The Bombay High Court (HC) has ruled that watching pirated films online can’t be termed a punishable offence under The Copyright Act, 1957 (as amended by the Copyright Amendment Act 2012).
The HC stated that "The offence is not in viewing, but in making a prejudicial distribution, a public exhibition or letting for sale or hire without appropriate permission copyright-protected material.”
The observation came in a verdict last month when it was pointed out that an Internet Service Provider (ISP) had displayed an error message on an online pirated movie-watching platform that had sent viewers in a tizzy.
Justice Gautam Patel asked ISPs to drop the line "'viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating' a particular film is a penal offence" from the 'error message' and directed them to display a more generic message on URLS to be blocked for infringement of copyright.
This is certainly a reprieve for us mere mortals that are bound by the shackles of, well, laziness mostly. Time to rejoice and watch on!
Title image: Bebebe