Pirated music sharing site banned in India

Calcutta High Court has directed ISPs in India to block access to Songs.pk

While the US is making successful attempts at blocking access to websites that violate intellectual property, India is on its own crusade. According to the reports from the Jagran Post, three industry bodies in India filed a civil suit in the Calcutta High Court asking for a ban on Songs.pk. The website is notoriously popular for serving albums of new Hindi cinema movies and even independent artists from India and Pakistan. The following three bodies have asked for the ban:

  1. Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL)--UK based licensing company
  2. Indian Music Industry (IMI)
  3. Sagarika Pvt Ltd--music label

Telecom Talk writer San Ghosh says the High Court has upheld the complaint and Internet Service Providers have to block access to the website. Ghosh further reports that the High Courts wants ISPs to deny access through:

  • DNS name blocking
  • IP address blocking via routers
  • DPI based URL blocking

The Jagran Post report says the following ISPs have to comply:

  • Reliance Wimax
  • Hathway Cable
  • Hughes Communications Ltd India
  • Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra)
  • Reliance Communications
  • Wipro
  • Sify Technologies
  • Bharti Airtel
  • Vodafone India
  • BG Broadband

Previously, movie production house-Reliance Big Pictures--has used John Doe cases to block file sharing websites. In the US, Immigration and Customs Enforcement division has been actively seizing domains that make it difficult for users to access the websites; for India, getting ISPs to block websites seems to be preferred route. Nikhil Pahwa at MediaNama points out that while this could be a precedent against music piracy (as Reliance's John Doe was for movies), the implementation is tricky since not all ISPs in India have been asked to block the site.

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