Workshop Proposal 16

Date: 5 Aug 2014

Time: 15:30 – 17:00

Venue: Tapas 2

Remote Participation LInks: Video / Text / Adobe Connect

Workshop Title Minimising legal risks of online Intermediaries while protecting user rights
Thematic Area of Interest
  • Internet business in the Asia Pacific region
  • Consumer protection for users of global Internet services
  • Internet for socio-economic development
Specific Issues of Discussions & Description Internet usage in the Asia Pacific region has been growing at a phenomenal rate and online service providers have benefited enormously from this growth. However the region poses challenges for online service providers in terms of legal risks involved with respect to user generated content. Across the world from Europe tothe US, it has been an accepted policy that service providers on the Internet cannot be held liable for user-generated content and this principle has found place in legislations enacted in this field in most countries. However, the Asian region has often seen blocking of services and websites due to user-generated content that is deemed to be illegal. There needs to be a debate on safe harbour provisionsfor intermediaries and the take-down provisions in legislations to ensure that the right to freedom of expression of citizens are protected while maintaining an environment that permits innovation in this space.The workshop will also consider the different classes of  intermediaries, how they differ functionally and if their differing roles should bear an impact on their responsibility with regards to protection of rights of users. Traditional models of consumer protection are based on distinguishing the roles and responsibilities of suppliers, facilitators and consumers. While developing consumer protection models for online intermediary platforms, their evolving roles and responsibilities as a supplier and a facilitator need to be considered. Intermediary platforms have also created and highlighted new consumer relations and issues that call for robustand fluid reddressal mechanisms.The need to reflect on reddressal mechanisms for consumer issues pertaining to online intermediaries is also necessary, given the economic implications associated with intermediary liability. Failure to protect intermediaries stems innovation and restricts growth of start-ups and small to medium enterprises in the digital economy and has negative financial implications. Moreover, intermediariesare crucial in connecting developing countries to global markets and a failure to protect them, creates a barrier to information exchange and capacity building.The panel will discuss the following issues:

• Take-down procedures and Put-back provisions used in various countries in the region

• Safe-harbour provisions for intermediaries

• Need for classification of Intermediaries for the purpose of a take-down regime and user rights

• Rights of users of services provided by online intermediaries

• Recommendations for a balanced intermediary liability regime

Expected Format and Target Panel Members The workshop will be a ninety minute panel divided in two sessions of forty five minutes each. The proposed panel includes:

Workshop Organiser The workshop will be jointly organised by SFLC.IN and the Centre for Internet& Society, India. The details of the contact person for the workshop is given below:1. Ms. Mishi Choudhary, Executive Director, SFLC.IN2. Jyoti Panday—Centre for Internet & Society, India3. Elonnai Hickok—Centre for Internet & Society, India