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Viewing torrents online not illegal: Bombay HC

Update: When a user initiates a download session via torrents, he/she is downloading a copy of multiple files distributed among several users in a network. After completion of a download via torrents, he/she is also indirectly making copies of a file by uploading (or seeding) files to other users in a torrent network, amounting to infringement. Earlier: Mere viewing of files via torrents is not illegal, but making copies of copyrighted protected content and distributing them for sale or hire to the public is punishable, the Bombay HC clarified last month, according a to report compiled by SpicyIP. In an August 24th court order referred by SpicyIP, Justice Patel stated: “The offence is not in viewing, but in making a prejudicial distribution, a public exhibition or letting for sale or hire without appropriate permission copyright–protected material." However, MediaNama wasn't able to independently review a copy of the order. The court observed these clarifications after ISPs were ordered to block specific pages and sites, owing to a John Doe order awarded to Eros International—the makers of the movie Dishoom. Although the court initially denied a John Doe for Dishoom, on 9th August, it awarded John Doe orders only to specific URLs or sub sections of a website that might infringe or already have infringed copyrights in the past. The notice mentioned that even viewing copyrighted content can land viewers in prison. ISPs were also instructed by the court to specify contact details of a Nodal officer, in case the block affected…

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