UMG claims right to block videos it does not own

Last month saw frantic activity over the pre-censorship comment which was subsequently withdrawn after widespread public outcry and derision. Even though pre-censorship made an obvious impression and brought the internet censorship debate to prime time news, one of its most disturbing aspects are already existing in law.

The law is the Intermediaries Rules, 2011 and the feature which is causing the content-burn is the power and the incentive created for private intermediaries to censor. It also allows a person to complain to an intermediary which is hosting any content on grounds of copyright, trademark infringement etc., even if that person is not the owner of the content.

In this background the Ars Technica story on UMG’s claims that it is entitled to claim blocks on videos posted on youtube for which it does not own copyrights serves as a cautionary tale. UMG’s claims that its rights to claim such block’s arises from an agreement with Youtube.

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