3 years jail for viewing copyrighted content, not simply visiting torrent websites!

3 years jail for viewing copyrighted content, not simply visiting torrent websites!

It seems to be a bad time for people reliant on Torrents for their media consumption needs. First, Kickass torrents went down, then torrentz.eu shut shop and now users visiting torrent websites in India are facing this message:

“This URL has been blocked under the instructions of the Competent Government Authority or in compliance with the orders of a Court of competent jurisdiction. Viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating an illicit copy of the contents under this URL is punishable as an offence under the laws of India, including but not limited to under Sections 63, 63-A, 65 and 65-A of the Copyright Act, 1957 which prescribe imprisonment for 3 years and also fine of upto Rs 3,00,000/-.

Any person aggrieved by any such blocking of this URL may contact at [email protected] who will, within 48 hours, provide you the details of relevant proceedings under which you can approach the relevant High Court or Authority for redressal of your grievance”

While a lot of media reports in the past few hours highlighted how this meant simply viewing blocked websites would land you in jail, analyzing the text properly leads us to believe that it refers to the illegal viewing, downloading and exhibition of copyrighted content hosted on the torrent website.

Our speculation has been confirmed by Gadgets 360, who found out that this warning is related to a case for blocking piracy of the film Dishoom and is a standard piracy warning, under rules that have been in place for some time now.

In fact, what actually happened is that the Mumbai High received an anti-piracy application from the film ‘Dishoom’. The High Court then issued an order stating that instead of the standard message that is displayed on blocked websites, internet service providers should provide detailed information about the provisions of the Copyright Act, so that people become aware of the reasons as to why the website has been blocked as well as the repercussions of downloading the illegal content.

Almost all ISP’s responded favorably to the order except TATA who said that putting up special information for each specific website was not technologically feasible for them. Thus the court gave them a premade text message to put on the websites which has been widely misinterpreted over the past 24 hours.

So is a nutshell, downloading a torrent of a newly released movie or music album can land you in serious trouble, but simply visiting the website seems to be ok.

What this means now is that you might actually have to pay money now to go watch Suicide Squad or Rustom in the theater!




[Source: Techrader]