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India unblocks the interwebs after protests

Access returns to file-sharing sites

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An Indian court has finally seen sense and toned down a controversial anti-piracy ruling which blocked access to a large number of legitimate sites in the country.

Madras High Court clarified an interim injunction granted at the end of April to Chennai-based anti-piracy firm Copyright Labs, which wanted to stop the illegal file sharing of local films Dammu and 3.

The new court order states that only the “particular URL where the infringing movie is kept” and not the whole site will be blocked in such cases, according to the BBC.

The ruling will be welcomed by the ISPs who appealed against the original decision, which was described by some as a clumsy attempt at enforcing copyright which ended up unfairly censoring chunks of the internet.

Hacktivist group Anonymous soon caught wind of what was going on and last month launched a series of retaliatory denial of service attacks at government sites and the Supreme Court as part of an #OpIndia campaign.

While those in India celebrate, however, internet users in Japan now have greater cause for concern after an anti-piracy bill was passed last week levying harsher penalties for those found guilty of illegal file sharing.

According to the revised Copyright Law, downloading pirated video or music could now land you with a maximum of two years in prison and/or a fine of up to ¥2 million (£15,982).

There are also fears that the vague wording of the law could criminalise those who are not fully aware that downloading a particular piece of content is illegal, according to Japan Times. ®

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