The official channel of Press Information Bureau (PIB), the official agency tasked with disseminating information about government’s policies and programmes, was blocked by YouTube on June 16, a report by The Indian Express has claimed. The channel was used by PIB to telecast its press conferences and other events online including the press conferences by several Union ministers on the completion of four years by Narendra Modi government.
The viewers were unable to view videos uploaded by PIB India on its verified YouTube channel till Wednesday. When accessed, the channel displays an error message reading – “This video contains content from Press Information Bureau. It is not available in your country.”
This type of message is displayed when a video meant for a specific country is accessed by viewers from another country. Typically, this is used for protecting IP of content makers across geographies and masking or hiding regionally-sensitive content.
However, on Thursday, a few videos had started playing.
The channel has more than 1.5 lakh subscribers and has posted 3,500 videos so far with 14 million since it was set up in May 2011. A YouTube spokesperson was quoted as saying that the videos have been blocked on a limited number of sites after it updated partner agreements. He added that the company has started working to get these videos online.
A similar issue was reported by several YouTube accounts including ‘MIT OpenCourseWare’ and the ‘Blender Foundation’. People were unable to access their videos and were informed that they are not available in their country.
To protect copyright holders, YouTube uses an advanced piracy recognition system that flags and disables videos which are used without permission.
An official word from the government on this development is still awaited.