The case in question was filed by Ms. Neetu Singh and KD Campus. The former is the author of various books, courses, and lectures, for which the latter runs coaching centers. Both rightsholders have repeatedly complained to Telegram about channels that shared pirated content. In most cases, Telegram took these down, but the service refused to identify the infringers. As such, the rightsholders asked the court to intervene. The legal battle culminated in the Delhi High Court this week via an order compelling Telegram to identify several copyright-infringing users. This includes handing over phone numbers, IP addresses, and email addresses.
The order was issued despite fierce opposition. One of Telegram’s main defenses was that the user data is stored in Singapore, which prohibits the decryption of personal information under local privacy law. The Court disagrees with this argument, as the ongoing infringing activity is related to Indian works and will likely be tied to Indian users. And even if the data is stored elsewhere, it could be accessed from India. Disclosing the personal information would not be a violation of Singapore’s privacy law either, the High Court adds, pointing out that there is an exception if personal details are needed for investigation or proceedings.
Telegram also brought up the Indian constitution, which protects people’s privacy, as well as the right to freedom of speech and expression. However, that defense was unsuccessful too. Finally, Telegram argued that it is not required to disclose the details of its users because the service merely acts as an intermediary. Again, the Court disagrees. Simply taking infringing channels offline isn’t good enough in this situation, since infringers can simply launch new ones, as if nothing had happened.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.