Tag Archives: Regulation

Indian Convergence Law – Forever ‘in the Pipelines’?

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Back in the year 2001, when the same government was in power, it tried to pass a bill called the Communication Convergence Bill, 2001. The Bill failed, due to reasons mentioned later in the post, but apparently it isn’t quite ready to die yet.  The Bill has now been revived as the Communication Convergence Bill, 2014, with news reports indicating that the Telecom Minister is quite definitely going to push for it.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Government seems to be lagging a bit behind its own claims in this regard. These claims were originally made in September, with the Minister stating that the Bill would be ready in time for the Winter Session of the Parliament. And yet, with the Session already over, there seem to be nearly no indications of its existence. But though time will only tell what the future of this Bill is going to be, right now seems to be a good time to examine the issues involved therein. Continue reading Indian Convergence Law – Forever ‘in the Pipelines’?

Thoughts on 3D Printing: Possibilities and Regulations

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3D Printing in India
3D printing in india was initially quite stagnant, but a sudden boom in 3D printing startups has created a whole culture of 3D printer industries. Most of the Indian startups aim to make a cost effective 3D printer. While they currently aim at industries, they will soon design products for regular people as they try to make their printers cheaper. As of right now, our economy prefers cheap over high quality.
Restrictions on 3D Printers
The reasons for regulating 3D printers have been covered by Kartik in his post here. As mentioned therein, the main reason why it is almost impossible to regulate 3D printing is because the hardware is with you, the user. So the users can modify the operating system and the hardware of the printers to use them however way they want. They can even add parts or remove parts as 3D printers are generally quite customisable, with many how-to guides on the internet.
A general rule of thumb for hacking is that it is tougher to hack something if you don’t have the hardware, but it gets very easy if you have the hardware. The people with the know-how can easily remove the restrictions put in by the manufacturers, no matter what these restrictions are. These people will then release guides, allowing other people to to do the same.
So then here is what can be regulated : 
* Websites selling 3D printed guns/other illegal commodities.
* Websites selling 3D printers capable of creating illegal commodities.
* Restrictions on the materials (plastics , metals , ceramics etc), so people buying these in large quantities could be possibly manufacturing illegal things in government’s eyes.
That is where I think this article is slightly off the mark. In its discussion of the ‘Reliability’ point, the author therein says that 3D printers typically use plastics. While that is currently true, that is because plastics are relatively cheap, and 3D printing is still practically in its infancy. But it is also technology that is quickly gaining funding. Thus, while plastics, being cheap and easy to manufacture, are used as of now, it will soon be quite easy to use metal and other forms of inks. It is not currently cost effective, but the growth of 3D printing industry will be exponential.
According to me, it is not possible in any way to put a restriction on 3d printers after they are bought. Only on the outlets that sell the printers and the quantity of material sold can there be possibility of successful restriction.
At the same time, the following are some examples of restrictions generally mooted for 3D printers:
* Closed source : The underlying code of the 3D printer is hidden, making it extremely hard, but not impossible, to find loop holes even for experts. To bypass this most people will just replace the full operating system with a custom version.
* DRM on purpose-built hardware/similar schemes : It is tough to build the hardware to protect the secret key against a sufficiently determined adversary. This is the restriction we should expect in commercial 3D printers.
* Software based DRM/similar schemes : This form of restriction is usually easy to break, as the decryption keys would be present with the software for decryption of the content.
As a side note, an interesting concept is that of 3D printed cars. The convergence of the automotive industry with 3D printing technology is quite powerful an idea. At an individual level, it will be possible to download car’s design, print it, drive it. But at the industrial level, this (extremely exciting) technology is still in its infancy, and it won’t achieve its true potential until the automotive giants bring their capital, and their excellent R&D departments, to invest in the technology themselves.

Regulating a Revolution – 3D Printing

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3D printing is currently one of the biggest buzzwords in technologically inclined circles. And yet, it is not in and of itself a new technology, and has been in existence since 1984. The current increase in its popularity is because it is only now becoming accessible to the common consumer. But that is exactly why 3D printing is so important. Consumer-level 3D printing does away with the obstacles or resources associated with the currently prevalent process of creating things. It allows anyone with an idea and a 3D printer to ‘print’ their exact ideas, test them out, create prototypes, or just use them directly. All you need to do is design the blueprint of your idea on your computer, and print it. It is, in a way, bringing about the “democratisation of production”. And in case designing the item is too much work for a consumer, he or she can just download a blueprint for their 3D printer from the internet. Continue reading Regulating a Revolution – 3D Printing

Law Commission Media Law Consultation – Panel V, Social Media

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The following is a post by Aman Gupta, a fourth year student at NUJS, covering the fifth panel of the Law Commission’s Media Law Consultation. Aman is currently the Director of the NUJS Society of International Law and Policy, and his areas of interest include Sports Law and Media Law. This post brings forward some very interesting ideas about Social Media Regulation in India, which we will be following up on in future posts.

The Law Commission of India hosted a two day consultation process on issues concerning Media Law in New Delhi on the 27th and 28th of September. The fifth panel of the event dealt with the controversial topic of ‘Social Media’ with regard to Section 66A of the Information and Technology Act (IT Act). The consultation was attended by journalists, academics and students, along with the owners of various websites that have been affected by the application of the provisions of the IT Act.

The panel consisted of Siddharth Luthra, Usha Ramanathan, Karuna Nundy, Geetanjali Duggal, Dr. Gulshan Rai. The moderator for the panel was Pawan Duggal.
Continue reading Law Commission Media Law Consultation – Panel V, Social Media

Law Commission Media Law Consultation – Panel I, Self Regulation v. Statutory Regulation

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The following is a post by Shashank Singh, a third year student at NUJS, covering the first panel of the Law Commission’s ongoing Media Law Consultation, Self-Regulation v. Structural Regulation.  Shashank currently serves as Associate Editor for the  NUJS Law Review, and his areas of interest include Constitutional Law, Media Law and IPR. 

The Law Commission of India is currently hosting a two day consultation process on issues concerning media law. This comes in the backdrop of the TRAI’s Recommendations on Ownership of Media released on August 12, 2014. The first panel looked at the much debated topic of Self Regulation v. Structural Regulation. The consultation was attended by journalists, academics and students. Ironically, the notable absence in the entire consultation process were the ‘owners’ who would be most effected from the outcome of any future binding regulation.

This panel consisted of Justice R.V. Raveendran, N. Ram, Ravish Kumar and Vanita Kohli-Khandekar. The panel was moderated by S. Varadrajan.

Continue reading Law Commission Media Law Consultation – Panel I, Self Regulation v. Statutory Regulation

An Explanation of Bitcoins, Part II (The Technology)

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(This post is based in part on a paper earlier published by Rostrum Law Review)

This post first explains the Bitcoin Network itself and some of its vulnerabilities, and then the cyptography used by Bitcoins that gives it the title of Cryptocurrency. Continue reading An Explanation of Bitcoins, Part II (The Technology)