Friday, 22 June 2012

Indian court lifts ban on file-sharing sites

An Indian court has overturned a decision to block file sharing sites in the country, allowing web users to access video and file-sharing sites such as The Pirate Bay.

The Madras High Court last month made Indian internet service providers block access to entire sites to prevent a single film from being shared online.

The new order was issued following an appeal filed by a consortium of ISP's and states that only specific web addresses or URL's carrying pirated content should be blocked, but not the entire website.

In late March, Chennai-based Copyrightlabs, an Indian anti-piracy firm, won a court order that made Indian ISPs and phone firms stop their customers reaching websites that were illegally sharing copies of certain Bollywood films.

The order allowed copyright holders to request a website be taken down to prevent illegal downloads.
The ruling led to a series of cyber-attacks by the hacker group Anonymous, which targeted a number of Indian websites, including those for government departments and India's Supreme Court.
Anonymous said the attacks were carried out in retaliation against blocks imposed on video and file-sharing sites.

The internet hacking group then staged numerous protests against "internet censorship" in India.
- Malinda Dharshana/Reports

'Gangs of Wasseypur' launches 3rd London Indian Film Festival

The 3rd Annual London Indian Film Festival opened in Haymarket Wednesday night amid much fanfare, a plethora of entertainment industry guests and an appropriately groundbreaking movie launching the 2-week long celebration of independent Indian cinema.

Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ - fresh from thrilling audiences and critics alike at the recent Cannes Film Festival - opened the Festival at Cineworld Haymarket and received a firm thumbs from fans as well as the glittering array of stars who turned out in support of the Festival: from actors Anushka Sharma and Riz Ahmed to director Michael Winterbottom and musician Raghu Dixit.

Speaking before the screening, 'Gangs' director Anurag Kashyap said: “The London Indian Film Festival is lucky for me. My Dev D played in year one. That Girl In Yellow Boots premiered in year two and got UK distribution and now I’ve opened the festival. It’s a great platform.”

Festival Director Cary Sawhney said: “We are delighted that this year’s London Indian Film Festival has opened to such a tremendous response. We have a diverse range of events scheduled for the next two weeks, including the brilliant collaboration of director Q’s Gandu Circus along with Susheela Raman and the Asian Dub Foundation’s Steve Chandra Savale at BFI Southbank on June 21, and many World and UK film premieres.

And for those who couldn’t get tickets for Gangs of Wasseypur, there are two more screenings scheduled on June 28 at the ICA and on June 30 at Cineworld Shaftesbury Avenue.”
The Festival runs until July 03.
- UKAsian Staff

Danish Kaneria banned from playing in England over corruption

Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has been banned for life from playing in England after being found guilty of encouraging a teammate at his county side Essex to spot-fix.

An England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) disciplinary panel found the 31-year-old had urged Mervyn Westfield to underperform in return for money during a CB40 match against Durham in 2009.
Westfield was convicted of the offence in February this year and jailed for four months.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has recommended that the ECB should be implemented worldwide.

Kaneria's ban comes into effect immediately although he has not played county cricket since 2010.
During Westfield's trial, the court heard how the entire scam had been orchestrated by Kaneria, who had been at Essex since 2004.

But Kaneria, who played 61 Tests and 18 one-day internationals between 2000 and 2010, was never charged by the police on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

In handing down the punishment, the panel said: "Kaneria has made no admission, has shown no remorse and sought to cast blame on other plainly innocent persons.

"We regard him as a grave danger to the game of cricket and we must take every appropriate step to protect our game from his corrupt activities.

"Self evidently, corruption, specifically spot-fixing, in cricket or any other sport for that matter, is a cancer that eats at the health and very existence of the game.

"For the general public, supporting the game and their team within it, there is no merit or motivation to expend time, money or effort to watch a match whose integrity may be in doubt. The consequences of the public's disengagement from cricket would be catastrophic."

Kaneria has maintained his innocence throughout the process and has said he will appeal the ECB's decision.
He told Sky Sports: "I'm very upset about this decision. They don't have any proof against me.  "I'm an honest man. I've been playing cricket with passion and love. I have done nothing wrong."

The news comes just a day after Kaneria's former teammate Salman Butt was released from a UK jail, having served seven months of a 30-month sentence for spot fixing during Pakistan's tour of England in 2011.
- UKAsian Staff

MS Dhoni ranked India's top earner in sports

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has trumped the likes of Wayne Rooney, sprinter Usain Bolt and teammate Sachin Tendulkar in the latest list of the world's 100 richest sportspersons compiled by Forbes magazine.

India's Twenty20 and ODI World Cup-winning captain also came ahead of the World's top tennis player Novak Djokovic and Chelsea Football Club striker Fernando Torres on the annual list.

According to Forbes, Dhoni is ranked 31st, way ahead of Djokovic (62nd), Bolt (63rd) and Tendulkar (78th).

Champion boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr topped the list with total earnings of $85 million while Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao, with earnings of $62 million, and golf legend Tiger Woods, with $59.4 million, are second and third, respectively.

Of his total earnings of $26.5 million, Dhoni earned $23 million through endorsements while Tendulkar earned $18.6 million, with $16.5 million from endorsements.

Interestingly, the Indian captain's earnings through endorsements are more than the world's leading footballer, Lionel Messi.

Although Messi is 11th in the list with total earnings of $39 million - his earnings from endorsements are $19 million, $4 million less than that of Dhoni.

Manchester United's star striker Rooney is placed 37th with total earnings of $24.3 million.
Djokovic, winner of six Grand Slam singles titles, is 62nd with $20.6 million while Olympic 100m champion Usain Bolt is 63rd with total earnings of $20.3 million.

Maria Sharapova is the richest woman on the list, at 26th, with earnings of $27.9 million.
Roger Federer is ranked fifth, David Beckham eighth and Cristiano Ronaldo ninth.

- UKAsian Staff