Indian High Court enforces torrent site blackout

India’s High Court in Calcutta has passed a ruling requiring 387 Indian ISPs to block access to 104 copyright infringing websites.

The order followed a complaint by the Indian Music Industry, the local trade body representing the recorded music sector.

Indian law requires ISPs to protect copyright and prevent the abuse of their online networks.

Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, which represents the recording industry worldwide, says: “This decision is a victory for the rule of law online and a blow to those illegal businesses that want to build revenues by violating the rights of others.

“It highlights the importance the Indian courts place on the creative industries and their contribution to the economy. The court ruled that blocking is a proportionate and effective way to tackle website piracy.

“The Indian government should build on this progress by moving forward legislation to effectively tackle all forms of digital piracy to enable the country’s digital music market to reach its full potential.”

The High Court’s injunction requires all ISPs in the country to block access to the copyright infringing sites by their IP address, domain name and using deep packet inspection-based URL blocking.

The recorded music market in India was worth an estimated US$141.2 million in 2011, according to IFPI figures.

This represented a 6.2 per cent increase on 2010, but still means the market, a hotbed for piracy, was worth a fraction of that of other Asian nations, such as Japan (US$4 billion) and South Korea (US$199 million).

A significant proportion of record company revenues in India (46%) are already derived from digital channels and there are 16 licensed digital music services.Music Business Worldwide

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