India Courts Remove Internet Censorship
Jun 22, 2012 11:30 AM EDT
INDIA. - A decision by the Madras High Court overturned an earlier ruling that blocked a number of video and file sharing websites.
The decision to block the file and video sharing websites came as an effort to prevent movie piracy which is a huge problem for the nation's entertainment industry and has had a serious impact on the economy of Bollywood, the Indian film and music industry. In an effort to protect the industry from illegal movie and song releases the court blocked many web sites including the Private Bay, vimeo, and dailymotion. The increasing infringements and violations of copyrights prompted the court's decision.
Demonstrations soon followed the decision. Also in reaction to the ruling there were a number of internet hackings on government and court websites perpetrated by Anonymous, the internet hactivist group that fights against online censorship. India is after all a democracy, and this decision was naturally seen by many as an attack on the freedom of speech through the form of internet censorship. The court did recourse its March decision after a number of internet service providers filed appealed.
The revised decision requires the internet service providers to block only certain web-addresses (URLs) that contain the pirated material. The ISPs are not required to remove the entire website as was determined in the prior ruling.
However the court maintained the Ashok Kumar Order, which is an ex-parte injunction that lets copyright holders request certain websites to be taken off the internet in light of illegal material downloading.