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Fox Mandal wins for Lebara Foundation in Madras HC, against Poovayya for Google, YouTube

“Internet giants YouTube and Google are in a bind. The Madras high court has directed them to disclose details of a user (Marupakkam Seithigal) who posted a video that a private company (Lebara Foundation) termed defamatory,” reported the Times of India.

Fox Mandal Chennai partner Jeevanandham Rajagopal and associates S Aravindan and S Aswini briefed senior advocate PH Aravind Pandian for Lebara Foundation.

Poovayya & Co Chennai partner G Balasubramanian briefed senior advocate PS Raman for Google and YouTube.

Lebara Foundation had claimed that a video posted on YouTube by a user of the website was defamatory to Lebara, and had asked for the name and IP address of the user who had posted the video. YouTube and Google had resisted providing these details contending that this would expose them to legal claims of breach of trust by the user who had posted the video, and also that it is impossible for them to monitor all content posted.

The Madras high court, ruling in favour of Lebara, stated in its judgment:

“[Google and YouTube] have to act in a responsible manner by acting fairly to mitigate the civil wrong being committed by a Speaker by using its website.”

The high court added that it was not just for it to interfere when all that was requested by Lebara was the IP address of the user who had posted the allegedly defamatory video.

Read judgment (PDF)

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