Article Hindi

2,650 websites including archive.org blocked as battle against piracy rages on


Seeking to stop pirated copies of their films from being viewed online, Red Chillies Entertainment and Prakash Jha production, have succeeded in blocking piracy websites including archive.org.

Shriram Iyengar

Researchers across the country went into meltdown yesterday as all-India access to the Internet archives website, archive.org, was blocked.

The move has now been revealed to be the result of two major production companies, Red Chillies Entertainment and Prakash Jha productions, seeking to stop pirated copies of their films from being viewed online.

A report by the BBC said that the Department of Telecom had blocked close to 2,650 websites on the basis of an injunction acquired at the Madras High Court by the production companies.

The Internet Archive, a website that collects and maintains copies of old websites, and online documents is used by researchers and scholars.

The website published a statement suggesting that the process was undertaken before the court order arrived, and blocking the website was unnecessary.

The statement also emphasised that the use of the injunction could have been avoided by a simple takedown request by both production companies to the website, as they have done successffully in the past.

"We find several instances of take down requests submitted for one of the plaintiffs, Red Chillies Entertainments, throughout the past year, each of which were processed and responded to promptly. After a preliminary review, we find no instance of our having been contacted by anyone at all about these films. Is there a specific claim that someone posted these films to archive.org? If so, we’d be eager to address it directly with the claimant," read the statement.

Chris Butler, office manager at the Internet Archive was quoted by the site, Medianama, as saying, "Obviously, we are disappointed and concerned by this situation and are very eager to understand why it’s happening and see full access restored to archive.org."

The website bans were granted by the Madras High Court on 2 August. The court orders (1) and (2) have a list of 2,650 websites to be blocked, including the archive.org (no 2322 on both court orders).  

Among the other non-piracy sites affected by the overarching injunction are sites like WN.com, website hosting service Weebly, and the French ISP Free.fr.

The list also includes former torrent index site Bitsnoop and Shaanig, which were shutdown last year.