Mollywood seems losing its battle against movie pirates.

Repeated efforts by the industry in association with the Anti-Piracy Cell of the Kerala Police to crack down on violators have hit a roadblock.

Police have admitted that attempts to locate the original source of uploading the content using a few software tools had failed to yield any result. Expectations that the internet service providers (ISPs) would block websites hosting such illegal content have also backfired.

Stating that the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) was yet to receive a formal request from the Anti-Piracy Cell of the Kerala police on locating the violators, Rajesh Chharia, president of the organisation, told The Hindu that attempts by the ISPs to block such websites were not effective going by past experience.

“We are not able to block it as content is being uploaded from different servers. The Department of Telecom (DOT), which provides the licence to internet service providers, can play a better role. It can block uploading pirated content trafficked through the international gateway. They can also ask the Indian host company to disable those sites,” he said.

Mr. Chharia recalled the swift action by DOT asking the ISPs to block all URLs that appeared to have content critical of Arindham Chaudhari’s Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) based on a directive by a Gwalior district court in February. He said that Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Director General of Computer Emergency Response Team-India, and DOT should be made party in cases filed against illegal uploading and file sharing to control piracy.

Warning the ISPs that they were playing with fire by not exercising due diligence against piracy, Supreme Court lawyer and cyber law expert Pavan Duggal said that they could land in the soup for not implementing the provisions of the IT Act.

“ISPs are intermediaries as per the cyber law and they should not host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, update or share any information that infringes any patent, trademark, copyright or other proprietary rights,” he said.

Mr. Duggal blamed the ISPs for not complying with its legal liabilities and said that the law related to removal of such illegal content was observed more in breach.

He also said that it was not a good idea for ISPs to shift their responsibilities on to DOT, as it was their duty to remove offending content or disable access to such material.

State Anti-Piracy Cell chief V.C. Mohanan said that film pirates had escaped the eyes of the police by using latest software to cover their online tracks. The reluctance on the part of administrators of foreign domains to reveal the details of those behind websites retailing pirated movies had also slowed down anti-piracy initiatives, he said.

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