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Google is finding that the safe harbor provisions that protect Internet service providers from the consequences of their users’ actions in the United States are forfeit once you add an “India” suffix to your brand. Google’s Indian subsidiary, Google India Private Ltd., has been ordered by the Bombay High Court to reveal the identity of a blogger accused of defaming a construction company called Gremach Infrastructure Equipments & Projects. Seems a pseudonymous “Toxic Writer” once conducted what Gremach describes as a “hate campaign” against it. And he used Google’s Blogger service to do it. The Bombay High Court ordered the blog offline in February and Google obliged. It ordered the company to divulge its author’s name as well, but Google (GOOG) has yet to comply.
And while that type of response might fly in the states, it’s not going to go over so well in India, where Web publishers can be held liable for the content created by their users.