music-piracyDownloading copyright-protected files via unauthorized sources are illegal and this is pretty much well-established regardless of where you live. However while in some parts of the world we see movie studios and record labels go after the torrent sites directly, it would seem that over in India users are more likely to get in trouble, and getting caught pirating in the country could land you in jail.

According to reports, it seems that local ISPs have started to display warning messages when they visit certain torrent or file-sharing websites (Note that torrents in itself aren’t illegal, for example some companies rely on P2P technology to help distribute software/updates more efficiently). The warning message says that the website has been blocked in the country, and that “viewing, downloading, exhibiting, or duplicating an illicit copy of the content” would subject users to Sections 63, 63-A, 65, and 65-A of the Copyright Act 1957.

What this means that if you are caught, you could be facing jail time of up to 3-years, and a fine of up to Rs. 300,000 (~$4,480). Prior to this, it was inaccurately reported that viewing these websites could get you in trouble already, but this is not true. You would have to actively participate in piracy, such as downloading or sharing the copyright-protected files, to get in trouble with the law.

At this point in time it is unclear as to which websites have been blocked, but safe to say that the major torrent and file-sharing websites are pretty much a no-go.

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