While the hacktivist group Anonymous calls for a nation wide protest on Saturday, netizens mull over the reason for the recent bans on websites
It all started when a small Chennai-based firm expressed their Kolaveri and filed a petition against online copyright infringement on behalf the Tamil film 3. As a consequence, it led to the blocking of file hosting and file sharing websites like Dailymotion, Vimeo and The Pirate Bay by some of the Internet Service Providers.
The blocking of these websites has not only led to widespread displeasure among netizens but the Indian wing of the international hacktivist group Anonymous has called for a nationwide protest on June 9. Their message was loud and clear earlier when they hacked into the Supreme Court, All India Congress, BJP as a mark of protest. Apart from Mumbai where the protestors wore black outfits with a Guy Fawkes mask, a tour across ten other Indian cities, including Hyderabad, are also on board.
While internet censorship is a sore issue with the authorities, even film and music production houses and distributors have been grappling to take the bull by its horn as far as internet piracy is concerned. But most netizens agree that blocking these sites will not solve the piracy or copyright issues, as there are ways to get around to these blocked sites. One of the users Arnab Choudhury, an Economics student, points out cheekily, “It only took a day for few of the internet savvy users to find an alternate solution after these websites were blocked.”
In fact, these websites are used for sharing files which doesn't always include films and movies. “For any independent first time filmmaker, some of these sites are a perfect platform to promote their films. Also, people share their private albums among friends and family,” explains Arjun N who is a software engineer. He points out the copyright infringement with regards to one film does not give the license to block entire websites. Sometimes, entire movies are available on websites like YouTube also but no one points that out. While Rashida B. a student asks, “Why just block these websites? Why not focus on the numerous pornographic websites which are easily accessible to all?”
While the debate rages on, most of the internet users are not happy with the constant scrutiny on the issue of internet censorship and freedom. Anonymous assuresit will be a peaceful protest on Saturday.