| 17 Jul 2024
IMI calls for Metaverse accountability on Intellectual Property Rights

MUMBAI: Indian Music Industry Calls for Enhanced Accountability in Metaverse The Indian Music Industry (IMI), representing major labels like T-Series and Sony Music, advocates for heightened accountability from metaverse operators regarding intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement.

In response to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)'s consultation on Digital Transformation through the 5G Ecosystem, IMI emphasizes the importance of shared responsibility between metaverse operators and users in safeguarding creators' and users' rights.

Blaise Fernandes, CEO and President of IMI, raises concerns about potentially extending safe harbor protection to the metaverse. He highlights the challenges faced by rightsholders in enforcing copyrights, particularly within the music industry. Fernandes argues that such an extension could result in significant losses for creators, artists, and rightsholders, potentially impeding the growth of the recorded music industry in India. While IMI stresses the need for shared accountability, stakeholders like Meta, Jio, VI, BSNL, Nasscom, Tata Communications, and Nokia believe that the existing IPR regime is sufficient to regulate the metaverse.

Nokia identifies potential challenges arising from generative AI applications in the metaverse and suggests exploring blockchain with NFTs, acknowledging limitations in offering enforcement mechanisms for IPR. Most stakeholders agree that existing regulations concerning content moderation are adequate for metaverse regulation, given the technology's novelty.

They recommend a cautious "wait and watch" approach by TRAI to avoid stifling innovation. Nasscom proposes addressing metaverse regulation through the upcoming Digital India Act. Meta, a key proponent of the metaverse, acknowledges that existing internet laws govern the metaverse but recognizes the possibility of new issues emerging with technological developments.

Meta calls for a comprehensive dialogue framework to discuss emerging issues and regulatory gaps, advocating for a case-by-case approach to determine the necessity of new regulations. Regarding the increased collection of personal data by metaverse operators, stakeholders discuss the sufficiency of existing acts like the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act and Consumer Protection Act, provided they are rigorously implemented. Jio proposes establishing a multi-regulator body to address jurisdictional issues in the metaverse. Both BIF and Meta urge the Indian government to enable Wi-Fi in the 6 GHz spectrum, emphasizing the necessity of low latency and jitter for optimal augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences.

In its consultation paper, TRAI highlights key applications of the 5G ecosystem, including the internet of things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, and the metaverse. The regulatory body seeks input on increasing 5G