Some Indian users and pirates wanting to access their favorite file-sharing sites found that they had been blocked by their ISPs. Thankfully, their sites are back up and, even better, they're accessible because an Indian court decided that blocking entire sites just so people won't be able to share a single movie is not legal.
Copyright holders, in this case Bollywood, managed to get a court to issue an order the likes of which Hollywood can only dream of (and scheme to make into law). The court handed out an order forcing ISPs to block the illegal distribution of the movie Dhammu.
But the court document left out the details of how this had to be done. It didn't specify that certain sites had to be blocked or certain copies to be taken offline, it just said that ISPs had to make sure the movie doesn't get shared, in any way possible.
Faced with such a wide-reaching document, ISPs took any measure they could think of to comply and took no risks, they simply banned any BitTorrent site they could think of. In fact, the block extended way beyond BitTorrent sites
, even Dailymotion found itself blocked.
Of course, different ISPs went about it in different ways, which is why plenty of people in India still enjoyed unhampered access.
The Madras High Court ruled
that such an order is illegal and that ISPs can't be forced to block entire sites just because one item is infringing. Copyright holders can provide the URL of the infringing file and ask for that to be removed, but that's it.
It's a great decision in India where internet censorship is going down a slippery slope. Copyright holders became bolder in their requests when they saw that courts were willing to grant them, for whatever reason. More concerning though is the government censorship, which seems to be increasing in the country.