India The Latest To Think About Kicking People Off The Internet Based On Accusations Of File Sharing

from the guilty-until-proven-innocent dept

A few months back, we pointed to a discussion looking at how three countries with some of the biggest movie industries outside of the US -- Nigeria, China and India -- all were thriving, despite massive "piracy." As you looked at the details of each, it showed how each industry had been adapting to a marketplace in which some of the content was widely available, but were still figuring out ways to make money (i.e., you can compete with free). However, because competing with free actually involves work, it should come as no surprise that some are seeking to implement government protectionist policies.

Gautam John points us to the news that a "High Level Committee on Piracy" in India, put together by the Indian government has come back with a variety of suggestions including a "three strikes" plan that would kick users off the internet based on accusations (not convictions) for unauthorized file sharing. There's also a suggestion that would appear to make theater owners somewhat liable for customers camcording movies. They also support preventative detention of potential pirates -- a ridiculous idea that has been put in practice in some areas of India already -- and which the US entertainment industry has encouraged. Yes, this is detaining people who might make an unauthorized copy. Welcome to pre-crime, India-style. About the only suggestion that isn't massively damaging to individuals' rights is the idea that filmmakers "make piracy unviable" by offering their movies at more reasonable prices and in more ways, so that people are more willing to go with legitimate options. They probably should have just stuck with that suggestion and left the rest alone.

Reader Comments (rss)

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  1. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 7:19am


    "all were thriving, despite massive "piracy." As you looked at the details of each, it showed how each industry had been adapting to a marketplace in which some of the content was widely available"

    I'm addmittedly ignorant of daily life in those parts of the world, but what is the prevelance of personal computing in those areas? I would imagine that the abundance of PCs here in the States is a large contributing factor to the "success" of "piracy". Are these other countries valid comparisons?

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 7:33am

    I saw a news a while back of a guy trying to enforce IP on cellphones in India the guy was murdered.

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

  3. icon
    pringerX (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 7:45am

    Hard work? No waiii!!!

    "because competing with free actually involves work"

    I feel like this accurately sums up why the big players in the movie and music industries haven't embraced CwF+RtB. Because it take a serious passion and work ethic to make it succeed, and it's much easier to sit back and sue in the short term.

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

  4. icon
    PaulT (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 7:58am

    Re: Question...

    I'm not overly familiar but my understanding is that there's much more of a physical pirate market rather than the digital one. There's certainly a tech infrastructure and some areas with high PC ownership (the places where tech jobs are being outsourced to, for example) but I'd imagine it varies wildly depending on where you are. So, it's comparable as piracy is high, but not directly analogous as the distribution methods are different.

    It's also my understanding that there's much less of a legal market, especially for non-local product. Legal copies are often either too expensive for the average person or not easily obtainable. I often see Indian gamers complaining about how difficult it can be to obtain certain games or systems as they're not part of the core Japan/North America/Europe/Australasia markets - and even the latter two tend to get screwed over on a regular basis with regional controls. I'd imagine that it's the same story with DVDs and music, especially outside of the local Bollywood/Bhangra/whatever genres.

    Again, I might be mistaken, but that's the impression I've gotten over the years.

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

  5. identicon
    Tom, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 8:02am


    This is the recent visit by the president of USA included 'encouragements' in this area.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 8:32am

    I look forward to....

    .... The point at which this kind of thing comes into force in the US and a good percentage of it's citizens get incarcerated, crashing the government and economy with overspending for the prisons to hold them all......

    Oh, wait.... might that be a bit unconstitutional? Just as well principles only apply to one's own interests in one's own backyard rather than being, well you know, universal.

    Next time I'm in the US i want to see the declararation of independance document to see if there really is a bit in brackets crossed out after "We hold these truths to be self evident" that says "(except when it costs us money)". I'd not heard of it, but I'm assuming it's there......

    Of course it's not just the US so much as corporations and they're global and all largely the same.

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

  7. identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 8:43am

    "still figuring out ways to make money..."

    Okay, they've figured it out! And surprise, it's the same way as in the US, UK, Japan, and Europe, by getting gov't to increase enforcement through arbitrary and draconian measures. As I've said, copyright "theft" benefits gov't by providing more rationale for a police state; politicians are bribed by endorsement from popular movie stars (and their money), so it's *inevitable*.

    Next: "competing with free actually involves work", YES, but one way you advise, selling geegaws in connection with bands, requires the existence of *workers* who actually produce the low-cost / high-resell items. If you mean self- advertising and promoting, well, that's *light* work, and it's not *new*, been used for at least a hundred years in the mass entertainment field, and the main components are still *luck* and willingness to prostitute oneself.

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

  8. icon
    Bruce Ediger (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 8:44am

    Another article about those film industries

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

  9. icon
    Bruce Ediger (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 8:47am

    Another article about those film industries

    Whoops! Blank article above.

    Here's another article, with some anecdotal data, about the film industries in areas with heavy piracy:

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

  10. identicon
    india>bangalore, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 9:18am

    i have every hollywood movie which has been rated 7+ in imdb from and and all the training IT certification video training materials like CBT nuggets, trainsignal and VTC. I do all this in the office because my crappy 1mpbs connection is not enough to do all this at home and none of what i have downloaded was available in india and indians always want to try before buy...that is just in our genes and culture....if i wanna buy a DVD then before that i wanna watch a dvdrip for free (not just the trailor).if i wanna buy a 1kg of sweets then i wanna taste a bit of it before i buy...

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

  11. identicon
    Salvadesswaran Srinivasan, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 9:45am

    The real state of piracy here..

    Online piracy is thriving here, although physical media is being punished quite severely. This is the state in Tamil Nadu, where the ruling party has at least two movie production and distribution houses (which almost always spew out crap).
    We don't have as high a level of PC penetration here, and prices of Hollywood DVDs are quite absurd. Several local companies have taken the initiative to bring out original DVDs of some good movies, old as well as new, at a dollar or so (INR 35-40, actually is 85 - 90 cents). If this approach is followed, then people will buy Hollywood DVDs and not just stare at those packs in the store.

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

  12. icon
    Niall (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 12:29pm


    So with the new tertiary liabilities, when will we see the movie studios prosecuted for 'inciting' piracy of movies by producing them, and the cinemas prosecuted for 'enabling'?

    That has about as much logic as some of the dumb ideas industry protectionism tries.

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

  13. identicon
    There Goes Our Tech Support, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 2:50am


    People, if they start taking India offline one by one for piracy, then who are Microsoft and all the large American corporations going to use for Tech. support? Oh... Oh... I know, I know...China.

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

  14. identicon
    Indian naughty girl, Jan 24th, 2011 @ 11:16am

    whats next, porn censorship?

    they want to spy on skype users, remove file sharers... whats next, they will block all porn like china?

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

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