SpicyIP Tidbit: Madras HC clarifies extent of URL blocking

In an update to the seemingly random mass censoring of video and torrent sites about a month ago, an ISP consortium approached the Madras High Court for a clarification as to the extent of the Ashok Kumar interim injunction. According to MediaNama, who have a copy of the order issued on June 15th, 2012, the Madras HC clarified that only specific URLs containing the allegedly infringing content are to be hit by this injunction and not entire websites. This is certainly a very welcome clarification considering the amount of legal content that became inaccessible as a result of entire websites being blocked.

I haven’t seen the order so I won’t comment further, but I think it is rather interesting that the ISPs approached the Court for this. Perhaps it was the drop in bandwidth usage (and hence purchase) of customers, or perhaps it was the protests and negative media attention that came on the ISPs. In any case, this is definitely more equitable and sensible than blocking entire websites. I’m told that the blocked sites have started becoming accessible once again. 

Swaraj Paul Barooah

Swaraj Paul Barooah

Follow @swarajpb Swaraj has a deep interest in IP, Innovation and Information policy, especially when they involve issues relating to Access to Knowledge, Innovation incentive mechanisms, Digital Freedoms, Open Access, Education, Health and Development. After his BA, LLB (hons) from Nalsar Univ of Law, Hyderabad, he went on to do his LLM from UC Berkeley in 2010. He is now pursuing his J.S.D. degree from UC Berkeley where he is focusing on Drug Innovation Policy and Access to Medicines. Aside from SpicyIP, he is also engaged as a consultant on various IP matters, and is a visiting faculty member at Nalsar Univ of Law. He is also in the process of starting up a New Delhi based "IP, Innovation & Information Policy" focused think-tank.

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