Open source video player VideoLAN urges India to declare ban • The Register
Developers of the open-source media player VideoLAN have asked India’s government to explain why the project’s website was blocked.
As The registry As reported in August 2022, videolan.org website has been unavailable in India since March 2022, meaning the official source for downloads is unavailable. No official explanation for the suspension was offered.
Since VLC is open source, clones infected with malware have occasionally surfaced – with Chinese actors suspected as the source.
India has banned many Chinese apps for national security reasons. But VideoLAN’s home base is France, not China. And VLC isn’t known or rated for posing any greater risk of carrying malware or the kind of nasty content the Indian government likes to ban. It has also been argued that directing potential users to third-party download sites increases the likelihood that poisoned clones will be passed off as legitimate, rendering a ban for security reasons ineffective.
Activists protested the blocking of the project’s website, and now one such group – India’s Internet Freedom Foundation – has done so specified for helping VideoLAN write a letter to the Indian Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology demanding an explanation for the suspension of videolan.org.
The letter [PDF] points out that political documents of the Indian government [PDF] Name VLC as a “favorite” tool for media playback and encourage the use of open source software.
The letter also notes that Indian law requires website owners to be informed and consulted about bans in order to challenge them, but that VideoLAN’s previous attempts to have the Indian government explain the ban have met with no substantive response have produced.
VideoLAN claims it was not treated fairly as a result and wants that to change.
The letter also claims that the ban on videolan.org violates freedom of expression and thus international law.
Jean-Baptiste Kempf, President and Lead Developer of VideoLAN, bids farewell by asking India to explain itself and ban or lawsuit under Indian and international law will follow.
The letter does not set a deadline for India to respond.
Which leaves the world waiting for India’s supposedly FOSS and tech-friendly government to take the next step.
Related to The registry‘s previous coverage of the Indian government’s technology policy, your relevant authorities may state that blocking VLC downloads prevents access to copyrighted media and/or materials considered objectionable under local laws. ®
https://www.theregister.com/2022/10/05/videolan_letter_to_india/ Open source video player VideoLAN urges India to declare ban • The Register