Here is good news for all the movie lovers out there, Watching a pirated movie or content is not a crime. Bombay high court clarifies the act of watching a pirated content is not a crime, but trading and exhibiting is supposed to be, as per the Indian Copyrights Laws.
A petition filed earlier last month, there was a massive revolt against the warnings shown by Internet Service Providers, when a user tried to access a torrent website or any banned website as per Government orders. This prohibition also includes porn sites as well.
A stem warning is served to users earlier last month, and websites are greeting such users with a dialogue “Viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating an illicit copy of the contents of this URL is punishable as an offense under the laws of India.”
It is mentioned in the warning that accessing of such content may charge a fine of Rs. 3,00,000 or an incarceration up to 3 years. This raised a great uproar on social media against the act and shaken the massive torrent user base.
While hearing the petition, “The offense 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,” says, Justice Gautam Patel from Bombay High Court.
Clarifying the issue to a larger extent, Bombay high court has instruction the Internet Service Providers to replace the warning with a more ‘generic’ one for accessing banned websites.
Indian Copyright Act 1957 was misinterpreted and exploited by the ISPs while warning its users from viewing such content. The other reason by the representatives of ISPs claimed that a small warning was displayed due to the less space in the firewall which made all the way to this confusion.
“Omprakash Dharmani from Tata Communications is present in court. He says the firewall being used by Tata Communications and almost all other ISPs has an inbuilt software limitation: it does not allow the display of a file more than 32 kb. This is an absurdly small size,” added Justice Patel.
Justice Patel also suggested warning which should be displayed is as follows, “Infringing or abetting infringement of copyright-protected content including under this URL is an offense 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 Rs 3 lakh.”
This order about error messages is applied for all ISPs in India which includes the state-run BSNL as well.