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Sunday, March 25, 2012

India Ordered Website Blocking

Last Wednesday Mumbai (India) held the event named FICCI FRAMES, an annual movie convention. Chris Dodd, the head of the MPAA and a supporter of Stop Online Piracy Act, pointed at the piracy issues during the event. As a result, Indian Internet service providers were ordered to close down over a hundred of sites that were allegedly facilitating access to copyrighted content.


This year the event was held in partnership with Japan, and was attended by a number of important people, including Chris Dodd. The latter pointed out that 2 years ago the Indian movie industry was a $3.2 billion industry, and is expected to exceed $5 billion by 2014. But the copyrighted content theft threatens both the present and the future of the industry.

However, Dodd failed to mention why the Motion Picture Association of America lacks any kind of impartiality, particularly when it comes to independent artists, or how hundreds of millions of dollars had been invested in “second-hand” films while American economy was plummeting. Of course, blaming piracy can be regarded as a very convenient solution, but it doesn’t give right to the industry to ignore its own problems.

Unfortunately, these issues do not concern the Indian government, and a Kolkata court has already ordered all Internet service providers in India to block access to more than 100 sites, after Indian Music Industry filed lawsuit against them. According to the industry officials, each online service involved in the lawsuit in question had hosted some violated content, and that’s why the court decided that blacklisting is the best solution to tackle the problem. 4 injunctions from January to March 2012 implemented the blacklist.

Originally, the film group has targeted around 300 sites, but this number dropped to 104, because they decided to block only the most dangerous ones. Then the industry thought about how they could block all the services. Basically, there were three ways to do so: IP blocking, DNS blocking, or URL blocking. However, DNS blocking could be effortlessly circumvented by typing the website’s IP address instead of its URL. As for IP or URL blocking, they weren’t of much help either, and cutting the access to a portal became a problem. Meanwhile, such portals as Facebook and Google will soon have to also apply censorship on their content.

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