After a 9-month ban, the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) lifted the ban on the VLC Media Player. This means that Indian users can now download this popular media player for free. The ban has come into effect in February this year. However, neither the Indian government nor the VideoLAN project disclosed any information about the ban. The Indian Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) later stated that the agency provided legal support to VLC on the issue. Before the ban, the VideoLAN team said the VLC media player was downloaded 25 million times a year in the Indian market.
The Indian government has not released an official statement on the lifting of VLC in India. However, Indian users can visit its official website and download the VLC media player for free.
The VideoLAN team issued a legal notice to the Indian government in October. In the notice, it explains why the company’s services were banned in the country. It also claims that it will defend itself through a virtual hearing.
The VideoLAN team also threatened the government. They said if the government did not provide a proper justification for the ban, the team would be “entitled and forced to take legal action against the government for your failure to protect our rights guaranteed by the Indian constitution, in violation of international and domestic law”.
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VLC Player initial ban in India
The Indian government has been on a banning spree over the past few years. The major culprits of the Indian government bans are Chinese applications. From recent reports, it appears that the Indian government will not discontinue its banning anytime soon. In July this year, it banned the PUBG Mobile Indian version.
In August, it blocked the official website of the VLC media player in India. However, users can still download the mobile version from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. For the desktop version, users need to download it from a third-party source. When Indian netizens visit the VLC player network, it shows blocking information. It shows “this website has been blocked as per order from Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, under IT Act 2000″.
The VLC media player was banned in India around nine months ago (February this year). However, most users who have a VLC player installed will not notice the change. Multiple reports point out that a hacker group uses a VLC media player to spread malware. This may as well be the reason for the ban in India.