Internet users in India can finally heave a sigh of relief. After weeks of confusion and frustration with blocked websites, the mess finally looks to be clearing. (See: Confusion reigns as Indian ISPs block Vimeo, torrent websites
reports that the Madras High Court, on an appeal filed by a conglomerate of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), has passed an order saying that entire websites cannot be blocked on the basis of "John Doe" orders.
"The order of interim injunction dated April 25, 2012 is hereby clarified that the interim injunction is granted only in respect of a particular URL where the infringing movie is kept and not in respect of the entire website. Further, the applicant is directed to inform about the particulars of URL where the interim movie is kept within 48 hours."
"John Doe" orders allowed studios to direct ISPs to preemptively block entire websites to prevent users from accessing copyrighted content. Acting on such orders, most ISPs had earlier blocked access to entire sites like Vimeo, Pirate Bay etc., which were said to provide copyright infringement material to online viewers.
The ISPs later decided to approached the court, requesting that any blocking on content be restricted to specific URLs provided by the applicant, instead of entire websites. This way customers can still access legitimate content, and the ISPs don't lose any goodwill or revenue.