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Indian Music Industry Gets Court Orders For Blocking 104 Music Sites

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The Indian Music Industry (IMI), an industry consortium of 142 music ompanies, has obtained orders from the Calcutta High Court directing all Internet Service Providers (387 ISPs) to block 104 music sites (listed here). Court orders were obtained on 27th of January, 6th February, and the 1st and 2nd of March 2012. ISPs have been directed by the court to block all 104 sites within 36 hours. MediaNama has a copy of the docket which IMI has prepared, with information on the court order and the websites blocked, but it essentially has the order against Songs.pk as a sample. Apurv Nagpal, CEO of Saregama, told MediaNama that the first order was against songs.pk, and subsequent court orders covered the rest of the sites. The IMI made a case against each website, he added, with proof of piracy of content from labels by each site.

Indian content businesses have increasingly been taking the legal route to combat piracy: T-Series filed lawsuits against several major companies like YouTube (which was later settled), MySpace, Yahoo and Ibibo, and even got the founders of Guruji.com arrested. Reliance BIG Pictures began getting generic “John Doe” orders trying to force filesharing sites to prevent movie uploads, and getting some of them blocked. This is by far the biggest anti-piracy initiative till date.

How They Will Block

The court has asked ISPs to block the sites using any of the three methods:

1. DNS Name blocking: which ISPs use to for looking up IP addresses corresponding to domain names. However, it is possible for filesharing sites to change their domain name: as we reported earlier, Songs.pk resurfaced as Songspk.pk.


2. IP Address blocking using routers: IP address blocking using routers. However, it is possible for sites to be hosted on alternate servers, once blocked, so this might not entirely address the issue.

3. DPI based URL blocking: “This mechanism involves configuring the ISP’s network management system to monitor traffic by means of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and reset or block a customer’s connection to specific Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) as defined in the network management system’s Access Control Lists” DPI-based URL blocking is necessary can be used to block only a portion of a website, for example, “www.example.com/home.html” only, instead of “www.example.com.”

What This Means

The information docket lists each of the 387 ISPs in India, all the 104 music sites, and certain legitimate sites in India, which provide legal options for consumers: Saregama, Nokia Music, Flipkart, Cyworld, 7digital, Gaana*, In, IndiaONE, Meridhun, MyBand, Raaga, Radio One, Saavn, Dhingana, Artist Aloud and Telugu One.

The intent is evident – at one end, IMI is using legal means to stop illegal downloads, and at the other, it is propping up legal businesses. This could act as a fillip for legal sites – perhaps users might choose to stream music over the cloud or buy it online instead of downloading for free. On the other hand, they could find alternate means, through file sharing sites and torrents. Nagpal told MediaNama that the IMI will go after filesharing sites next, so it appears that the battle against online piracy of Indian music is well and truly on now, and music labels are beginning to take online revenues a lot more seriously.

This might be a consequence of changes in mobile marketing and mobile ringbacktone subscription policies, enforced by the TRAI, which might have impacted mobile revenues.

Reading List

IMI Music Block
– Indian Music Industry Gets Court Orders For Blocking 104 Music Sites
– List of 104 Music Sites That The Indian Music Industry Wants Blocked
– Songs.Pk Relaunched As Songspk.pk; Ad Networks?
– Songs.pk Banned By Calcutta High Court: Report

Reliance Entertainment & John Doe orders
Reliance Entertainment Gets Order To Block Piracy Of “Bodyguard” On File Sharing Sites
Files Sharing Sites Blocked In India Because Reliance BIG Pictures Got A Court Order

T-Series Cases

Carrot & Stick: T-Series Gets Radiomaska.com MD Arrested; Takedown Notices To Dishant.com
Guruji Shuts Music Search
YouTube & Music Label T-Series Reach Out Of Court Settlement
Execs Of Sequoia Funded Guruji.com Arrested Over Alleged Copyright Violation In India
T-Series Argues IT Act Doesn’t Prevent Courts From Terminating Copyright Infringement

Also read
Hyderabad Police Arrests Torrent Uploaders

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  • The beginning of the end of the Internet in India.

    • Hotzigetty

      “of the Internet as we know it”.
      The fact is, compared to music available on digital music stores in other countries, the ones here (pardon my fench) SUCK. Flipkart hasn’t even bothered properly cataloguing their collection in sale. It’s so bad!

  • WTF ??

  • Well, this is good initiative by IMI and Indian justice system.  blocking ISP and other 2 methods are just basic. Anyone can find loop hole to use it.

    If you use random proxy from other countries, it would be accessed. Such sites should be forced with huge dues for  piracy (i mean pirated content and NOT sharing on P to P). Such block on DNS and IP should be done global systems in co-ordination with international bodies. 
    Sites and owner of such site who are earning and sharing huge money to terrorist organizations OR illegal means of business must be shutdown permanently. 

  • Nayar999

    hey, can anyone tell me about the music blog, if they only give the link to the legal site. 

  • Lalit Ua

    Blocked music sites by Calcatta High Court are working now, Why?
    why was neglected the order of court? if this order is not followable than why was given the unusual order?
    I think this order was given due to two reasons-
    1– a silent pressure was given by these unpopular music sites to be popular.
    2-  Bribery (rishwat) was being given to the court by these short term blocked music sites.

    9953253911    lalit singh

  • Could anyone tell amount of license fee to download or stream songs. .. Any idea of fee…?


     This is not a proper way to fight piracy. The best way to fight piracy is being showed by some firms like moserbaer by reducing the price. If the Indian Music Industry  or the Indian Movie Insdustry thinks that they can pop out money and can win the court cases they are true as the law in India defines the power of money but they cannot win a war against piracy as people in th world will know how to circumvent the blocks provided by ISP.

    I can give you an example when I asked a teenager around my place that, now what will you do? the music sharing websites like songs.pk are being blocked by the ISP’s, he smiled at me and told me we are educated and don’t you know about the work around there are many he shouted “VPn’s services, proxies and even now the songspk.pk” so here IMI is not only blocking websites but they are indirectly educating the people to learn how to circumvent. The methods to circumvent are rising rapidly. If you keep a person out of the reach he will try it even more harder to achieve it and its in the nature of human.

    But IMI and other industries don’t know that internet is a virtual world how can you stop piracy????

  • Metalf

    lol Pirates suing Pirates.
    not that IMI is full of originals.
    they can rip music, movies from anywher and put it in ther bottle and sell as ther own?