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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Madras High Court on petition of movie makers ~ famous internet database blocked !!

Even regular follower of Court cases may not have memory of the order given in C.S.No. 601 of 2017 C.S.Ho.601 of 2017 in High Court of Judicature, Madras and to connect it with Bollywood would require a regular cine-goer ….   It was an application praying the Hon’ble Court to grant  order of interim injunction restraining the respondents [1 to 37]  and any other person or entity infringing – including the websites  hosting contents that relate to plaintiff's copyright, protected cinematographic films !!!!  

Read a review in a paper that ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ is a “bold” film in the Indian context is incontestable. It shows women looking for sex, enjoying it, looking for freedom from oppression, looking to be able to smoke and drink freely, looking for the chance to earn a living and be good at it. What’s to carp about?  ~ those who made it claim it the story to be lady-oriented, their fantasy above life.   Then there is another movie : ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’  (romantic comedy film written and directed by Imtiaz Ali, featuring  Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma in the lead roles … I am unlike to see both the movies, even when they are put on TV – the Hindi films that I saw could be counted in one hand … 

however, the first Hindi movie, I ever saw was when I was studying 7th Standard or so.  Went with a couple of friends to Children’s theatre Madras and after buying ticket and getting in realized that it was no children movie .. a couple of scenes made me look around to ensure that no one of my locality known to me were around !!   Considered one of the best Hindi comedy films of the 1970s, it was  a nostalgic favourite for its quirky take on pre-hypercongestion Bombay featuring Amol Palekar  and Vidya Sinha !!! ~ this is no post on Cinema but how the 2 movies mentioned at the start are affecting ‘You and Me’

If you had observed it - access to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine has been confirmed to be blocked by several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) across India. For those unaware, the Wayback Machine project is an online library of over 302 billion web pages and provides access to users to more than a decade-old online content for free. It is an initiative of a 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation called Internet Archive.   Blocking access to it means restricting netizens access to an entire library with the wealth of free information and history.

The non-profit organisation is already aware of the situation and has reached out to DoT and MeitY to get a response on the matter. However, there is none yet while they wait to see full access being restored to web.archive.org.  “With the Wayback Machine blocked, Indians will find it difficult to catch liars on the Internet. It may even hit India’s attempt to root out corruption, doublespeak and is likely to make a number of government bodies less accountable to citizens.” India Today claimed.

Known Modi haters and trolls tried to spread this news. One such guy, a person who is apparently a lawyer, re-tweeted blamed the Central Govt.  conveniently hiding the fact that  archive.org is not blocked on orders of Government of India, but Madras High Court. As it turns out, Prakash Jha Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. approached the court of Justice Anita Sumanth in an attempt to stop pirated copies of their films Lipstick Under My Burkha and Jab Harry Met Sejal from being viewed online. As per the order, many as 2,650 websites have been blocked as per the Madras High Court order.

So, the knowledge storehouse - archive.org is blocked on behest of Madras High Court after complaint by Bollywood studios – but sadly, if it was for the media and a producer seeking ban against his work becoming online, why should it apply to millions of text that was readily available ?   the only condition should have been that - if these movies are  leaked by uploading its media files somewhere, archive.org should not  preserve the media file without taking into consideration the copyright issues; then why make its access unavailable ?

Looking forward to the removal of ban and ‘archive.org’ becoming available to all of us…

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

29th Sept. 2017

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