VideoLAN, a VLC media player development, has issued a legal notice to DoT and MeitY over the website ban in India

VideoLAN, a VLC media player development, has issued a legal notice to DoT and MeitY over the websit ...

VideoLAN, a popular open source video player, has issued a notice to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) over the blocking of its website in India. The manufacturer has previously requested that the DoT obtain a copy of the motifd blocking order, as well as an opportunity to defend its case via a virtual hearing. Earlier this year, the digital liberties organisation Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) was informed by MeitY that it did not have

Jean-Baptiste Kempf, the head of the VLC Development Group, claims that the organisation had noticed that its website was blocked earlier this year without any prior notice. The blocking of the website for the popular media player was widespread among media outlets, while eliciting reaction from users on social media. The IFF on Tuesday said that it helped draft the legal notice to DoT and MeitY.

The videoLAN website was blocked without any prior notice, or providing an opportunity of a hearing, according to the legal notice. This article also states that the DoT did not follow the instructions set forth in Rule 8 of Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Information by Public) Rules, 2009, and the Supreme Court''s judgment in the landmark Shreya Singhal v. Union of India.

As per the IT Rules, officials responsible for blocking orders are required to make reasonable efforts to identify the originator or intermediary, issue a notice, conduct a hearing before the concerned authority, and provide a copy of the reasoned blocking order.

The legal notice claims that it has been six months since the website''s closure was first reported, and that the reasons for the closure have not yet been addressed to the organization, which has also not received a notification of hearing or a copy of the reasoned blocking order.

The URL''s blocking is a violation of international duties to protect freedom of speech in India under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Screenshot/ Digital India Website/ MeitY''s website claims that open source is an extremely important part of Digital IndiaPhoto Credit.

The creators of VLC stated that the prohibition on the website for the media player was utterly hazy, since the government has approved the use of VLC as part of the Digital India program. MeitY has expanded the use of open source and open technologies. Through the use of open source software around the world, including the VLC Media Player, Mozilla''s Firefox browser, and the Thunderbird email client, LibreOffice, WordPress, and Inkscape.

It''s also worth noting that the link to the videoLAN website in India might force millions of users to download the application via third-party websites, lowering the likelihood of infection from malicious software. VLC Media Player for other platforms is still available to download via the Google Play store and the App Store.

Gadgets 360 has reached out to the DoT and MeitY for feedback and will update this story once their responses have been received.

VideoLAN has asked the DoT to provide a copy of the reasoned blocking order for blocking the URL, as well as an opportunity to defend the organization''s legal proceedings by virtue of a virtual hearing.