Indian ISPs Forced to Block File-Sharing Sites SOPA-Style

A lot of controversy caused to protect a single motion picture

By on December 28th, 2011 13:29 GMT

Wanting to stop Internet users from pirating their latest movie, Indian movie company Reliance Entertainment managed to obtain a court order which forces the country’s Internet services providers (ISPs) to block some of the largest international file-sharing sites, including Megaupload.

According to TorrentFreak, all the major file-sharing websites are restricted, the first to implement the blockades being Reliance Communications.

“All websites like Megaupload and Filesonic are located out of India and such sites rampantly promote online piracy. In fact, steps such as the John Doe order are the only step that we copyright owners are left with,” Reliance spokesman Sanjay Tandon told Times of India.

Much to the dismay of their customers, who rely on file-sharing sites for other tasks than to commit piracy acts, Reliance believes that this is the only way they can protect their latest motion picture, Don 2, from being illegally downloaded.

While legal experts argue about the legitimacy of blockades ordered at ISP level, Megaupload representatives state that this is a great opportunity for them to analyze the situation, especially since they believe these issues get resolved fairly quick.

“For us the India block is a great opportunity to see how users respond. In India we have one of the highest installation rates of our Megakey application. It gives users direct access to our servers. The Megakey instantly cures any kind of ISP or DNS blockade and always finds the fastest route to our servers,” Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom told TorrentFreak.

Anyway, denying account holder’s access to file-sharing websites didn’t prevent them from pirating the movie, the figures showing that the movie has been downloaded 150,000 on BitTorrent alone.

This aside, it’s interesting how the debates that take place around the controversial SOPA give others ideas for protecting their copyrighted works. While we wait for the vote on SOPA that’s planned for January next year, we can sit back and observe others being inspired by it.

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