Imphal, Feb 13:
Taking serious note of the rampant sharing of news clips or PDF snippets published and broadcasted by registered newspapers and electronic media through social media, violating the Copyright and IT Act, the Editors’ Guild of Manipur (EGM), who are members of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU), have resolved to take legal action against anyone doing it. Unauthorized sharing not only violates the Copyright Act but also has the potential to cause trouble for the newspaper, as the original content can be manipulated with fake news.
The EGM and the publishers of media houses in Manipur had previously appealed to the public to refrain from sharing newspapers through social media, whether in PDF snippets or news clips, without prior permission from the respective media houses. Despite the appeal, people continue to share news clips or newspapers without permission. Therefore, the EGM has decided to take legal action against anyone who commits this offense.
The EGM reminds the public that violating the Copyright Act can result in imprisonment for at least six months or a fine of Rs. 50,000. The EGM warns those who violate copyrights to be prepared to face legal action.
According to the law, the unauthorized circulation or distribution of newspapers and their contents is a violation of Copyright under Section 51 (b)(ii) of the Copyright Act, 1957. Such actions can be stopped through injunction under Section 55 of the Copyright Act. However, individuals are allowed to share links to news stories from the media organization’s website.
Supreme Court lawyer Pavan Duggal states, “If a digital edition is being circulated without the owner’s permission, it is a violation of the Copyright Act, as well as Section 43 of the Information Technology Act, which clearly states that any attempt to destroy, delete, or alter information in a computer resource, or diminish its value or utility, is illegal. The person responsible will be liable to pay damages as compensation to the affected person.”