Slander to Goods in social media – Relevant legal protection to businesses in digital era and related issues
Goodwill is an intangible asset of a business which is usually associated with the goods and services provided by business entity. It provides identity and value to the product of the trader. When a person makes transmits or publishes some false statement or representation to the public in general about the goods and trader suffers loss as the customer did not purchase goods from him, is called as slander to goods. In the digital era, social media marketing is a powerful means of building reputation and identity of goods. Even small businesses also use social media for the promotion of their products. Law relating to social media is govern by Information Technology Act,2000 (IT Act,2000) in India. Section 66A in IT Act was added to provide punishment for making any false statement by use of any electronic means. However, it was found insufficient to address above issue. At present there is no specific law in India to provide adequate protection to businesses against false statements about their products and unfair trade practices in social media. This paper addresses the issue of false statement in social media about the product as unfair trade practices. It also gives an overall outline of related legal protection against slander to goods and related issues. This research paper aims to highlight the requirements of fair practices in social media marketing to protect the interest of consumers and seller.