Indian ISP Blocks A Bunch Of Websites To Try To Prevent File Sharing Of A Single Movie

from the overblocking dept

TorrentFreak has the story of an Indian court seemingly having no problems issuing widespread ISP blockades in response to a request from movie studio Reliance Entertainment. The reasoning is that Reliance is hoping to prevent the file sharing of its latest movie. But rather than narrowly targeting the file sharing of that movie (or of other Reliance properties), the court ordered complete blocking of a variety of websites including Megaupload and BTJunkie. The Times of India, which wrote about this as well, notes that the whole thing is quite "strange" to cyberlaw experts.

Beyond just the oddity of massive overblocking, the blockades themselves present a rather bizarre message:
Yes. It appears to claim that the block page itself is covered by Reliance Entertainment's copyright. At the very least this implies that the court simply gave Reliance the right to craft the blocked page itself which is quite incredible when you think about it.

Other experts quoted in the Times of India article suggest that perhaps Reliance is misinterpreting a court order, because such broad blocking is not reasonable, nor permitted under the law. As the article says it's "debatable" if a site can be held responsible for the actions of users (especially when the actions are predicted future actions!).
"Yes, there is a John Doe order. But Reliance Communications seems to have misinterpreted it. If the judge, who gave the order, comes to know about how it has been used, I am sure he will disagree. So far, there is no evidence that members at the blocked file-hosting websites had indulged in piracy of Don 2. It's purely speculative. It is like shutting down a public library just because some one may go there and leave a book about bomb making," he said.

Prakash added that even if there was piracy of Don 2 on the said websites, proper procedures should have been followed to block them. "Blocking websites at ISP level is arbitrary and illegal. According to the IT rules in India, only DIT is empowered to issue orders on blocking of a website. Not even Department of Telecom, which looks after the affairs of ISPs, can order blocking of websites without involving DIT," he said.
The ISP doing the blocking is Reliance Communications, which appears to have the same parent company as Reliance Entertainment (shocking, I know), says that the blocking is perfectly legal, because it "has to adhere to any copyright infringement notices and court orders." Of course, it's still not entirely clear what the court actually ordered.

Either way, those in India who use these services for legitimate purposes are up in arms. TorrentFreak quotes Gaurav Shukla, who runs an Android news site and makes use of file lockers for legitimate purposes, but who's now blocked from doing so.
"Since Friday morning I can't access any file-hosting websites. Not all web users are pirates. We share legitimate files through websites like Megaupload and Filesonic."
Once again it seems like in the desperate attempt to block any and all infringement, you get significant collateral damage. Oh, and apparently the block hasn't worked... as a DVD screener copy of the film was ripped and is being widely shared online.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Dec 28th, 2011 @ 11:10am

    bloody good job. when will the entertainment industries learn to compete with, instead of to kill, the internet? when will courts learn that when there are tech incompetent and biased judges ruling in this way that all it does is make people more resolute in what they do, ie, share files and force things further underground.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2011 @ 11:13am

    Knowing who to blame...

    At least they were nice enough to add that copyright notice at the bottom so everyone knows who to blame when they hit this page.

    Nothing like pissing off all your customers and potential customers.

     

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  3.  
    icon
    Kevin H (profile), Dec 28th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    They have gone nuclear

    The backlash on this should be felt in about 12 hours or so. People don't seem to take this kind of action lightly.

     

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  4.  
    icon
    weneedhelp (profile), Dec 28th, 2011 @ 11:24am

    significant collateral damage

    Pish posh with your little collateral damage. Who cares. We stopped our movie from being... wait... what... it is? Oh crap.

     

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  5.  
    icon
    iamtheky (profile), Dec 28th, 2011 @ 11:27am

    thats how its done

    Reliance Communications, which appears to have the same parent company as Reliance Entertainment

    In the US they just default to litigation instead of taking any real action. Purchasing properties both up and downstream is a far more effective solution.

     

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  6.  
    icon
    Keroberos (profile), Dec 28th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Barbra Streisand Effect?

    One wonders if all the publicity over blocking the possible infringement of this movie has the effect of increasing it.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Spaceman Spiff, Dec 28th, 2011 @ 11:44am

    Shape of things to come

    This is what will happen here in the US if SOPA/PIPA are passed.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    That doesn't do shit

    File-sharing no longer requires websites, its convenient yes, but not necessary.

     

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  9.  
    icon
    Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 28th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    why isn't the block page in indian?

     

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  10.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 28th, 2011 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Barbra Streisand Effect?

    "One wonders if all the publicity over blocking the possible infringement of this movie has the effect of increasing it."

    I'm tempted to download it and I don't even know what movie it is.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Dec 28th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

    Say what?!?!

    Yes, there is a John Doe order.

    How did I get dragged into this?

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2011 @ 12:49pm

    Yet again, the piracy apologist tries to come up with a way of not addressing the main issue, the actual piracy.

    Me: "The house is one fire"

    Masnick: "yeah, but look at ugly front gate. We need to get someone to fix the gate"

    It's a pitiful end to a pitiful year. Perhaps the failure of Step2 will wake you up a bit!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Machin Shin, Dec 28th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    Re:

    Well to go with the fire analogy.

    You: "The ship is on fire so we need to sink the ship!"

    Us: "How about we just use a fire extinguisher on the fire instead of sinking the entire ship?"

    You: "Don't you care that the ship is on fire!! We need to sink it so we can put the fire out and prevent any more fires!"

    Us: "Then we will no longer have the ship anyways. Lets use an extinguisher."

    You: "NOOO!! WE MUST SINK SHIP!!!!! NO OTHER WAY WILL WORK!!"

     

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  14.  
    icon
    ZeeBat (profile), Dec 28th, 2011 @ 1:19pm

    Re:

    ".. main issue, the actual piracy"

    Yes, because piracy is a much more important battle than censorship could ever be, clearly.

    I'm sorry that your piracy problem has created my censorship problem. Censorship is now my main problem so if you'll kindly learn how to turn a trick perhaps we can solve the problems together. Otherwise, your piracy problem will fast become far less of a problem, a non-issue issue if you will.

    To say nothing to the fact that sites were blocked because of possibilities. Yah, that'll go far (given velocity from a big stick, zee bat)

     

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  15.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 28th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

    Re:

    So censorship of whole domains is far less of an issue than someone's distribution rights possibly being infringed in the future? You are such a moron.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Copycrap the law used by dictators and censorship to control the sheep.

     

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  17.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 28th, 2011 @ 4:02pm

    Ahhh, what a tangled web we weave. I'd be interested in the judge's reaction to this if Reliance did overstep it's bounds.

    As for censorship, whoops!, blocking somehow makes infringement go way then this "Oh, and apparently the block hasn't worked... as a DVD screener copy of the film was ripped and is being widely shared online." should put an end to that. I can see the film being dowloaded even more widely now. Not only in India but in the wider Indian diaspora.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2011 @ 4:28pm

    "Oh, and apparently the block hasn't worked... as a DVD screener copy of the film was ripped and is being widely shared online."

    that was predictable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 28th, 2011 @ 5:48pm

    Re:

    Me: "The house is one fire"

    Masnick: "yeah, but look at ugly front gate. We need to get someone to fix the gate"


    Reality.

    You: "The house is on fire!"

    Me: "No. That's just the strong sun scorching your roof a little at the corners. Here, why don't you put up some solar panels and benefit from the sun."

    You: "No, the HOUSE IS ON FIRE!! QUICK, DEMAND THE GOVERNMENT DIVERT ALL WATER IN THE COUNTY TO ME!"

    Me: "Well, no, that would be an overreaction, and a poor use of water. I'm serious: if you just put up some solar panels, not only will the tiles of your roof not turn brown like that, but you'll also get tons of added benefit."

    You: "You fire apologist!"

    Me: *sigh*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 28th, 2011 @ 7:32pm

    Re: Re:

    More diversion from that man who can't face the basic facts.

    WTG Mike!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 28th, 2011 @ 8:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Who's the one shouting "fire" now, anyway?

    And in a crowded website, no less.

    Tsk, tsk.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 29th, 2011 @ 2:58am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Tough shit you're being outsmarted yet again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2011 @ 4:51am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 28th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    There is no such language. Indians speak a variety of languages, but English is one of the most commonly known.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    D'Artagnan, Dec 29th, 2011 @ 5:49am

    I will be one of the first to upload DON2 on the internet

    Oh u fool ambanis mkc u w8 for me i will be one of the first to upload DON2 on the net

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    shashank singh, Dec 29th, 2011 @ 6:09am

    :(

    they have blocked dailymotion too , by that reasoning youtube should also be blocked as more illegtimate chunks of movies can be found on YT than Dailmymotion

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    S9TechFreak, Dec 29th, 2011 @ 7:12am

    Torrent!

    This makes us use torrents more. Actually its like forcing the users to become more illegal. I can't even download certain important files which I needed for my software upgrades. Sad Sad!

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Bee2, Dec 29th, 2011 @ 7:34am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 28th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    There is no such language as Indian plus English is the default language of the Internet in India.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    totally-anonymous-coward, Dec 29th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    bypass using ip of the megaupload :) (ping megaupload.com to get the ip of the server) for ex.

    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=QTR7NBL7
    http://174.140.154.22/?d=QTR7NBL7

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anand, Dec 29th, 2011 @ 9:33am

    Not the complete story

    Not all ISPs have been blocking torrent sites. Reliance is in the business of both broadband as well as movies (besides host of other things). This blockade has only affected Reliance broadband customers. I'm in India on an Airtel connection and have no problem whatsoever with any site.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Naresh, Dec 29th, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Kinda stupid

    You can't pay me to watch - let alone pirate - a stupid bollywood movie.
    Also, one can circumvent the mediafire.com block by using https:// instead. lol.
    They use this software called 'netsweeper'. I wonder if there any exploits available for that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2011 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Outsmarted by what? Mike trying to change the subject? Mike failing to address the underlying issue, and rather defecting to his view of the world?

    Mike doesn't like to think of it as fire, but the house is burning down. His view is we should all pull out marshmallows and enjoy it. It's an incredibly short term, self serving view.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Dec 29th, 2011 @ 7:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your house is burning down. Slowly, and with plenty of opportunity over the last decade to do something about it, except you keep trying to put it out with fire instead of water. The rest of the neighbourhood is doing just fine, and is in fact expanding to everyone's benefit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    HUH, Dec 30th, 2011 @ 7:43am

    Re:

    Me: "The house is one fire"

    Very existential, dude.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Invisible_Jester89, Jan 2nd, 2012 @ 4:44pm

    ... I'll just leave this here.

    Reliance Entertainment: President India! Someone from another country just downloaded a single film of ours over Limewire!

    Indian Government Official: ... SHUT. DOWN. EVERYTHING.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Pavani Rani, May 4th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

    Can they stop piracy or they can only blocks sites??

    Although the main stream for piracy is internet, but still we can get those pirated dvds at few bucks on many streets of main cities in India.

    Although file sharing sites not only shares illegal content, but also some illegitimate content like we transfer huge amount of data through them. For sending more than 20MB of data, there is no good way to send it without torrent or file sharing sites.

    What are they trying to do?? Even Hollywood also not stopping piracy, but why Bollywood? If they stop these sites, then why the fuck we need 10+MBPS speed?? Just for surfing??? Can it be a trick from ISP's??

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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