Censorship, at the behest of movie studios or music labels, isn't, unfortunately, uncommon in most parts of the world. But even if The Pirate Bay was blocked in the UK by a court with little regard to due process, it's still a lot better than in India for example, where companies can have entire websites blocked at their will.This happened last year when several torrent sites and cyberlockers were blocked by ISPs around the launch of a Bollywood blockbuster. It's happening again, several BitTorrent sites and, strangely, Vimeo, are now being blocked in the country.
TorrentFreak reports that The PirateBay, KickAssTorrents, BitSnoop and other sites are inaccessible. Visitors are met with a warning message saying that the site they are trying to access is being blocked by the "Department of Telecom."
Blocking torrent sites, while still wrong, is at least understandable, but blocking Vimeo doesn't make any sense, the site is probably one of the cleanest video sites on the planet.
It's especially favored by indie filmmakers and those uploading infringing video don't last long on the site. Neither are the site's users all that keen on this type of content.
The site was either blocked by mistake or those that added it to the list simply didn't understand what the site's all about, which once again underlines the dangers of censorship.
It's hardly surprising for Indians as well, the government has been working hard to police the web, by forcing sites like Google or Facebook to censor stuff it doesn't want online and by requiring access to all data on any site to be made available to police and other officials.
Internet blocks, filters and so on, rarely work and can be easily bypassed. Even if they can't, there are always plenty of alternatives. But it's going to take a while for the legacy industries to crash and burn, as they will inevitably will, and for a new generation of musicians, filmmakers and so on, one that's at least familiar with how the web works, to take over.