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Here’s why Bombay High Court declined two John Doe orders

"I found the reliefs to be overbroad. They were directed against to entire websites." Justice G.S. Patel of the Bombay High Court, on the 4th of July, passed orders that should hopefully put an end to torrent sites being blocked in India in their entirety, reports SpicyIP. According to the orders (for Balaji Motion Pictures' Great Grand Masti, here and here and for Yash Raj Films' Sultan), only specific URLs with infringing content will be blocked, the blocks will be time-bound, till October 4th 2016, and for any additional links, the movie studios will have to approach the Cyber Crime Cell, which will have to verify the infringement before allowing the block. The order references two Spicy IP articles, one by Prof Shamnad Basheer, here, and one by SpicyIP Fellow Vasundhara Majithia, here. Last month, we explained the modus operandi of movie studios in seeking John Doe orders last month, and also pointed out how courts rely on past John Doe orders to grant new ones. This is a welcome change, and hopefully a shift. Some notes: - On specificity of URLs: This ensures that movie studios can prevent sharing of their films between users, but also, unlike in case of previous orders, does not give them a free run by allowing entire sites to be blocked, and without a term in mind. That, incidentally, is what Balaji Motion Pictures was trying to do: it initially gave a list of 800 sites, but was forced prune the list to 482 specific URLs after Justice Patel…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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