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219 websites blocked in India, after Sony complaint
07-10-2014, 07:05 PM
Post: #1
219 websites blocked in India, after Sony complaint
As many has 472 websites, including Google Docs, Google Video and Google’s URL shortener goo.gl, have been blocked in India, as per instructions from the Delhi High Court, after a complaint by Multi Screen Media, the Sony owned media company that is broadcasting the FIFA World Cup live in India on its Sony Six channels. Some of these sites including Google Docs have already been blocked by BSNL, according to a user in Bangalore. On our MTNL connection however, some sites are blocked, but Google docs, Google video and goo.gl links work. These services are in the list of sites to be blocked, as sanctioned by Justice V. Kameswar Rao of the Delhi High Court.

The order (details), passed on the 23rd of June by the court appears to have only just been implemented: On July 4th and 5th, we were informed about file-sharing sites like Luckyshare, Bitshare, Terafile, freakshare and letitbit being blocked on ISP’s such as Airtel.

It is worth noting that BSNL users are able to work around this block by changing the DNS address to OpenDNS or GoogleDNS

A few points on the sites blocked (note: this analysis is based on the initial list of sites, not the latest):

- Google Docs and Google Video: docs.google.com and googlevideo.com
- URL shorteners like goo.gl and adf.ly.
- File sharing sites: Multiupload.nl, uppit.com, crocko.com (earlier known as easyshare), solidfiles.com, bayfiles.net, tusfiles, bitshare.com, rapidshare.com, sendspace.com, mightyupload.com, uploaded.net, freakshare.com
- Upload website aggregator embedupload.com, ul.to,
- File storage sites Mega.co.nz, putlocker.com, filemonkey.in, uploadsat.com,
- Telugu content download sites telugump3.biz, telugustar.net, telugumasthi.wapka.me, telugustar.net, myteluguwap.net, teluguworld.asia
- Services for emailing large fies: anysend.com
- Audio files site Wapsip (or at least, that is what it appears to be): mhnwap.wapka.me
- Cartoon sites: dorabuzz.in, toonvideos.in, bestcartoon.wapka.mobi
- Hindi content site: foncity.in, 3gparena.in, among others.
- Web series aggregator Blip.tv
- Torrent sites: including thepiratebay.org, thepiratebay.se, torrentz.is, torrentfunk.com, torrents.net, limetorrents.com, torrenthound.com

Did the court check all these websites?

Before passing such an order, we wonder if the court actually checked the websites.

- The fact that URL shorteners and Google Docs are in the list is unexplainable.
- While checking the sites at random, we also noticed that nubestream.com was shut down earlier, due to a change in Spanish laws (as per a notice on its website). How new is this list?
- Some of the sites (perhaps some of the telugu content sites) might be violating copyright but they don’t specifically violate MSM’s copyright.
- What about protection under the IT Rules? Upload and file storage sites are intermediaries, and should not be held responsible for the content that their users upload.

So, is this a list of actual sites that infringe MSN’s copyright or is it a random list of file-sharing sites compiled by them? Of course, this is not to suggest that there weren't actual football live streaming sites in the list, but this collateral damage is hard to justify.

Case details

Multi Screen Media told the Delhi High Court that, for the 2014 FIFA World Cup:

– Right acquired: They have Television Rights, Radio Rights, Mobile Transmission Rights and Broadband Internet Transmission Rights, as per a License Agreement between FIFA and MSM Satellite (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. dated 14th January, 2014. This includes live, delayed, highlights, on demand, and repeat broadcasting rights.
- Territory covered: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
- Copyright violation and loss of tax to government: Services are being made online through Sony Liv, which has a dedicated sports service called LIV Sports, and accessible via the website and mobile apps. MSM contends that various websites are “indulging in hosting, streaming, providing access to, etc. of infringing the exclusive rights and broadcast and re-production rights of the plaintiff.”…”the acts of infringement is not only causing the plaintiff loss of substantial revenues but will also take away the legitimate revenue to the Government through service tax etc which are payable on the subscription fee payable by the named and unnamed defendants if they conduct their business illegitimately.”
- Case for a John Doe order: MSM made a case for a John Doe order, saying that “is virtually impossible to locate the owners of such websites or contact details of such owners” because they “hide behind domain privacy services offered by various domain name Registrars.”

The court has issued an ad-interim ex-parte order for a limited period, restraining certain defendants named in the complaint from hosting, streaming, making available on the Internet the content, while others have been told to ensure compliance with the order. Other defendants (probably industry associations or government departments) have been told to call upon various ISP’s registered under them to block access to websites mentioned in the suit, “or such other websites that may subsequently be notified by the Plaintiff to be infringing of its exclusive rights.”

This means that MSM can now get any site it wants blocked.
Update: As per an updated court order, that isn't yet on the Delhi High Court website, 219 websites are being blocked, not 472, as was mentioned in the previous court order. A copy of the new order is with MediaNama, and we will update shortly with a new list of websites. No Google websites are listed, but many file storage and torrent websites are there.


Update: Google’s has responded to a query from MediaNama regarding what course of action they intend to take. The statement:

“We do not have the details of the order yet, thereby we are unable to comment on the specifics of this case. There is no interruption of our services mentioned in the order as of now.”

List of blocked sites: http://pastebin.com/2L0XGh1L
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lofer (07-12-2014)
07-25-2014, 03:14 PM
Post: #2
RE: 219 websites blocked in India, after Sony complaint
That's insane.
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