Latest law on visiting torrent sites in India

हिंदी में पढ़ें
September 02, 2016
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty



Torrent was considered as a heaven for people addicted to movies and series. Who would want to wait over a week to watch an episode of Game of thrones when it is easier to download the whole series in one go or spend copious amount of money on tickets of next Friday release when you can download the whole movie with extra or unedited footages.

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In recent days there has been a lot of buzz around a new notice that certain users are seeing on blocked URLs in India: -

“This URL has been blocked under the instructions of the Competent Government Authority or in compliance with the orders of a Court of competent jurisdiction. Viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating an illicit copy of the contents under this URL is punishable as an offence under the laws of India, including but not limited to under Sections 63, 63-A, 65 and 65-A of the Copyright Act, 1957 which prescribe imprisonment for 3 years and also fine of up to Rs. 3,00,000/-. Any person aggrieved by any such blocking of this URL may contact at [email protected] who will, within 48 hours, provide you the details of relevant proceedings under which you can approach the relevant High Court or Authority for redressal of your grievance.”

The notorious aspect of this warning is that few media reports are claiming that just visiting a blocked URL, could lead to a three – year jail and fine of up to Rs 300,000. This has sent users into frenzy with many imagining getting arrested any moment.

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Even viewing blocked URLs may get you arrested?

This is perhaps the most popular myth about the hullabaloo surrounding the ban.  The notice doesn’t say that visiting a blocked URL will get you arrested, but the viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating an “illicit copy of the contents under this URL.” In simpler words, visiting a torrent website won’t get you arrested, but downloading pirated content from these websites could. Similarly, watching illegal streams online could also land you in trouble.

 

Why the viewers are being made liable?

The Bombay High Court recently in its Dishoom John Doe order passed on July 26, 2016 asked internet service providers in India to not just block URLs but also explain to users why the URLs have been blocked and possibly warn them of consequences of illegally accessing copyright work.

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Is this a complete ban on torrent sites?


Not anytime soon.

Not all torrents have been banned. There are numerous torrents available and no sooner is one torrent taken down, it is replaced by several others. Even blocked torrents are accessible using easily available virtual private networks. These VPNs are more secure from detection.

But torrent users face uncertain times ahead. The state agencies everywhere in world are catching up and going after big torrents. The arrest of world's largest Bit Torrent distributor Kickass Torrent's founder and the Kickass Torrent subsequently going offline is just the latest in what is emerging as a trend.

In India, once blocked these torrents and other URLs remain blocked for years. And courts are liberally granting requests for preventive blocking of websites on the wishes of filmmakers and content creators.



 

These guides are not legal advice, nor a substitute for a lawyer
These articles are provided freely as general guides. While we do our best to make sure these guides are helpful, we do not give any guarantee that they are accurate or appropriate to your situation, or take any responsibility for any loss their use might cause you. Do not rely on information provided here without seeking experienced legal advice first. If in doubt, please always consult a lawyer.


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User Reviews


4.9 - 28 reviews
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is recording clips of movies in theatre illegal?

Arvind on Mar 02, 2021
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can I get prosecuted for content downloaded through torrent before it became illegal?

Sonia on Apr 07, 2021
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why is the torrent being blocked?

Shankar on Mar 12, 2021
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can I get arrested for downloading movies from torrents?

Vandana on Mar 10, 2021
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is recording clips of movies in theatre illegal?

Kaushal on Mar 25, 2021
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why is the torrent being blocked?

Anita on Mar 20, 2021
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is searching for torrent sites also a crime?

Dinesh on Apr 06, 2021
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can I get prosecuted for content downloaded through torrent before it became illegal?

Geetha on Mar 07, 2021
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is searching for torrent sites also a crime?

Anuradha on Mar 31, 2021
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can I get arrested for downloading movies from torrents?

Manjula on Apr 05, 2021
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nice legal article.

Rajeev on Apr 10, 2021
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Very good work with the article. Gave a nice clarity about the subject.

Niti on Apr 09, 2021
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Sapna on Mar 23, 2021
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good work

Vipul on Mar 06, 2021
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thanks for the information

Ramesh on Feb 27, 2021
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great advice. Thanks

Abhinav on Mar 14, 2021
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Krishna on Mar 16, 2021
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Sangeeta on Mar 23, 2021
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very well written

Smita on Mar 06, 2021
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Written plainly to be understood by anyone who is from a non-legal background.

Sonal on Apr 04, 2021
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thanks for the information

Keshav on Mar 03, 2021
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Very informative and a good read as well.

Laxman on Apr 06, 2021
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more info needed on the law

Mayank on Mar 14, 2021
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good article. Very helpful

Gopal on Mar 22, 2021
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needed some more information on the subject.

Sudhir on Feb 27, 2021
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nice artcile

Vignesh on Apr 07, 2021
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very informative.

Santhosh on Mar 27, 2021
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how to contact a lawyer for my legal case?

Shivangi on Mar 07, 2021

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