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Court orders Telegram to provide information in confidence about channels that violates copyright laws

According to a source, Telegram has been ordered by the Delhi High Court to provide information in a sealed cover within two weeks about channels on the messaging app that were involved in sharing content in violation of copyright laws. An entity could not claim the defence of the right to privacy and the right to free expression to escape the repercussions of legal actions, the High Court observed while ordering the messaging service to reveal information about the channel operators, including their cell numbers and IP addresses.

The Delhi High Court ordered Telegram to disclose information about the channel operators after observing that if it did not, the plaintiffs would be helpless to pursue damages for the “illegal” sharing of instructional materials on Telegram using “masked” identities.The messaging platform’s reliance on the rights to freedom of speech and privacy was deemed “completely inapposite” in light of the facts and circumstances of the case, according to Justice Prathiba M. Singh, according to the report.

As an intermediary under the IT Act, Telegram claimed that it was exempt from disclosure requirements. However, the court noted that this did not absolve Telegram of its obligation to take all necessary precautions to protect intellectual property rights.

As a result of these channels “mushrooming” on the messaging service, which uses servers in Singapore, the court further ruled that just blocking access to or removing content from them was insufficient to address the problem.

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