Discussions and deliberations on the three-day International Seminar on Health, Human Rights and IPR, being held at the National University of Advanced Legal Studies, held successfully. The Technical session III was focussed on the theme – “Access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) & Governance: Linkages, Lessons and Leeways.” The session started with the thoughtful views of the chair, Dr S. S. Girishankar, Director of Centre for Law Governance and Policy Studies, Government Law College Ernakulam. He opened the floor by discussing about the concept of governance with its relation to the constitutional principles and models of governance. He raised issues of Digital Divide, Digital Literacy and usages of ICT. This was followed by the speech of resource person for the session, Ms Athira Raju, Assistant Professor in School of Legal Studies, Central University of Kerala. She commenced by commenting on Good Governance and touched upon related issues of management, participation, accountability with regard to ICT. She raised a doubt about the preparedness of India for the implementation of ICT and efficacy of digital programmes initiated by the Government for Digital Literacy.
The presentation was initiated by the first speaker, Dr Shinsy P. S., Guest Faculty in School of Legal Studies, CUSAT. Her chosen issue was “Indian women and Access to information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) - Major Concerns.” She related the involvement of women in ICT with the empowerment of women. She highlighted the problem women participation in ICT related sectors coming from only urban areas and very from rural areas. She held a view that ICT is causing inequality among women within the already existing inequality structure between men and women. Dr Shinsy was followed by Ms G. Siji, Research Associate, NUALS on the topic “An overview of Data Protection Law in India.” She advocated the formation of legislative and regulatory framework for data protection in India on the lines of European Union and Japan.
The following speakers were Ms. Namrata Chakraborty and Mr. Debanis Roy Chowdhury, students of Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad and spoke on the topic “Enforcing a Procedural Law for Rural India - Need of the Hour in Digital Literacy.” They mentioned many problems or disputes in the implementation of Digital Literacy and ended up by giving suggestions or ways to improve the efficacy of Digital Literacy programmes. They were followed by the last presentation of the session by Ms. InduVathana & Ms. PrithaGayen, students of Tamil Nadu National Law School, Trichy on the Issue “Indian Education In 0’s & 1’s: The upcoming challenges.” They threw light upon various legal and administrative framework existing in India related to education and literacy. They emphasised on the fact that Literacy should be prioritised over Digital Literacy.
The chair concluded the session by addressing all the issues raised by the speakers and providing his valuable insights on ICT and its larger application to governance.
Technical Session IV Access to ICT & Governance: Linkages, Lessons and Leeways -
Discussions and deliberations on the three-day International Seminar on Health, Human Rights and IPR, being held at the National University of Advanced Legal Studies, held successfully. The fourth session was chaired by Dr. Bismi Gopalakrishnan and the resource person for the same was Dr. Jill Bronfman. Dr. Bronfman gave the introductory address on the topic Internet of Things where she spoke about the fast paced advancement of technology in our normal life. She took the example of how drones are like lying mobiles and various other things. She emphasised on the point that the new age lawyers should think before they act as this is both reasonable and logical. New technology is very difficult to regulate once it is out there. As a conclusive statement she reiterated that we should all regulate and check our consequences of actions. The chair later concurred with her views and commenced the session.
The first presenter was Ms. Parvathi Menon and Mr. Lokpal Hangal from Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad and they presented on the topic ‘A critical study of the IT Act and Copyright Act in the light of Indian Cinema Industry’. They focussed mainly on Digital Piracy, how to tackle it and provided recommendations for the same. Under tackling of Digital Piracy he mentioned John Doe orders from 2005 where the identity of the infringer is not revealed the digital rights management where just like a watermark on currency notes there is watermark on copyright protected material. Infringement of copyright would amount to fine or imprisonment or both. The presenters recommended the establishment of an online licensing department and enforcement department.
The second presenter for the session was Mr. Aravind Geedipelly from Tamil Nadu National Law School who presented on the topic ‘Metatag: An invisible infringement’. He started by explaining what Meta tag was by the example of Amazon. He pointed to the BEST case and said that Meta tags have become advertisements and trademark infringement is frequently being related to them. He also discussed about the infringement of Section 29 of the Trademarks Act. The presenter mentioned the results from this practice such as, confusion in the mind of customers, unfair competition and trademark dilution. After this he cited a UK based case where the court said there should be strict interpretation of copyright provisions as an average consumer does notice the Meta tags. He concluded by saying that search engines are not liable in case of copyright infringement through meta tags but specific provisions should be made to stop this activity.
Final presenter for the day was Mr. Chirag Jindal from NUALS who presented on the topic ‘Intellectual Property in the Age of Artificial Intelligence; Issues and Possible Solutions’. He explained in detail the four stages or steps of AI which are computer, computer software/program, heuristic which is an advanced form of algorithm and knowledge/database. His presentation was basically about raising issues rather than presenting solutions like, whether the current IPR regime can combat AI development and what is the ownership in AI regime. Elements of AI were discussed in terms of being patentable and copyrightable. After this he put forth the issue that the problem is with AI and not with the software. He explained how patents are better developed than copyrights by stating reasons like easy enforceability in patents and how similar kinds of invention cannot be included in copyright but the same can be achieved in patent. He concluded the session by saying that the current patent regime has failed with respect to AI.
The session concluded with a question session by the panel.