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Explain nature of contract with Facebook, Twitter: HC to Centre

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New Delhi, May 7:

The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the central government to file a detailed affidavit on the “exact nature of contract” entered into by it and its departments with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

FacebookA division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva asked the government to file the affidavit by July 30 which will also indicate whether the government gives royalty free licence to Facebook and Twitter without anything in return, when it uploads photographs or data on such sites.

During the hearing, the bench said that it appears that when anything is uploaded on Facebook and Twitter, the websites get a licence to the intellectual property rights (IPR) of the content without paying any royalty.

It asked Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain whether the government knows about it.

“It appears there are certain settings by which a user of social media can opt to restrict use of intellectual property rights. It also appears there could be grant of royalty free licence of the content uploaded,” said the court.

It further observed that technology has advanced so fast that people and the government in India have not understood it, and suggested that the government should enter into “special contract” with such social networking sites.

The court was hearing a petition filed by former BJP leader K.N. Govindacharya, in which advocate Virag Gupta questioned the usage of social media by government departments. (IANS)