Police in India Arrested Youngster for Uploading TV Shows on YouTube

By Bill Toulas / August 4, 2020

A TV broadcaster in India named “Odisha TV” has reported a young man to the police after he continued to upload episodes of the Tara Tarini television show on YouTube. The name of the arrested individual is Niranjan Senapati and the excuse that the person presented to the police is that he saw the same content on many other channels, so he thought this would be an acceptable thing to do.

YouTube received Odisha’s complaints too and suspended the channel on the grounds of repeated copyright infringement, but that wasn’t enough for the local broadcaster, as it seems.

They filed an official complaint to the Infocity Police accusing Senapati of duplicating copyright-protected content without having any authorization or consent from the owner. The TV show content uploaded on YouTube is exclusively offered via “Tarang Plus,” which is Odisha’s OTT platform. This service’s cost is $11,99 per year - which is pretty low, even by India’s standards.

So, seeing people uploading stuff that is otherwise so affordable enraged the publisher and led them to take legal action against the YouTube user. As for Google’s video platform, its Content ID system and automated filtering mechanisms failed to catch the illegal nature of the uploads.

From what seems to be the case, Senapati is paying the price for all the damage that YouTube pirates are doing to Odisha TV, as uploading content without a license is only one of the many problems that plague the platform.

In other cases reported by local news outlets, users are stealing Odisha’s TV logos and graphics to upload fake news and hoaxes, contributing to malicious misinformation campaigns. Odisha TV doesn’t have any association with these people and feels victimized as the fake news is eroding the viewers’ trust towards the brand.

This case proves that you can get into trouble even for acts that don’t seem particularly damaging or extraordinary. The only thing that makes the difference between the police knocking at your door is whether the copyright owner will go after you.

India doesn’t have concrete piracy laws, so it’s unclear if this is a civil or a criminal offense, and Senapati is now at the mercy of the prosecuting authorities. The young person who uploaded episodes of Tara Tarini on YouTube didn’t really have any reason to do it, as he would never manage to monetize his channel anyway.

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