The Indian Music Industry (IMI) consortium is hoping to combat piracy with a sweeping court order from the Calcutta High Court. The court ordered yesterday that all ISPs in India block 104 domains, many of which appear to be local music download sites with names like BollywoodMP4.com and FreeIndiSongs.com. The nearly 400 ISPs will need to cut off access within 36 hours, either by blocking the domain names or IP addresses or by using Deep Packet Inspection to ban specific URLs. The IMI says it presented the court with evidence that each of the domains was illegally distributing music.
This is only the latest in a series of court orders against domains alleged to host pirated content. Last year, the High Court ordered ISPs to block any page that offered a recently-released movie, resulting in several major file-sharing sites being cut off entirely. This February, music sharing site Songs.pk was banned; it soon resurfaced under the name Songspk.pk. However, this is by far the most wide-reaching ruling to date.
Despite this action, at least one IMI member says he doesn't want to see the offending sites shut down. In an interview with MediaNama, the CEO of one of India's largest music labels, Apurv Nagpal of Saregama, said that the IMI had gone through ISPs instead of trying to get ad networks to pull their support from the sites because "most sites are those with a passion for music. We don’t want these sites to be shut down, we want them to pay a license fee and flourish as a business," Nagpal said. "There are legitimate businesses in operation too. The scope is there, and we want these sites to be legal." Until that point, however, the Indian content industry doesn't look like it will be slowing down in its efforts to combat file-sharing.