India: File-Sharing Websites Blocked, Anonymous Retaliates, Sanity Takes a Break
It’s happening. Indian ISP’s are getting into the act of piracy controlling thanks to some John Doe orders secured by Copyright Labs of Chennai, which wanted to protect its interests in the recently released Tamil movies Dammu and 3. The block isn’t limited to just one or two sites. It seems to be a blanket ban on a whole range of sites across the ISP’s.
Medianama has produced an exhaustive list of the blocked sites and the respective ISP’s. PirateBay, XMarks, PasteBin, Vimeo, isohunt, and DailyMotion are among many sites which are blocked. I tried accessing few sites from Airtel’s Broadband connection from Bangalore and this is what I get :
As some blogs are pointing out, you can’t access these sites or some of these sites by using https instead of http.
In what seems to be a retaliation of India’s blatant moves to block websites and its impending proposal to police the Internet later this month, Anonymous has defaced the government websites as per Medianama. The blog had screenshots of the defacement. The sites seem to be restored now.
Fight against Piracy
India’s fight against piracy isn’t new. If any, it looks renewed. It has most recently banned songs.pk and obtained ban on 104 similar sites. Songs.pk, the famous Bollywood song site, has now spawned into Songspk.pk. There are no guarantees that the sites blocked above could be spawned into new sites. In fact that seems like the only logical outcome. Given the fact that hosting a site and mirroring a site isn’t all that difficult, I wonder how long the fight by blocking sites would last.
Earlier I had reflected my thoughts about piracy thusly:
To draw an analogy, controlling online piracy is like trying to put an army of frogs into a basket. When you have figured out a way to put three in the basket, two frogs pop out and it goes on. Piracy is no different.
I still stand by it.
PS: On a different note, should these orders be called John Doe even in India too. Don’t you think there should be some kind of localization? Given the frequency at which India is using these, it wouldn’t hurt to come up with a creative name. What do you think Copyright Labs?
PPS: If it matters, I have watched the movie Dammu (Telugu) in theaters with my family. I haven’t watched 3 at all. And no, the block doesn’t make me want to watch it even more.
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