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India Court Orders Blocking of Hundreds of Websites Including Mega and The Pirate Bay, Due to Complaint from Sony Over the 2014 FIFA World Cup

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India Court Orders Blocking of Hundreds of Websites Including Mega and The Pirate Bay, Due to Complaint from Sony Over the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Postby sunnyd » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:46 pm

Sony, which owns Multi Screen Media (MSM), and maintains the exclusive broadcasting rights to the 2014 FIFA World Cup being broadcast in India, filed a complaint based on alleged infringements by various other websites to its exclusive rights, and requested that those hundreds of websites be blocked. Those rights include the live, delayed, highlights, on demand, and repeat broadcasting of the Matches. In the complaint It states that, "It is imperative for the Plaintiff to ensure that its exclusive and statutory rights are not infringed by websites which have not made any investments in acquisition of such rights and which is illegally broadcast, rebroadcast, retransmit, host, stream, exhibit, make available for viewing and download, provide access to and communicate to the public, the broadcast of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Matches." The original list of sites to be blocked totaled 472, but in an updated report from India news site Medianama, that list is now down to 219. Following the complaint, on June 23rd the Delhi High Court ordered the ISPs in India to block the sites, but the actual blocking just began on July 4th and 5th.

Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd. is an Indian company which was previously known as SET India. Pvt. Ltd., and is the Sony Entertainment Television subsidiary in India.

The broadcasts are being made available through Sony Liv, on its dedicated sports service called LIV Sports, and are accessible online, or through mobile apps. In the complaint, MSM states that other various websites are "indulging in hosting, streaming, providing access to, etc. of infringing the exclusive rights and broadcast and re-production rights of the plaintiff." And also that, "The acts of infringement is not only causing the plaintiff loss of substantial revenues but will also take away the legitimate revenue to the Government through service tax etc. which are payable on the subscription fee payable by the named and unnamed defendants if they conduct their business illegitimately."

Much to everyone’s reaction of shock, the original list of websites to be blocked included perfectly legitimate sites such as Google Docs, Google Video and (Google’s URL shortening service), but those sites have since been removed from the list. An updated list can be found on Medianama, and includes Mega, KickassTorrents, The Pirate Bay, 1337x, Atdhe and Rojadirecta, just to name a few of the remaining 219 sites still on the list.

So once again, Sony strikes in order to protect its copyrights and takes down hundreds of sites affecting thousands of users based on "alleged" infringements. At this point, it seems almost impossible to determine how several of the sites, many of which are legitimate, even ended up on the list to begin with.

As the World Cup enters the semi-finals stage, hundreds of sites are being blocked for absolutely no valid reason.

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