Acting on a plea by producers of the film Dishoom against online piracy, the court had recently ordered ISPs to block sites showing pirated content, along with an “error message”.

Online viewing of pirated films not an offence says Bombay HC
news Piracy Monday, September 05, 2016 - 11:06

The Bombay High Court has said that mere viewing of pirated films online cannot be considered an offence under the Copyright Act.

“The offence is not in viewing, but in making a prejudicial distribution, a public exhibition or letting for sale or hire without appropriate permission, copyright-protected material,“ Justice Gautam Patel said, according to a report by Swati Deshpande in The Times of India.

He further asked internet service providers (ISPs) to show a generic message for copyright infringement in the “error message” that is displayed when a blocked site is accessed, instead of the line “viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating a particular film is a penal offence”.

Acting on a plea by producers of the film Dishoom against online piracy, the court had recently ordered ISPs to block sites showing pirated content, along with an “error message”.

The court directed that the message should say, “Infringing or abetting infringement of copyright-protected content including under this URL is an offence in law. Sections 63, 63-A, 65 and 65-A of the Copyright Act, 1957, read with Section 51, prescribe penalties of a prison term of up to 3 years and a fine of up to `3lakh.”

On August 12, Tata Communication Ltd. (TCL) had said that it was not feasible to implement the directive. 

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