that include intellectual property violating contents. Now the matter has been brought to Google (US and India) actual and express notice, and they are required to comply with the IT Rules 2011.
The offending blog in question has acquired distinctiveness and goodwill in our favour and many people and institutions still associate that blog with Perry4Law. Some are in fact posting legal problems to be redressed by us. However, since the control of that blog has been transferred to some other person, we could not do much in this regard. The only content available at that blog belongs to us that also violate our copyright.
We have already filed a spam report with Google US and have also used the Google US help forum in this regard. As far as the copyright violation DMCA complaint is concerned, besides the entire blog, we have also provided the specific links that are violating our copyright. We have also proved that the contents, tiles and blog in question were used by us since 2006-2007.
We have raised our legal concerns with Google Incorporation and Google India in this regard in every possible manner. We have used DMCA complaint form, Google’s Help Forum and also used the e-mail method for contacting Google Incorporation and through another communication we have brought this fact to Google India’s actual knowledge.
We expect Google Incorporation/Google India to transfer our blog address back to us and remove the copyright violating material. This transfer is also required so that we can remove the offending comments and impersonation, trademark and copyright violations committed by the present owner who seems to be acting mala fide with ulterior objects. Since the parties to the dispute are Indian and Indian courts have the jurisdiction over the matter that we intend to invoke.
Further, US government needs to change its policies towards foreign IP infringements and enforcements. Incidences like these are responsible for enacting harsh laws like SOPA and PIPA. These incidences are also responsible for filing of civil and criminal complaints against companies like Google in India.
Indian government and Indian courts need to consider these aspects while deciding various cases against foreign websites and social media platforms. If Indian intellectual property and cyber laws are not respected, there is no other option but to choose a harsh stand of foreign websites blocking in India.
The matter would come for hearing before the Delhi High Court on 02-02-2012 and we hope the Delhi High Court would take judicial note of these facts also while adjudicating upon that matter.