Telegram was made to share user data in a copyright violation lawsuit

Telegram was made to share user data in a copyright violation lawsuit
Image Credits Telegram

Complying with a court order in India, Telegram has been made to release the user data of a number of administrators accused of copyright infringement after a teacher sued the messaging service for not doing enough to prevent unauthorised distribution of her course material on the platform.

Neetu Singh, the plaintiff teacher, said a number of Telegram channels were re-selling her study materials without permission at discounted prices.

Data released includes their names, phone numbers and channel IP addresses.

Telegram, however, did try to fight back, arguing that disclosing user information is in violation of the privacy policy and laws of Singapore, where most of its physical servers are located.

In response, the Indian court said the copyright owners couldn’t be left “completely remediless against the actual infringers” just because Telegram chose to locate its servers outside the country.

The judgement in the Neetu Singh versus TELEGRAM FZ LLC is a global precedent in user data disclosure, and will be widely cited by in future court orders and legistlations with similar messaging apps that claim impenetrable security through end-to-end data encryption. 

The case has, in fact, already been cited in a case filed by Amul for removal of the “defamatory content” targeting it on social media and video-sharing site YouTube.

Telegram, which is widely used in India, amassing nearly 150 million users in the South Asian market, is often used for copyright infringement. As it stands today, the platform is littered with public channels where movies and TV shows are pirated and distributed to tens of thousands of users.

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