There are currencies and currencies in the world, and there is bitcoin.
The rise of bitcoins has excited public imagination today in much the same way the first transatlantic flight had ignited global fascination and fears. The next great revolution in IT is finally here. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Token, Litecoin, BBQCoin, SolidCoin and many more names have become far too common all across the internet. If not the other less known rivals, almost every internet user has come across the term bitcoin, especially since word spread out worldwide that value of the bitcoin unit has exceeded $16,000 USD or Rs 14,00,000 INR. The newspapers and websites are full of daily news as to which celebrity made or lost how much in bitcoins yesterday.
The bitcoin, along with multiple other cryptocurrencies, is shaking up global businesses and Governments alike. It is not surprising if reactions to these cryptocurrencies has been mixed. While many experts, including Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, have asserted that the rise of the bitcoin bears resemblance with the greatest bubble of all times, techno-enthusiasts such as Balaji Srinivasan of affirm that the bitcoin is the rational byproduct of the global development of internet.
Worldwide, regulators have genuine concerns that the bitcoin is a dangerous and unreliable technology which is helpful for circumventing established laws, especially those relating to money laundering. As a competitor to regular currencies it could jeopardise economies the way the housing bubble led to the financial crisis of 2008.
As far as India is concerned, Reserve Bank of India has time and again reiterated that bitcoins operate outside the purview of established laws and that those trading in bitcoins are doing so at their own risk. Techno-enthusiasts have however hailed the arrival of blockchain technology, the driving force behind bitcoin, as the next logical step in the development of the internet—decentralised, efficient and dehumanised payment systems. Blockchain expert Balaji Srinivasan affirms that cryptocurrencies and blockchain open the horizon for a new world where dissenters can “log off” from the establishment and assert absolute economic autonomy.
Let us make an effort to learn about the technology behind bitcoins, its benefits and pitfalls for businesses and economies, and the distinct features which make bitcoins unlike any “security”, “instrument”, or “currency” ever traded in modern times. While regulatory solutions are difficult to evolve, a minimalist regulatory regime can be devised as hedge against the elusiveness and anonymity afforded by bitcoins.
What is bitcoin
The answer is not simple. It is reasonable to grudge that defining bitcoin is a task that every expert has done in a manner different from the other. In fact, even Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma has publicly expressed his ignorance of bitcoin and its underlying technology. The generally available answers have been affected by the media hype over the bitcoin’s recent rise in value and have been extremely diverse. As recent developments have shown us, people across the world have paid no mind to Warren Buffet’s famous advice to avoid investing in anything we do not fully understand.However, leaving aside the technicality of pure computer code, bitcoins can be defined and explained in terms of their method of operation and functionality.
A celebrated bitcoin expert Andreas M. Antonopoulos has said that bitcoin is digital money. It is money just like euros or dollars, only it is not owned by a Government. Bitcoin is not a company.It is not an organisation. It is a standard or a protocol just like TCP/IP, or the internet. It is not owned by anyone. It operates by simple mathematical rules that everyone who participates in the network agrees on. This currency is the brainchild of Satoshi Nakamoto who in his research paper in 2008 posited that he had found a way to create a decentralised computing network to form consensus about exchange of things without any central controlling authority. He builds upon a mathematical concept known as the Byzantine Generals’ Problem which Nakamoto claims to have solved, and with it created his own bitcoin transaction network. As Antonopoulos explains:
… bitcoin is able to allow a completely decentralised network of computers to agree on what transactions have occurred on a network, essentially agreeing on who currently has the money. So, if I send money from my account to somebody else’s account in this peer-to-peer, completely decentralised network, it is just like sending an e-mail. There is no one in the middle. Every ten minutes, the entire network agrees on what transactions have happened, without any centralised authority, by a simple election that occurs electronically.
If all this explanation is not intelligible, another way to understand bitcoin may be to rethink how real world exchange works. In the real world, we regularly deal with the known fact of limited resources and scarcity of things. If Bhumesh has a pen, it means Somashish may not have one. If Somashish has a ten rupee note, Bhumesh may not have one. Thus, an exchange takes place. Generally, we are able to buy and sell by means of an intermediate mechanism, namely, the monetary system having a currency which is a promissory note having the watchful sanction of the State. All of us believe it to be valuable to the extent stated in the note because the power of the State enforces it.
Thus, in the real world currency helps buying and selling based on the value of each unit of such currency which people trustingly believe to be inter alia genuine and containing inherent value. Bhumesh, while selling his pen, need not bother about the currency so long it is the one which RBI regularly prints with all the regular legally prescribed and popularly known features. Bhumesh sells the pen and Somashish tenders the note without any worry as to the genuity and inherent value of the note. In the cyberspace it was hitherto thought impossible to replicate a similar exchange facilitating scenario before Nakamoto invented the bitcoin computing network/decentralised digital ledger called the blockchain.
While in the real world, it is the central bank of the country which ensures the authenticity and reliability of the currency, the same function is performed in the cyberspace by a set of well-defined codes called the blockchain held in consensus by a network of millions of servers and computers in the internet. The unique codes i.e. the genuine bitcoins are auto-verified and auto-accepted as per the set rules of the game. There is no central server or central system which operates the rules. The rules of the game self-operate. This network also keeps a decentralised digital ledger which debits and credits for every transaction that takes place. The blockchain is the automatic processor and recorder of all transactions with the bitcoins.
In the scheme of things, the bitcoin/cryptocurrency are unique codes with public and private digital keys along with a value in terms of any one of the given national currencies. Each time a subscribing individual buys a bitcoin, he pays the given value in the national currency through a bank account. In return for subscription of the bitcoin a unique programme code is obtained, being the private key underlying the bitcoin of the subscriber. If one loses a LinkedIn password, it can be reset. With this private key underlying a bitcoin, reality is that if one loses it, all the bitcoins are lost — as good as losing an entire wallet full of money. The computer network has an inherent public key which has to merge with the private key for bitcoin ownership.
Once a subscriber is part of the computer network, the transactional possibilities are unlimited. Automated smart contracts, bitcoin futures, bitcoin exchange, buying merchandise or making donations—all kinds of valuable transactions can be effected across the globe seamlessly, anonymously and immediately. There is no identity that gets recorded. What is recorded in the blockchain is that a certain subscriber node transacted with another subscriber node, without in anyway giving away locational or personal details of either transacting parties. The value of the bitcoin itself can be transferred to different pay wallets as well as to the bank account of the subscriber. Owning a bitcoin has till now paid off well. Investors who owned even a single bitcoin since 2014 have seen an over 800 per cent increase in bitcoin value which now stands at $16000 USD as against $234 USD in 2014.
The attraction of bitcoin is quite self-evident. Bitcoin is used in transactions worth $2 billion per day, a 10 times annual increase in 2017. The user base has surpassed 100 million last year. The sheer scale of transactions means the blockchain now keeps unlimited amounts of transaction data, all of it being decentralised through the entire network. Is the blockchain susceptible to being hacked? Is the data susceptible to stealing? Well at this point, the answer is that it could be done but only at an astronomical expense for the blockchain to be brought to a standstill. Attempts at hacking the blockchain find stiff resistance due to the decentralised storage of the data and stealing from the entire network is impossible only because of this reason. The existing codes on which the blockchain operate cannot be totally subverted due to the massive extent of the computing network.
The real innovation lies in the underlying technology—the blockchain. The blockchain is a decentralised public ledger that is transparent and trustless—in the sense that it enables people to cooperate in a distributed manner, and to transact with one another, without the need for any trusted authority or centralised clearinghouse.
As an important accounting innovation, it can lead to more efficiency and transparency in the field of many financial applications. It can reduce the cost of regulatory compliance, by means of multi-signatures and other technical mechanisms such as proof of solvency which can be used to increase the transparency and accountability of traditional fiduciary institutions. Similar claims have been presented into the IMF report on virtual currencies.
Whether/how can bitcoins be regulated
Regulating bitcoins could be a nightmare for Governments. It is not surprising if some of the extraordinary features of the cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cause foreheads to fold. A man fears what he knows the least. Bitcoins make for fast and anonymous payments across borders. However, the most negative aspect of bitcoins is that they can be fully understood and run only by minds exceptionally genius in coding. In fact, it is also questionable whether the scale of blockchain systems is good enough to securely cater to the fast increasing number of subscribers.
In blockchain’s scheme of things two entities play a pivotal role in ensuring that the network keeps generating maximum efficiency for subscribers— the open source software developers and the miners. The developers make, improve and repair the software underlying bitcoin. The miners are the entities causing the deployment of the software in the network and new issues of bitcoins for initial subscribers. Functionally they are significant for providing the ignition to the network which thereafter runs on the strength of the ever-expanding network of subscribers. Their role is also important for plugging security gaps and performance improvement/upgrades in the software.
Miners seek maximising the transaction fees that could be gained for each transaction through the blockchain. In such a scenario, the transactions which are of higher value are processed on priority. Disputes on the best way of upgrading the scale of bitcoins have already cause divisions in the bitcoin fraternity. The issues of lowering transaction fees and blockchain size increases which could have forced system upgrades for miners (with wide disparities in terms of hardware and software) have led to one division of bitcoin, creating the bitcoin cash on 1st August this year.
The bitcoin has continued with a comparatively less increase of the blockchain size but with a new offering that all low price payments have been made totally free. On the other hand, bitcoin cash makes use of slightly greater blocks in its blockchain network. Bitcoin cash makes for greater volume of bitcoin transactions which are processed quicker than the previously used blockchain network. Clearly this is a better product than original bitcoin. However, this also requires greater hardware and software upgrades for bitcoin subscribers to be able to stay on the network. Greater subscriber investment can only mean greater sunk costs which in turn make subscribers dependent and vulnerable to the miners of the currency, in case the miners successfully collude adversely. Thus, abuse of dominance related issues could creep into the bitcoin industry as greater differentiation of the bitcoin is likely to take place in the near future.
An even greater development is the untapped potential that blockchain/bitcoin technology has for facilitating tech startup funding. Tokens, a variant of bitcoin, which operate on a different blockchain network but on largely similar principles as bitcoins have been explored for their potential to fund tech projects. Capable of gathering funding at an unprecedented pace and quantum, the investment can be potentially sought from every user participating in the token’s blockchain. An example is how the Brave Browser developer team raised $30 million from its initial coin offering of its own attention token. The time within which the said investment was garnered was astounding to say the least. It was mere 24 seconds.
Product Hunt also engaged in a similar exercise called KittyCoins to finance its operations directly from the community. It needs a special kind of audacity to drop funds for such activity. It must be noted that the token is not an equity. The investors do not get any guaranteed return. The only way for them to redeem their investment is to wait their turn for the value of the token to rise sufficiently high for them for a comfortable sale in the future. The bottom line is that these new ways of finance, now termed “Kickstarter on steroids”, have the potential of fundamentally changing the way we might think about financing startups in the future. Daimler AG has even gone on to issue corporate bonds to the tune of €100 million in a blockchain trail.
Blockchain technology must find its own niche place in the legal regimes of each country for making economically efficient and sound regulation possible. From the perspective of securities law, bitcoin technology finds its closest analogy with participatory notes in terms of the anonymity of the subscribers. However, given the vast uses of this technology it may not be fair to bring it under the purview of securities law. Needless to add, bitcoin itself does not carry a right to any underlying assets of any kind. It also needs to be emphasised that bitcoins may have a lot to do with information technology but their functions go beyond the realm of software and hardware services. While it has all features of currencies, it is in fact heavily dependent on national currencies for the determination of its value.
Blockchain technology is to money and finance what Napster was to the music industry — a new paradigm. Napster had raised a debate whether listeners sharing music over P2P networks are outlaws. World has moved a long way since then. Today number of YouTube clicks on advertisement sponsored and freely-aired music videos have become the benchmark for marketing music albums. Standing at this crucial juncture, Governments need to make a policy choice.
Any outright curtailment or absolute prohibition may be counterproductive. At this juncture, the uses of bitcoin are quite diverse, mixed in a vast basket of legitimate and illegitimate uses. Should the transactions be banned, bitcoin technology would be reduced to being used only by the criminal “dark web”. So, if a curtailment or prohibition on bitcoins were contemplated, it would only be fair to ask whether the use of this technology should be relegated only to the criminal world. It would be efficient if such a revolutionary technology is instead given adequate time to be developed within a new legal framework. So, ultimately, the regulation of bitcoin must be based on its unique monetary and financial functionality. A new standalone regulatory regime which can be executed under the aegis of the various organs of the Finance Ministry would be a welcome step.
Money laundering and tax evasion are the two major concerns in India and these are two most common perceptions affecting bitcoins worldwide as well. Any attempt to insist on identity recognition mechanisms in the technology could unfairly disrupt the core principles of the technology. Investment that could be attracted towards making the network faster and efficient could unduly be wasted on trying to introduce extravagant changes in the basic framework of codes underlying the network. For good or bad, the blockchain technology is wholly incompatible with any controls/supervision pertaining to identity of transacting parties.
An efficient way to get around this problem is to monitor bank accounts which are linked to bitcoin wallets as and when money is transferred to the latter. A bank account balance is indispensable for the bitcoin subscriptions. While transactional details may remain absolutely secret due to the peculiarities of the blockchain technology, any movement of funds to and from the bank accounts may still provide ample suspicious indications for agencies concerned — taking a cue, they can initiate investigations and subsequently make a case for money laundering or tax evasion, as the case may be.
In the US, law enforcement agencies, businesses and consumers have grappled with complicated cryptocurrencies as well as the manner and extent to which they should be regulated. Regulatory activity related to offering virtual currencies has come in fits and starts, with a burst of intensity in 2013 spurred by the rise of the bitcoin. One of the earliest attempts at such regulation was the BitLicense which made KYC norms compulsory for bitcoin operators in New York.
In the spring of 2013, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, under the US Department of the Treasury, issued guidance on the obligations of virtual currencies under the federal Bank Secrecy Act. This announcement was quickly followed by stringent action. Law enforcement measures included seizure of assets of cryptocurrency participants held at banks in Maryland and California. Additional federal indictments, accompanied by seizure orders, were imposed against Liberty Reserve, the Costa Rica-based cryptocurrency. The Department of Financial Institutions in the State of California issued a cease and desist letter to the Bitcoin Foundation. The Foundation was charged with engaging in the business of money transmission without authorisation required by California’s Money Transmission Act.
Thus, the US has taken the approach of allowing cryptocurrencies to operate on the condition that they must comply with the law. Registration as a money transmitter was followed by obligation on the part of the cryptocurrency network to maintain annual reports on activities and an obligation to prohibit any criminal activity on the network coming to its knowledge. India can incorporate such a legal framework (or an even better counterpart) to regulate bitcoins.
Bitcoins present a new challenge for lawmakers across the world. However, a kneejerk reaction is least desirable. While bitcoins may be disruptive, they are not necessarily criminal and a thorough understanding of the technology underlying bitcoin must be the basis for any legal regulation. Blockchain technology is to money and finance what Napster was to the music industry — a new paradigm. The technology may either be condemned to the underground or be sceptically welcomed by the law. Future developments in bitcoins will be heavily determined by this highly essential policy choice. Bitcoins should receive a unique standalone legal framework of their own so that they may develop in a manner which is economically efficient and in consonance with public interest.
* Bhumesh Verma, Managing Partner, Corp Comm Legal and Somashish, Fifth Year B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) School of Law, Christ (Deemed University), Bangalore
 Bitcoin tops record $19,000, then plunges in wild 2-day ride <https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/06/bitcoin-tops-13000-surging-1000-in-less-than-24-hours.html>.
 The Blockchain is the Internet of Money <https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-blockchain-is-the-internet-of-money-1506119424>.
 I-T Dept conducts surveys at bitcoin exchanges across the country, <http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/i-t-dept-conducts-surveys-at-bitcoin-exchanges-across-the-country-117121300372_1.html>.
 Middlebrook, Stephen T. and Hughes, Sarah Jane (2014), Regulating Cryptocurrencies in the United States: Current Issues and Future Directions, William Mitchell Law Review: Vol. 40: Issue 2, Art. 11; John Rothchild, Research Handbook on Electronic Commerce Law 37 (Edward Elgar Publishing 2006).
 Bank Secrecy Act, tit. I–II, Pub. L. No. 91-508, 84 Stat. 1114, 1114–24 [codified as amended at 12 USC §§ 1829b, 1951-1959; 31 USC §§ 5311-5314, 5316-5332 (2012)] (authorising the Secretary of the Treasury to issue regulations requiring financial institutions to keep and file reports that the Secretary determines have a “high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax, or regulatory investigations or proceedings, or in the conduct of intelligence or counterintelligence matters, including analysis to protect against terrorism” [quoting 12 USC § 1829b(a)(1)(A)]; 31 CFR §§ 1000-1099 (2013) (FinCEN’s BSA regulations).
 Middlebrook, Stephen T. and Hughes, Sarah Jane (2014), Regulating Cryptocurrencies in the United States: Current Issues and Future Directions, William Mitchell Law Review: Vol. 40: Issue 2, Art. 11; John Rothchild, Research Handbook on Electronic Commerce Law 37 (Edward Elgar Publishing 2006).
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Documents/ Advice (including without limitation Section 2 of the
General Terms), you authorize us and we will remit the Settlement
Amount to Your Bank Account on the Payment Date in respect of an
Eligible Transaction. When you either initially provide or later
change Your Bank Account information, the Payment Date will be
deferred for a period of up to 14 calendar days. You will not have
the ability to initiate or cause payments to be made to you. If you
refund money to a customer in connection with one of Your
Transactions in accordance with Section S-2.2, on the next available
Designated Day for SoOLEGAL Site, we will credit you with the amount
to us attributable to the amount of the customer refund, less the
Refund Administration Fee for each refund, which amount we may retain
as an administrative fee.
means Your Transaction against which the actual shipment date has
been confirmed by you.
Day" means any particular Day of the week designated by SoOLEGAL
on a weekly basis, in its sole discretion, for making remittances to
Date" means the Designated Day falling immediately after 14
calendar days (or less in our sole discretion) of the Eligible
Amount" means Invoices raised through SoOLEGAL Platform (which
you will accept as payment in full for the Transaction and shipping
and handling of Your Documents/ Advices), less: (a) the Referral Fees
due for such sums; (b) any Transacting on SoOLEGAL Subscription Fees
due; (c) taxes required to be charged by us on our fees; (d) any
refunds due to customers in connection with the SoOLEGAL Site; (e)
Reserves, as may be applicable, as per this Transaction Terms &
Conditions; (f) Closing Fees, if applicable; and (g) any other
applicable fee prescribed under the Program Policies. SoOLEGAL shall
not be responsible for
the event that we elect not to recover from you a customer's
chargeback, failed payment, or other payment reversal (a "Payment
Failure"), you irrevocably assign to us all your rights, title
and interest in and associated with that Payment Failure.
Control of Site
any provision of this Transaction Terms & Conditions, we will
have the right in our sole discretion to determine the content,
appearance, design, functionality and all other aspects of the
SoOLEGAL Site and the Transacting on SoOLEGAL Service (including the
right to re-design, modify, remove and alter the content, appearance,
design, functionality, and other aspects of, and prevent or restrict
access to any of the SoOLEGAL Site and the Transacting on SoOLEGAL
Service and any element, aspect, portion or feature thereof
(including any listings), from time to time) and to delay or suspend
listing of, or to refuse to list, or to de-list, or require you not
to list any or all Documents/ Advices on the SoOLEGAL Site in our
Effect of Termination
termination of this Contract, the Transaction Terms & Conditions
automatiocally stands terminated and in connection with the SoOLEGAL
Site, all rights and obligations of the parties under these Service
Terms with regard to the SoOLEGAL Site will be extinguished, except
that the rights and obligations of the parties with respect to Your
Transactions occurring during the Term will survive the termination
or expiration of the Term.
Refund Policies" means
the return and refund policies published on the SoOLEGAL Site.
Documents/ Advices Information"means,
with respect to each of Your Documents/ Advices in connection with
the SoOLEGAL Site, the following (except to the extent expressly not
required under the applicable Policies) categorization within each
SoOLEGAL Documents/ Advices category and browse structure as
prescribed by SoOLEGAL from time to time, Purchase Price; Documents/
Advice Usage, any text, disclaimers, warnings, notices, labels or
other content required by applicable Law to be displayed in
connection with the offer, merchandising, advertising or Transaction
of Your Documents/ Advices, requirements, fees or other terms and
conditions applicable to such Documents/ Advices that a customer
should be aware of prior to purchasing the Documents/ Advices;
on SoOLEGAL Launch Date"means
the date on which we first list one of Your Documents/ Advices for
Transaction on the SoOLEGAL Site.
any Trademark, or any other logo, name, phrase, identifier or
character string, that contains or incorporates any top level domain
(e.g., .com, co.in, co.uk, .in, .de, .es, .edu, .fr, .jp) or any
variation thereof (e.g., dot com, dotcom, net, or com).
defined in the Transaction Terms & Conditions; however, as used
in Terms & Conditions, it shall mean any and all such
transactions whereby you conduct Transacting of Documents/ Advices or
advice sought from you by clients/ customers in writing or by any
other mode which is in coherence with SoOLEGAL policy on SoOLEGAL
on Fees Payable to SoOLEGAL.In
regard to these Service Terms you can provide a PAN registration
number or any other Registration/ Enrolment number that reflects your
Professional capacity by virtue of various enactments in place. If
you are PAN registered, or any professional Firm but not PAN
registered, you give the following warranties and representations:
all services provided by SoOLEGAL to you are being received by your
establishment under your designated PAN registration number; and
reserves the right to request additional information and to confirm
the validity of any your account information (including without
limitation your PAN registration number) from you or government
authorities and agencies as permitted by Law and you hereby
irrevocably authorize SoOLEGAL to request and obtain such information
from such government authorities and agencies. Further, you agree to
provide any such information to SoOLEGAL upon request. SoOLEGAL
reserves the right to charge you any applicable unbilled PAN if you
provide a PAN registration number, or evidence of being in a
Professional Firm, that is determined to be invalid. PAN registered
REGISTERED USERs and REGISTERED USERs who provide evidence of being
in Law Firm agree to accept electronic PAN invoices in a format and
method of delivery as determined by SoOLEGAL.
payments by SoOLEGAL to you shall be made subject to any applicable
withholding taxes under the applicable Law. SoOLEGAL will retain, in
addition to its net Fees, an amount equal to the legally applicable
withholding taxes at the applicable rate. You are responsible for
deducting and depositing the legally applicable taxes and deliver to
SoOLEGAL sufficient Documents/ Advice evidencing the deposit of tax.
Upon receipt of the evidence of deduction of tax, SoOLEGAL will remit
the amount evidenced in the certificate to you. Upon your failure to
duly deposit these taxes and providing evidence to that effect within
5 days from the end of the relevant month, SoOLEGAL shall have the
right to utilize the retained amount for discharging its tax
you have deposited the taxes, you will issue an appropriate tax
withholding certificate for such amount to SoOLEGAL and SoOLEGAL
shall provide necessary support and Documents/ Adviceation as may be
required by you for discharging your obligations.
has the option to obtain an order for lower or NIL withholding tax
from the Indian Revenue authorities. In case SoOLEGAL successfully
procures such an order, it will communicate the same to you. In that
case, the amounts retained, shall be in accordance with the
directions contained in the order as in force at the point in time
when tax is required to be deducted at source.
taxes applicable in addition to the fee payable to SoOLEGAL shall be
added to the invoiced amount as per applicable Law at the invoicing
date which shall be paid by you.F.11.
and Documents/ Advice Restrictions
Documents/ Advices cannot be listed or sold on SoOLEGAL site as a
matter of compliance with legal or regulatory restrictions (for
example, prescription drugs) or in accordance with SoOLEGAL
policy (for example, crime scene photos).
policies also prohibit specific types of Documents/ Advice
content. For guidelines on prohibited content and copyright
violations, see our Prohibited
some Documents/ Advice categories, REGISTERED USERS may not create
Documents/ Advice listings without prior approval from SoOLEGAL.
addition to your obligations under Section
the Transaction Terms & Conditions, you also agree to indemnify,
defend and hold harmless us, our Affiliates and their and our
respective officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents
against any Claim that arises out of or relates to: (a) the Units
(whether or not title has transferred to us, and including any Unit
that we identify as yours pursuant to Section
of whether such Unit is the actual item you originally sent to us),
including any personal injury, death or property damage; and b) any
of Your Taxes or the collection, payment or failure to collect or pay
Users must at all times adhere to the following rules for the
Documents/ Advices they intend to put on Transaction:
"Add a Documents/ Advice" feature allows REGISTERED USERS
to create Documents/ Advice details pages for Documents/ Advices.
following rules and restrictions apply to REGISTERED USERS who use
the SoOLEGAL.in "Add a Documents/ Advice" feature.
this feature for any purpose other than creating Documents/ Advice
details pages is prohibited.
Documents/ Advice already in the SoOLEGAL.in catalogue which is not
novel and/ or unique or has already been provided by any other
Registered User which may give rise to Intellectual Property
infringement of any other Registered User is prohibited.
pages may not feature or contain Prohibited
inclusion of any of the following information in detail page titles,
descriptions, bullet points, or images is prohibited:
which is grossly harmful, harassing, blasphemous, defamatory,
pedophilic, libelous, invasive of another's privacy, hateful, or
racially, ethnically objectionable, disparaging, relating or
encouraging money laundering or gambling, pornographic, obscene or
offensive content or otherwise unlawful in any manner whatever.
price, condition, alternative ordering information (such as links to
other websites for placing orders).
quotes or testimonials.
for positive customer reviews.
promotional material, or watermarks on images, photos or videos.
which belongs to another person and to which the REGISTERED USER
does not have any right to.
which infringes any patent, trademark, copyright or other
which deceives or misleads the addressee about the origin of the
messages or communicates any information which is grossly offensive
or menacing in nature.
which threatens the unity, integrity, defence, security or
sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign states, or
public order or causes incitement to the commission of any
cognizable offence or prevents investigation of any offence or is
insulting any other nation.
containing software viruses or any other computer code, files or
programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality
of any computer resource.
violating any law for the time being in force.
Documents/ Advices should be appropriately and accurately classified
to the most specific location available. Incorrectly classifying
Documents/ Advices is prohibited.
Advice titles, Documents/ Advice descriptions, and bullets must be
clearly written and should assist the customer in understanding the
Documents/ Advice. .
Documents/ Advice images must meet SoOLEGAL general standards as
well as any applicable category-specific image guidelines.
bad data (HTML, special characters */? etc.) in titles,
descriptions, bullets and for any other attribute is prohibited.
not include HTML, DHTML, Java, scripts or other types of executables
in your detail pages.
REGISTERED USER Activities and Actions
REGISTERED USER Rules are established to maintain a transacting
platform that is safe for buyers and fair for REGISTERED USERS.
Failure to comply with the terms of the REGISTERED USER Rules can
result in cancellation of listings, suspension from use of
SoOLEGAL.in tools and reports, or the removal of transacting
to divert transactions or buyers:Any
attempt to circumvent the established SoOLEGAL Transactions process
or to divert SoOLEGAL users to another website or Transactions
prohibited. Specifically, any advertisements, marketing messages
(special offers) or "calls to action" that lead, prompt,
or encourage SoOLEGALusers to leave the SoOLEGAL websiteare
activities include the following:
use of e-mail intended to divert customers away from the
SoOLEGAL.com Transactions process.
& improper "Names":A
REGISTERED USER's Name (identifying the REGISTERED USER's entity on
a name that: accurately identifies the REGISTERED USER; is not
misleading: and the REGISTERED USER has the right to use (that is,
the name cannot include the trademark of, or otherwise infringe on,
any trademark or other intellectual property right of any person).
Furthermore, a REGISTERED USERcannotuse
a name that contains an e-mail suffix such as .com, .net, .biz, and
& improper invoicing:REGISTERED
USERS must ensure that the tax invoice is raised in the name of the
end customer who has placed an order with them through SoOLEGAL
Payment Systems platform . The tax invoice should not mention
SoOLEGAL as either a REGISTERED USER or a customer/buyer. Please
note that all Documents/ Advices listed on SoOLEGAL.com are sold by
the respective REGISTERED USERS to the end customers and SoOLEGAL is
neither a buyer nor a REGISTERED USER in the transaction. REGISTERED
USERS need to include the PAN/ Service Tax registration number in
REGISTERED USER e-mail communications with buyers must be courteous,
relevant and appropriate. Unsolicited e-mail communications with
SoOLEGAL , e-mail communications other than as necessary and related
customer service, and e-mails containing marketing communications of
any kind (including within otherwise permitted communications)are
multiple REGISTERED USER accounts:Operating
and maintaining multiple REGISTERED USER accounts is prohibited.
your request, please provide an explanation of the legitimate
business need for a second account.
of Search and Browse:When
customers use SoOLEGAL's search engine and browse structure, they
expect to find relevant and accurate results. To protect the
customer experience, all Documents/ Advice-related information,
including keywords and search terms, must comply with the guidelines
provided under. Any attempt to manipulate the search and
browse experience is prohibited.
of the ratings, feedback or Documents/ Advice reviews:REGISTERED
USERS cannot submit abusive or inappropriate feedback entries,
coerce or threaten buyers into submitting feedback, submit
transaction feedback regarding them, or include personal information
about a transaction partner within a feedback entry. Furthermore,
any attempt to manipulate ratings of any REGISTERED USER is
prohibited. Any attempt to manipulate ratings, feedback, or
Documents/ Advice reviews is prohibited.
are important to the SoOLEGAL Platform, providing a forum for
feedback about Documents/ Advice and service details and reviewers'
experiences with Documents/ Advices and services –
or negative. You may not write reviews for Documents/ Advices or
services that you have a financial interest in, including reviews
for Documents/ Advices or services that you or your competitors deal
with. Additionally, you may not provide compensation for a review
(including free or discounted Documents/ Advices). Review
solicitations that ask for only positive reviews or that offer
compensation are prohibited. You may not ask buyers to modify or
USERS are expected to conduct proper research to ensure that the
items posted to our website are in compliance with all applicable
laws. If we determine that the content of a Documents/ Advice detail
page or listing is prohibited, potentially illegal, or inappropriate,
we may remove or alter it without prior notice. SoOLEGAL reserves the
right to make judgments about whether or not content is appropriate.
following list of prohibited Documents/ Advices comprises two
sections: Prohibited Content and Intellectual Property
prohibited content may result in the cancellation of your listings,
or the suspension or removal of your transacting privileges.
REGISTERED USERS are responsible for ensuring that the Documents/
Advices they offer are legal and authorised for Transaction or
we determine that the content of a Documents/ Advice detail page or
listing is prohibited, potentially illegal, or inappropriate, we may
remove or alter it without prior notice. SoOLEGAL reserves the right
to make judgments about whether or not content is appropriate.
and potentially illegal Documents/ Advices: Documents/ Advices sold
on SoOLEGAL.in must adhere to all applicable laws. As REGISTERED
USERS are legally liable for their actions and transactions, they
must know the legal parameters surrounding any Documents/ Advice
they display on our website.
material: SoOLEGAL reserves the right to determine the
appropriateness of listings posted to our website.
In general, images that portray nudity in a gratuitous or graphic
that infringe upon an individual's privacy. SoOLEGAL holds personal
privacy in the highest regard. Therefore, items that infringe upon,
or have potential to infringe upon, an individual's privacy are
Advices displayed on our website must be authentic. Any Documents/
Advice that has been illegally replicated, reproduced or
manufactured is prohibited.
Unauthorised copies of books are prohibited.
Unauthorised copies of movies in any format are prohibited.
Unreleased/prereleased movies, screeners, trailers, unpublished and
unauthorized film scripts (no ISBN number), electronic press kits,
and unauthorised props are also prohibited.
Unauthorised copies of photos are prohibited.
Unauthorised copies of television Programs (including pay-per-view
events), Programs never broadcast, unauthorised scripts,
unauthorised props, and screeners are prohibited.
media. Media transferred from one format to another is prohibited.
This includes but is not limited to: films converted from NTSC to
Pal and Pal to NTSC, laserdisc to video, television to video, CD-ROM
to cassette tape, from the Internet to any digital format, etc.
versions of media Documents/ Advices, including books (advance
reading copies and uncorrected proofs), music, and videos
prohibited. These Documents/ Advices are distributed for promotional
consideration and generally are not authorized for Transaction.
images and/or the use of celebrity names cannot be used for
commercial purposes without permission of a celebrity or their
management. This includes Documents/ Advice endorsements and use of
a celebrity's likeness on merchandise such as posters, mouse pads,
clocks, image collections in digital format, and so on.
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