In the latest of what would eventually prove to be a futile attempt at policing the internet, the Indonesian government has blocked access to arguably one of the most popular illegal movie streaming websites in the country, only for the figurative hydra to inevitably sprout new sites in its place.
Yesterday, the Information and Communications Ministry (Kominfo) announced that it has blocked access to over 1,000 websites related to piracy of intellectual property, including IndoXXI, since July.
The illegal streamer, which has a name that serves as a nod to Indonesia’s largest cinema chain Cinema XXI, was an immensely popular website that provided users access to new TV shows and movies in HD, often not long after they leave cinemas.
Or should we say is.
As is to be expected with any attempt at censorship on the internet, Indonesian netizens have reported that they can still access IndoXXI under new domains and URLs.
indoxxi be like : hellO bitches we're back with new name yehaWWWW
— nadya (@ccobanana) December 21, 2019
government : "we gonna ban indoxxi"
indoxxi : *changing domain and ip address
indoxxi : pic.twitter.com/jTe4TNHp0q
— Ａｃｈｍａｄｉ (@achmadi_7) December 21, 2019
This meme perfectly sums up the whole situation.
Pemerintah nutup indoXXIpic.twitter.com/Yfya9Eglvn
— Hary Susanto (@hafilova) December 21, 2019
At any rate, there is, of course, an argument to be had that blocking pirate websites is necessary to protect intellectual property. Kominfo’s crusade, for one, was carried out in conjunction with a recently released survey by global public opinion and data company YouGov, which showed that 63 percent of Indonesians download content illegally via torrents in order to avoid paying for streaming subscriptions.
The same survey found that IndoXXI was the most popular illegal streamer in the country, preferred by 35 percent of users.
Though we may never be able to eliminate content piracy entirely, there’s reason to believe that relative lack of access to legal streamers may have contributed to the rise of piracy websites in Indonesia. It probably doesn’t help that Netflix, the world’s largest subscription-based streaming service, remains unavailable to customers of Indonesia’s largest internet service provider.