Government lifts download ban on VLC Media Player

According to TechCrunch, VideoLAN, a popular software developer, filed a legal notice last month seeking an explanation from the country's IT and telecom ministries for the block order.
Representative image
Representative image

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Electronics and IT on Monday lifted its nine-month ban on the download of VLC, a popular media player in the South Asian market.

According to TechCrunch, VideoLAN, a popular software developer, filed a legal notice last month seeking an explanation from the country's IT and telecom ministries for the block order.

Delhi-based advocacy group Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) provided legal support to VideoLAN.

IFF on Twitter wrote: "VICTORY! @GoI_MeitY has decided to remove its ban on the website of VLC media player. IFF provided legal support to @videolan throughout this process. #WhatTheBlock."

"This ban was put into place without any prior notice and without giving VideoLAN the opportunity of a hearing, which went against the 2009 Blocking Rules and the law laid down by the Supreme Court in Shreya Singhal v. Union of India. This was strange because VLC Media Player is an open-source software which is used by nearly 80 million Indians," IFF was quoted as saying.

India is one of VLC's biggest markets, and the majority of users download the software from the official website.

"Most major ISPs (internet service providers) are banning the site, with diverse techniques," VideoLAN president and lead developer Jean-Baptiste Kempf said of the blocking in India.

In light of the blocking, the site immediately observed a drop of 80 per cent in traffic from the South Asian market, reports TechCrunch.

With over 3.5 billion downloads worldwide, VLC is a media player that requires no internet access or connectivity to any particular service to operate.

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