Law is organic. It is ever-evolving. Its most difficult challenge, however, is to evolve as quickly as the changes being embraced by the society. It is indeed a tough task considering the breakneck speed at which we are advancing. Arguably, the biggest fear facing society today is the probable inability of law to keep pace […]
Till a fortnight ago, the world waited with bated breath as the members of the European Parliament contemplated a proposed directive to herald a new Copyright Law within the European Union. This Directive aims to create a digital single market and has been named as such. However, the proposal has been a hotbed for controversy right since its very inception in 2016. While many advocate both for and against its enforcement, not all understand why so many open letters were written to the Parliament, especially by internet giants like Wikipedia and why Facebook and Google staunchly opposed it. While stalwarts of the entertainment industry, especially sound and music, were vehemently in favour of the law.
The Parliament, in its esteemed wisdom, did not bite the bullet and sent the proposal back for revision. It will now be tabled again in September which is but a momentary respite from all the brouhaha.
For all those wondering why the internet generation cried rivers together, here’s a breakdown of why this Directive was touted as being the next step in surveillance and would have ‘broken’ the internet.
The primary issue revolved around Articles 11 and 13 of the Directive, popularly known as the ‘link tax’ and ‘meme ban’, respectively.
In short, Article 11 would have made it impossible for websites like Wikipedia, news aggregators like Google and media monitoring companies to upload even snippets of news articles from sources like the BBC without first paying a license fee to the original publishers. Hence, the link tax nomenclature. You would be taxed for linking to another’s original content.
On the other hand, the meme ban would have required all content sought to be uploaded on the internet to first be filtered for plagiarization so as to prevent infringement of copyright. All internet companies and websites would have to automatically filter the content and no exceptions was provided for honest/genuine parodies, memes, vines, etc. It needs no mention that the cost of developing and installing such auto-filtering software would have been humongous for the companies, especially considering the huge amount of data that is sought to be uploaded every second of every day.
Additionally, such filtering would also have enabled the authorities to monitor or ‘surveil’ internet usage of the people. Someone seeking to upload copyrighted material, in any form irrespective of the intention, would have raised red flags. Opponents of the directive had gone as far as to say that this would have made even made NSA’s surveillance look like child’s play.
As of yet, it is not clear which Articles of the proposed Directive will be revised before re-tabling. However, it is hoped that all genuine points raised by stakeholders in the industry will be given due consideration. Or else, the internet as we know it will change forever.
Law is organic. It is ever-evolving. Its most difficult challenge, however, is to evolve as quickly as the changes being embraced by the society. It is indeed a tough task considering the breakneck speed at which we are advancing. Arguably, the biggest fear facing society today is the probable inability of law to keep pace with advancement in technology.
We cannot govern what the law has not envisaged. And, what is ungoverned can very likely cause anarchy and disruption, to say the least.
However, technology, while being a worthy adversary to law, is also an indispensable ally. With ingenious criminals harnessing a devilish kind of creativity these days, it is technology which makes it possible to even detect crimes in the first place, leave alone nabbing the culprits.
Thus, the Union Cabinet’s approval of the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018 granted today comes as a welcome and much-needed reprieve. This Bill, in essence, is aimed towards expanding the scope of application of DNA-based forensic technologies in order to assist the justice delivery system in India. No one can disagree about the usefulness of such technology in bringing crimes home to criminals, providing relief to victims and their families and serving justice to the society at large.
This Bill provides for mandatory accreditation and regulation of DNA laboratories ensuring the reliability of test results and protection of data from misuse or abuse.
Thus, this Bill hopes to achieve an expedited delivery of justice and a heightened rate of conviction. The comprehensiveness and ambit of the Bill will enable cross matching of DNA samples so as to reconcile cases of missing persons with the discoveries of unidentified bodies all across the country in the hope of establishing identity of victims.
Similarly, in cases of crimes that are committed against the human body, such as violent crimes like murder, rape, causing grievous hurt, or physical contact crimes like kidnapping, trafficking, abduction, etc. as well as crimes against property where the culprit might leave behind some imprint of himself (like burglary, theft, etc.) can now be solved easily with Forensic DNA profiling that is part and package of this Bill.
Presently, only a small percentage of such cases go through the process of DNA testing. However, with the expanded use of this technology envisaged in the Bill, criminals of India need to beware!
There has been a lot of brouhaha surrounding rumours of Flipkart being taken over by either Amazon or Walmart. Amidst speculation, an underlying deeper concern was the potential impact on small-time traders, retailers and market economy as well. While the battle of the giants ended in favour of Walmart which, on 9th May, 2018, […]
I’ll be going a little off topic today. Well, I say off topic because today’s post is not poetry or prose related – but if you consider the fact that I’m a lawyer by profession, it would definitely make sense.
I was wondering how often is it that lawyers and non-lawyers alike are miffed, baffled and, at times, left completely out of the loop when it comes to important aspects of our country’s governance? Yes, I’m speaking of parliamentary updates and passing of new, path-breaking judgments that end up being nothing more than latin and greek to the common man? What I find to be unreasonably ironical is that these people, who are unable to understand what just happened, are the ones who’d be most affected by these updates. Are you following me?
Let me make this simpler – out of all my European friends, how many actually understand GDPR (General Data Protectio Regulation), the law coming into effect on 25th May,2018 aimed at protecting their own personal and private data?
How many of us Indians are still trying hard to figure out the finer nuances of GST (Goods and Services Tax) in an attempt to not get swindled by every other trader out there?
Do I make sense now?
It’s an unfortunate situation, right?
Well, what if I tell you there’s a platform that not only decodes all such information but literally provides it at your doorsteps – nah – fingertips!?
I came across Legis Orbis recently and, trust me, I’ve become a convert. In an age where every media house has its own axe to grind, has not-so-hidden political agenda and what matters most is ratings and profits – here’s a forum dedicated to only delivering bare facts in the fastest and most reliable manner possible.
Coming down to brass tacks, if you’re interested in the developments taking place in our country and want to know the direction in which it’s heading – just like every responsible citizen and member of the society should be – it’ll be worth your while to go check out Legis Orbis. You don’t need to take just my word for it and subscribe – there are trials available for you to make up your own minds. But hey, when you can trust me with pleasing your thirst for poetry at times – then I’m sure you can take a leap of faith and go check out this brilliant new endeavour by a team of dedicated, hard-working people who are bound to become path-breaker. I’m providing access links to the platform’s pages down below for ready reference!
Also, I would love to hear your views on the questions I’ve raised in the beginning of the post. So, if you could please be so kind as to leave a quick word in the comments section down below, pretty please?
As always –
PS – This is not a paid promotion. Nor has there been any quid pro quo. Like I keep saying, I’m not a big enough blogger for that yet. But hey, if you think otherwise, then thank you, i am indeed very honoured! (Internal me – haha, fooled ya!)