On Facebook and Twitter, people have been complaining about internet service providers blocking popular video sites like Vimeo and file-sharing sites. The sites in the last few months have been blocked by ISPs ahead of the release of big films whose producers are worried about piracy. (Read: Confusion reigns as Indian ISPs block Vimeo, torrent websites)
The ISPs remain silent on the exact reasons of the block, citing only that they are “in response to a court order”.
Recently, a film production company named Copyright Labs from Chennai won its case in the Madras High Court. The company had asked for a John Doe order (where the offender may remain unknown or unidentifiable) to prevent the piracy of its new Tamil film “3” and Telugu film “Dhammu.” Harish Ram, the CEO, says his company “sent notices to ISPs (internet service providers) to block the urls (or links) to pirated content. But, he added, “in some cases, the whole website has been blocked…so people who access these websites are fighting against this.”
On Thursday, ndtv.com asked Reliance Entertainment, producers of films like Ghajini and Singham, to share its point of view. “All websites like Megaupload and Filesonic are located out of India and such sites rampantly promote online piracy. In fact, steps such as the John Doe order are the only step that we copyright owners are left with,” said Sanjay Tandon, Vice-President, Music & Anti-Piracy, Reliance Entertainment.
Anonymous has warned on Twitter that in protest, it plans to target other Indian websites including that of the Department of Telecom.