A Month After Being Served Legal Notice, MeitY Unblocks VLC Media Player

This ban was put into place without any prior notice and without giving VideoLAN the opportunity of a hearing
VLC Media Player
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Nine months back, the Ministry of Electronics and IT blocked the official website of VLC. Now, a month after VideoLAN, VLC’s developer, filed a legal notice challenging the decision, the government has lifted the ban.

In the legal notice, VideoLAN demanded a copy of the blocking order that was issued to ban URL. The company also sought an opportunity to defend its case via a virtual hearing. The notice further stated that if the government fails to comply with the requests, VideoLAN would initiate legal proceedings for violation of obligations under international laws and failing to protect the rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of India. Reportedly, the after the block, the website experienced fewer downloads of VLC Media Player from the country and a drop in overall visits to its website.  India has been one of the largest markets for VLC.

“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,” Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) said in a statement. IFF had provided legal support to VideLAN throughout the process.

“It is a pity that VideoLAN was banned without any contact with the organisation and sharing information about why the ban is in effect. When VideoLAN asked for information about the ban, it was not even shared. So it is also a pity that VideoLAN needed to take the legal route. I think it is a good thing the ban is lifted. The scammers should be targeted, not the tool that they choose. VideoLAN was the victim of those scammers,” Jean-Paul Saman, Secretary of VideoLAN, told AIM.

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Shraddha Goled
I am a technology journalist with AIM. I write stories focused on the AI landscape in India and around the world with a special interest in analysing its long term impact on individuals and societies. Reach out to me at

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