In the times when filmmakers and online content providers across the country are fighting a valiant battle against online piracy which is causing thousands of crores of losses each year, the Bombay High Court’s latest statement will come across as a huge shocker.
Recently, the makers of the Bollywood action film, Dishoom, moved the Bombay High Court against the online piracy sites which are illegally streaming their film. In its response, the Bombay High Court said that “mere viewing of pirated films online cannot be considered an offence under the Copyright Act”.
“The offence 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,” the court said.
The court further asked the internet service providers (ISPs) to display a generic message for copyright infringement in the error message that is displayed when a blocked site is accessed, instead of the line “viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating a particular film is a penal offence”.