Historic piracy injunction for Piku: Don’t try to download the movie

Nitish ChandanLaw

Piracy In India

Did you know that piracy is a serious crime?

The Delhi High Court granted restraining orders against websites and cable operators from streaming, broadcasting or publishing online the film “Piku” without permission. Justice Indermeet Kaur of the Delhi High Court passed this interim order on the movie producers’ plea. This was done as a proactive step to prevent “irreparable damage that might occur to them”. The Court issued notices to ISPs, cable operators, websites etc. In addition, it has ordered ISPs to block access to certain websites that were mentioned along with the plea and any that would be communicated in the future.

Piracy in India

I am sure most of you are looking for a good “720p” or “1080p” print of Piku on one of your torrent search engines. It is a practice a lot of people partake in. Needless to mention, piracy is a crime. And the irony is that almost all (even illegally, mostly theatre print) “downloaded movies” show this kind of commercial. But people are reckless in ascertaining their point of view.

“So what?”, “Tujhe kya”, “Mera Internet hai”, “Tell me if you want it?”, “Hume kon pakdega?”, “Sab Karte hain”. India has surfaced as one of the biggest hubs of piracy, be it the 50 rupee Movie combo DVD at Palika or some torrent website. If you think it is not possible to find you, please give up the notion. In 2012, the Kerala police tracked down more than 1,000 people in an anti-piracy drive for pirating a Malayalam movie. For the typical mockery, “Eh why doesn’t the Government do anything?”, significant changes have been made in the law (Copyright Act 2012) to combat piracy.

Legal implications of piracy 

The only reason that India has not been able to successfully ban these services is because their servers rest outside India. Moreover, we don’t have any law to extend our jurisdiction to that extent. As an end user, if you download a pirated version of things, you can face prison for up to 2 years. In the US, such a felony can extend up to 5 years of jail time. The UK, however, mandates the offenders to buy the product that they illegally downloaded.

Whether or not the IT Act has an implication here, I would love to have opinions from the readers also. In my opinion, the IT Act has no clear definition of Cinematographic Content Copyright infringement. To add to your knowledge such copyrights have a lifetime of sixty years.

Is torrenting illegal?

No, Not at all. Torrenting encourages peer-to-peer file sharing (Computer to Computer and not server to computer). Even websites like Wikipedia encourage heavy file sharing via torrent so as to lower server loads. If you download open-source software via torrent or share something you aren’t legally bound to, it is perfectly fine. However, the contrary can fall under infringement and effects and be criminal as well as civil. So the best deal is to purchase DVDs and CDs or online if it be. After reading this, you might not stop practising piracy and being a party to it, but remember someone is resolving.