Digital technology is one of the greatest achievements of the mankind, paving way for not only more advancement, but also making lives easier by offering convenience and speed. As often with new innovations, midst the ease of living offered by technology and digital evolution, the need for better regulation and effective implementation of such new regulations becomes of paramount importance.

In this era of technology, the ease of access and removal of physical hindrances makes it easier to access information available in one end of the world, while sitting in another end, i.e., information can now be accessed beyond their places of origin. The anonymity offered by the internet further makes it difficult to curb activities that are made possible with digital revolution. One such area that can be said to have been at the receiving end of the drawbacks of digital era is the field of intellectual property, on account of widespread piracy and counterfeiting. With a change in time and development of technology, evolution of new digital and broadcasting technologies, there has been widespread commercialization of the intellectual property of the right holders, often without their consent, which calls for an urgent need for the protection and preservation of the same.

Copyright law in digital enforcement cannot be discussed without mentioning the rampant misuse and misappropriation of traditional cultural expressions (TCEs). This commercial exploitation has resulted in stakeholders of the TCEs being denied their cultural and economic interests in the same, placing an obligation on the national governments as well as international organizations to look at intellectual property in a completely new role i.e. there is a shift in the purpose that intellectual property rights had been serving as an economic incentive for creativity, whereas now intellectual property rights are being viewed as a tool to promote and protect the interests of the rightholders.

The ease of availability of information and the anonymity provided by online platforms give rise to the assumption that the usage of the material so available is free and without being detected by another person and thus increases the possibility of further violations through the ease of copying,borrowing, sharing online etc.

With the world now shifting to the digital mode, companies and stakeholders are now interested in marking their presence online and advertising in the cyberspace. Online trade mark infringement is also rampant in that there is now an increase in the availability of counterfeit products that are advertised, marketed and sold under the protection of anonymity provided by the internet. Cyber squatting of trademarks is another area that needs a better legal protection.

The main issue is the conflict that arises because of the works being in public domain, which paves way for an ease in its privacy or the lack thereof and the vested interest of private domain. Because of the transborder issues associated with digitalization, it makes it easier for people to exploit the intellectual property from one side of the globe to another, which further dilutes its value, and without a proper, concrete law governing the same and penalties being imposed for the misuse, the value and status of intellectual property would continue to deteriorate and the rightholders would continue to be affected, with their rights being violated again and again.


Anagha Nair