Update: The Indian Music Industry claims to have court orders that allow the blocking of 104 other sites. Please see:
– Indian Music Industry Gets Court Orders For Blocking 104 Music Sites
– List of 104 Music Sites That The Indian Music Industry Wants Blocked
March 12th, 2012: It’s not even been a month that the Calcutta High Court passed an order banning music sharing site Songs.pk, and the site is back, albeit with a different domain name, Songspk.pk. We checked the who-is records, and songspk.pk has been registered by Sushant Mangat, the same person also registered songs.pk:
So it appears that the site circumvented the Court order by simply moving the site to a different name: an apprehension which was raised in the initial appeal filed in the Calcutta High Court, citing this as a reason for the applicants to ask the court to direct ISPs to block the site, rather than the site itself. The order took into account that the blocking of the sites should not impact access to other sites.
This could go on forever, since the website can easily register another domain name and redirect traffic, or if IP addresses are blocked, they could shift to different servers, thus making the entire exercise futile. The Court had mainly directed ISPs to identify and block access to the website through methods including DNS name blocking, IP address blocking via routers, and DPI based URL blocking.
Nikhil adds: Hit Them Where It Hurts?
One solution for the applicants could be to hit the site where it hurts most – the monetization. At present, the songspk.pk makes money by running advertisements through either direct ad placements or via ad networks. It’s possible that the music labels could get an injunction preventing the ad networks from serving ads on songspk.pk; it might not work with international ad networks, but could work with Indian owned networks like Globe7 (screenshot) and AdMagnet (screenshot; is a popup when a song plays). Other ad networks we noticed include cpxinteractive (screenshot), xtendmedia(screenshot) and harrenmedianetwork (screenshot). We’re not sure if advertisers and ad networks can be held responsible for serving ads on these sites, because with “blind” networks, a tag can be placed anywhere.