Several Guruji.com executives, including founding CEO Anurag Dod, have been arrested for alleged copyright infringement. The police action was triggered by a FIR (First Information Report) lodged by T-Series (Super Cassettes Industries Ltd).
Guriji.com is India’s first crawler based search engine. It was started by two IIT-Delhi graduates and has raised capital from Sequoia and Sandstone Capital. Although, it covers several verticals including Music, City, Movie Timings and Cricket, its focus is clearly on Music. The search engine’s home page brandishes a list of Top Songs as well as Top Albums. Although, Guruji.com doesn’t host any illegal content, it aggregates and serves content provided by music piracy websites like songs.pk, musicplug.in, and bollymobile.in.
Speaking on the arrest, T-Series VP digital content Neeraj Kalyan said, Guruji.com was infringing our copyright under the garb of a search engine. The website was working in nexus with some music pirate websites and was exploiting our content.
Guruji.com clearly encourages its users to violate music copyrights. In fact, one can even argue that music download is one of its biggest draws. However, is Guriji.com breaking the law or is it simply exploiting a legal loophole? Does its disclaimer, “Guruji.com indexes third party websites and does not have control over, nor any liability for the content of such third party websites”, hold any legal merit? I have little expertise when it comes to laws that govern our country, so I am not in a position to say. Drop in a word if you have more to say on this developing story.