In 1865, when the automotive industry was still in its nascent stage, British Parliament enacted a law (which later came to be known as the ‘Red Flag Act’), which placed several unreasonable restrictions on self-propelled road vehicles. It also introduced probably the world’s first (and slowest) speed limit. By the time the Act was repealed in 1896, it had effectively hindered innovation in the automotive industry in Britain for over a quarter of a century.
The history of the interface of law & regulation with new technologies & mediums is full of instructive case studies which highlight how a reactionary approach to regulation of things which are new and pathbreaking can not only hamper the growth of an entire industry but also disincentivise innovation in other spheres of human activity.
The latest edition of our popular monthly newsletter ‘The Recap’ covers updates from the month of October 2023 – a month which witnessed some unmissable legal and regulatory developments for the media and entertainment industry in India and gave us a lot to ponder over in terms of how legacy laws should interact with new technologies & mediums.