Digital Crime Unit of India Suspends 11 Pirate Site Domains, 89 More Targeted

Written by Nitish Singh
Last updated September 27, 2021

Authorities in India are finding success in their fight against online piracy. Indian authorities have set up a Digital Crime Unit, following the UK Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit’s standards. The DCU has banned 11 pirate site domains and 89 websites are currently being targeted.

In addition to the website blocking that has become the norm in many countries around the world, as targeting domains of pirate websites are turning out to be an effective anti-piracy tool. A vast majority of pirate websites use similar names once they get banned. Once a website becomes inaccessible, the site operators quickly send the message out to the fans to allow continued access to new copycat websites. Despite short-term drops in visitor counts, torrent websites have always managed to get back up after bans.

Digital Crime Unit

Image Courtesy of JM Rocket Reporter

The Digital Crime Unit in India includes a multi-stage plan that involves cease and desist warnings to pirate sites. Once complaints are filed with the advertisers who stop funding the pirate sites’ activities, service providers and domain registers are asked by the DCU to take suspend their services.

The DCU earmarked over 9,000 websites where pirate content is accessible to users. 1,300 of these have been put on a shortlist for targeted action. There is no concrete data on how many of these websites have been contacted so far but the DCU is finding success. The Maharashtra Government’s DCU has managed to take down 11 pirate site domains after complaints from representatives of the entertainment industry.

The names of the websites have not been revealed. The website registrars were sent notices under Section 149 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which allows police officers to take preventative action when a crime is suspected. Back in 2014, information obtained by TorrentFreak following a Freedom of Information request revealed that only five out of 70 domain registrars had complied with police requests to suspend domains so it remains to be seen how effective the DCU’s efforts will be.

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