Chris Dodd Speaks At India’s Movie Convention: In Consequence India Orders Site Blocking

FICCI FRAMES is the annual movie convention in India, and last Wednesday Mumbai held the event. Here, Chris Dodd, MPAA’s CEO and a vocal supporter of SOPA, spoke about piracy issues, invoking the usual reasons, sounding more and more like propaganda. As such, Indian ISPs are now ordered to shut down 104 websites that are allegedly facilitating access to copyrighted data.

This year’s event, in partnership with Japan, attended several important names, including MPAA’s CEO Chris Dodd who started his speech by saying:

“I am honored to be here to celebrate with all of you something else that unites our two countries: movies. Like America, India is a nation where movies matter. And as in America, movies matter not only to the richness of your culture but to the vibrancy of your economy and the prosperity of the Indian middle class.”

“Two years ago the Indian film industry was a $3.2 billion industry. Two years from now, in 2014, it is estimated to exceed $5 billion, which is incredible. The industry contributes an estimated $645 million to the Indian economy each year and supports an estimated 1.8 million jobs. As the trade body for the Hollywood entertainment industry, MPAA could not be more delighted,” he added.

After sweetening the crowd with how “amazing” the movie industry is, he added:

“Content theft threatens the health of our industry and the prospects for its future success. According to a report by Ernst & Young, movie theft costs the Indian film industry nearly a billion dollars each year and threatens more than half million Indian jobs. I bring this up not to cast a shadow on your success but rather to invite you to join us in common purpose. Content theft is a global problem and we must have a global commitment to solving it. This is an important opportunity for the Indian government to move forward with strong protections against online theft. We encourage the Indian film industry to reject as we have, the false argument that you cannot be pro-technology and pro-copyright at the same time and we applaud India’s aggressive plans for broadband and cable TV digitization.”

It’s funny though that he didn’t say a word on why the MPAA lacks any sort of impartiality, especially when it comes to independent artists, or on how tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars were invested in “second-hand” movies while USA’s economy was plummeting, and blaming piracy was the convenient solution; but omitting problems in his own backyard is what Chris Dodd does best.

However, these are issues that don’t concern the Indian Government. As such, a Kolkata court has ordered all 387 ISPs in India (yeah, that’s right, ALL of them) to block access to 104 websites, after IMI (Indian Music Industry) filed suit against them. According to IMI officials, each website involved in this lawsuit had hosted some infringing data; therefore, the court agreed that blacklisting them is the viable solution. Four injunctions on January 27, February 7, and March 1 and 2 implemented the blacklist.

Initially the movie group had targeted 300 websites, but the list was narrowed down to 104, as they were considered the most dangerous, said IMI officials. Now, about how they intend to block all those portals, there are three ways: DNS blocking, IP blocking or URL blocking by deep packet inspection, each raising its own concerns. DNS blocking, for example, can be easily circumvented (we often wrote about this matter) by simply typing the site’s IP address instead of its URL. IP or URL blocking is not of much help either, so cutting the access to a portal is still a big problem.

While European courts target only specific sites, ruling against one site at a time, India’s authorities are not wasting time, and adopt a more direct (to put it delicately) approach. Portals like Facebook and Google are soon to apply censorship on their materials, including obscene images of gods and goddesses.

A good run for Chris Dodd’s plans of spreading this “cancer” abroad, if we consider the epic fail of SOPA and ACTA in the States.