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  • Sakshar Law Associates

Legal requirements for making YouTube channel in India

Updated: Dec 14, 2022


Sakshi Shairwal

Kanishka Hasabnis

The present Indian policies revolve around the idea of censorship and a legitimate ban on communal remarks. The position of laws in India for YouTube is way different from that of America. All the content creators, standup comedians, etc. are all protected under the first amendment law of the united states constitution which reads as “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Despite the fact that India is a democracy with citizens having a constitutionally given right to freedom of speech and expression, the country differs from the rest of the free world in a number of ways.

There are gazillion things to be kept in mind when it comes to starting your own YouTube channel in India. The technical aspect of it is indeed a concern of the area but if not aligned with existing laws and policies it might cause a problem for the concerned party and this would lead to serious legal implications.

It is an unsettling fact that Indian laws on freedom of speech and expression are quite contrary to its democratic claims. Following is a list of provisions that must be kept in mind at all times while going about a YouTube channel:

1. Article 19 (2) of the Indian constitution.

2. Section 153 (A) of the Indian Penal Code, 1960 - The goal of Section 153 A is to punish those who engage in willful vilification or attacks against a certain group or class's religion, race, place of birth, domicile, language, or founders and prophets of religion.

3. Section 295 of the Indian Penal Code, 1960- This section makes the demolition, damage, or desecration of a house of worship or a sacred object with the aim to offend the faith of a group of people punishable by up to two years in prison, a fine, or both.

4. Section 295 A of the Indian Penal Code, 1960 – Its purpose is to penalize intentional and malicious acts that offend a group's religious sensibilities by insulting their religion or religious beliefs.

5. Section 125 of the Indian Penal Code, 1960- Whosoever rages war against the government of India.

6. Section 66A of the Information Technology, 2000- Imposes a penalty for delivering obscene texts via a communication service.

YouTube's video service is highly stringent; anyone who wants to use it must adhere to a set of community norms. After careful studying of the terms of service section of the YouTube, the author has accumulated a precise list of legal formalities that a YouTuber has to abide by:

I. Upon starting a channel you by default accept all the terms and conditions laid down by YouTube and these include abiding by YouTube community guidelines, copyright regulations as well as advertising on YouTube policies.

II. There’s a clause for age-appropriate content and parent control for better utilization when it comes to kids.

III. When working through an organization or so it has to be confirmed with YouTube that you have been authorized to act on the concerned organization’s behalf.

IV. The sort of content that a YouTuber chooses to share is her/her responsibility although the viewers have the right to report it if it appears to go against the YouTube community guidelines.

V. As far as the license is concerned, the creator/content creator transfers royalty-free and non-exclusive license to YouTube. The license continues to exist till the content has not been removed.

VI. The laws applicable to the creator are of the place where he/she resides. This also includes the recent amendments made in the information technology Act, 2000 that empowers the Government to review and prohibit any content which is harmful and detrimental to the national interest.

VII. The website has the right to remove a user's video and block their account based on their own interpretation of these guidelines, with no prior notice. This has gotten to the point that some YouTubers (s) have started making videos criticizing the website's application of the policy. It is usually taken down for two reasons either there has been a takedown notice against the video or the content ID is not correctly matched.

VIII. Although it is important to note that when it comes to Intellectual Property Rights, YouTube has a very efficient system. It is not necessary to file any special paperwork in order to have your intellectual property protected; it is assumed automatically.

IX. It is to be noted that there are certain things that cannot be included in a video for instance music and sound effects with copyright, clips, and stills (copyrighted), community guidelines restrictions, etc.


i.) Before sharing content on your personal YouTube channel, always try to find the original creator.

ii.) Make an effort to reach an agreement ahead of time. If you can't, it's preferable to avoid such stuff altogether and instead develop your own.

iii.) Before publishing anything on YouTube or another comparable site, always review the community guidelines.





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