VLC Media Player Site Opened in India After Notification to Govt
The VLC Media Player website is finally open in India, a month after the software developer issued a notice to the government. VideoLAN developer’s site has been blocked for more than six months in the country. It had issued an official notice to the Department of Communications (DoT) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in October, regarding the blocking of its website in the country. The organization has also indicated that it will pursue legal remedies for violation of its rights under the Constitution of India and international law. It is worth noting that the government has earlier approved VLC as part of the Digital India initiative.
The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) shared a tweet on Monday confirming that VLC Media Player’s ban website is raised. As per the previous report, VideoLAN filed a Right to Information (RTI) application with the DoT to get more information about the ban.
WINNING 🎉@GoI_MeitY has decided to remove its ban on the VLC media player website. IFF provided legal support @vidiolan throughout this process. (1/3)#WhatTheBlock pic.twitter.com/pW7APDAbIX
– Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) (@internetfreedom) November 14, 2022
An RTI has reportedly been forwarded to MeitY, who say they have no information available about the banning of the VideoLAN site. The developer of the open source media player issued a formal notice to the DoT and MeitY, saying that it had not received any notice before the ban.
VideoLAN president and lead engineer Jean-Baptiste Kempf said traffic to their website has dropped by 20 percent since the ban in India in February. He also expressed his confusion about the ban pointing out that some Internet Service Providers (ISP) blocked the site in India while others did not.
Furthermore, the ban seems to have only affected the VideoLAN site. The app is always available for download on other platforms like Google Play and App Store. VideoLAN then released a legal notice in September to DoT with the help of IFF who mentioned that the reason for closing this place has not been mentioned even after six months.
In its notification to the government, VideoLAN said the blocking of the site violates international obligations on freedom of expression and violates Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The organization also stated that it will pursue legal action for the violation of its rights, in its notice issued last month.
VideoLAN’s website was accessible in India on Tuesday, and Gadgets 360 was able to confirm that VideoLAN’s website was accessible from many internet service providers. Meanwhile, MeitY and the Ministry of Communications are yet to provide a public statement on the unblockability of the website in India.