It appears that taking John Doe orders from Courts is increasingly becoming the weapon of choice for film producers to check piracy; following the line is Tamil film ‘3’ (also made in Telugu and Hindi). A John Doe order is given against unidentified people, because the copyright owner doesn’t know who is going to infringe.The film’s producers  R K Productions Private Limited have filed a civil suit in the Madras High Court, to prevent copyright infringement, and have been granted an interim injunction, directing ISPs  including MTNL, Bharti Airtel,  Aircel Cellular, Hathway Cable and Datacom, Vodafone India,Idea Cellular,  Reliance Communications and TATA Teleservices, from infringing copyright of the Producer in the film by communicating or duplicating or downloading and uploading it in any manner without a proper licence, reports PTI (via IBNLive).  In addition to the ISPs, the suit also mentions five unknown respondents under the name of one Ashok Kumar, according to the report. The next hearing in the case is scheduled to take place on 18th April, while the film releases today.

Preventing content piracy? What’s worth noting is that the order makes ISPs who’re just intermediaries responsible for preventing piracy, but also for infringement of copyright on content. As per the report, the order also includes photographs, musical notations, any musical recordings, dialogues, lyrics, story or screen play, since the applicant has mentioned in the suit, that the ISPs need to enter into a license agreement for the same. So, that implies, if a user uploads a song from the movie on YouTube, the ISP is responsible for ensuring that it’s blocked, which is simply not practical. This puts more pressure on ISPs to block sites on the basis of suspicion, similar to what they had done earlier, by blocking access to file sharing sites.

Interestingly, this comes from the same people who were responsible for the viral video hit , ‘Why this Kolaveri Di’, which is also part of the film, and had achieved 50 million hits on YouTube, with hundreds of cover version videos.

How this trend started: In July 2011, several ISPs including Airtel had blocked access to file sharing sites Mediafire.com, Megaupload.com, Rapidshare.com, Sendspace.com, Megavideo.com, VideoBB.com, Novamov.com, Movshare.com, Putlocker.com, Hotfile.com, Fileserve.com, Filesonic.com, Filesonic.in, Depositfiles.com, Wupload.com, Uploaded.to, and Uploadstation.com. Initially, the reason for the block was suggested as an order from the Department of Telecommunication (DoT), however it was later revealed that the block was instituted because of a John Doe order from the Delhi High Court, allowing Reliance Big Pictures to prevent piracy of its movie Singham. A month later, Reliance Entertainment had got yet another John Doe order from the Delhi High Court to prevent piracy of its movie Bodyguard.

Earlier this month, the Indian Music Industry (IMI), an industry consortium of 142 music ompanies, had obtained orders from the Calcutta High Court directing all Internet Service Providers (387 ISPs) to block 104 music sites which offered pirated music, starting with Songs.pk. Fifteen days after the order, 68 of the sites were reportedly blocked on MTNL Delhi.

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IMI Music Block
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– List of 104 Music Sites That The Indian Music Industry Wants Blocked
– Songs.Pk Relaunched As Songspk.pk; Ad Networks?
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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

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