25 June, 2021

Download Syndrome

Choice has shrunk for virtual Jack Sparrows—alas, writes Martand Badoni. Then there’s Netflix.

Photograph by Narendra Bisht
Download Syndrome

Till about ten months ago, if you had decent internet speed and wanted to watch a relatively new film or a TV show, all you had to do was type the title in and there you were—Putlocker, Dailymotion, Solarmovies. You were spoilt for choice. These websites would stream a film without bothering too much about copyright, which, you thought, were taken seriously only by the US and Europe. Soon, however, we were being dead-ended—on your screen would spring the sign ‘Request Denied’, and a copyright notice would show on your browser. Was the digital content party and digital ‘free’-dom over? What made the government suddenly wake up to online copyright infringement, something we were happy not to understand too well?

Then one saw the commercials everywhere proclaiming that Netflix was coming to town. Perhaps the multinational entertainment giant, which offers a channel by monthly subscription, thought it would feel ignored with all the free content floating around unchecked in this country. You see, in the past decade of the internet era, most...

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