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Indonesia introduces web-blocking

By | Published on Friday 21 August 2015

The Pirate Bay

Indonesia has joined the web-block party, with The Pirate Bay amongst the sites internet service providers in the country have been ordered to stop users from accessing.

The government in Indonesia started to become more proactive in combating online piracy a few years back, amidst international pressure to do more to protect intellectual property rights. Web-blocking has been promised for a while now, and this week the country’s Ministry Of Communications published a list of sites that ISPs were being ordered to block.

It includes some usual suspects like The Pirate Bay and, though many of the sites subject to web-blocks are better known locally. Indeed, the Ministry Of Communication said that its top priority in web-blocking on copyright grounds was to protect the country’s movie industry, and sites enabling the infringement of domestic films were most likely to be subject to subsequent blockades down the line.

Moving forward, rights owners will able to file complaints against infringing sites to the Ministry Of Communications, where the Director General Of Intellectual Property, Ahmad M Ramli, will seemingly be personally empowered to issue web-block orders, possibly within 24 hours of receiving a complaint.

Web-blocking, of course, has been a common anti-piracy tactic in many countries, especially in Europe. Though in the main some sort of judicial process is involved in issuing web-blocking orders, to reassure critics that websites have a platform via which to defend their operations if they believe they are being unfairly accused of enabling copyright infringement. But it seems this element will not be required in Indonesia.

Ironically, given pressure from the US has in part persuaded countries like Indonesia to ramp up anti-piracy rules, in America web-blocking still isn’t an option for rights owners and, as previously reported, plans by Hollywood to try and secure a blockade in court without an actual change in copyright law was called off this week, after a number of big tech companies hit out at the plan.

Of course web-blocking is no panacea, with consumers often able to circumvent the blockades via a simple Google search. Though rights owners insist they remain an important tool in hindering piracy, and educating consumers as to what are legit and illegitimate sources of music and movie content online.