We’ll see what happens next… AMA
But I wanted to ask, the Indian Govt said they banned VLC because there was a hacked version that was infecting users' computers. Do you think that was the actual reason or was it something else and they just used that for cover? To me, "someone hacked a version and put malware into it" is just not a reason to ban the software outright, it's like if they banned Windows because someone got a virus.
I have no clue at all. All this thing feels weird.
Ask questions to try and get answers and then build a case if needed. And use lawyers if needed.
I wish you good luck in your case.
No answers from any of them.
Please fix it.
I am in India and able to access and download VLC through my ISP from the official videolan website.
It is very likely the case would get thrown out as the party to which the notice is served (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) might just submit an affidavit / explanation to the court that no ban has been issued. That would leave videolan with the option of pursuing the ISPs and then it becomes murky. They should probably also add the ISPs (at least the big ones) that are blocking the website as additional defendants so they can issue sworn affidavits on whether there is a shadowban in place.
I absolutely don't get why videolan needs to be blocked. I hope they get the blockage lifted.
I suspect we won't get many people joining this discussion to say that private companies are allowed to do whatever they want, and it's not censorship because they're not the government, and if you don't like your ISP shadowbanning websites then you can just change ISP.
The aggrieved party has filed a Right to Information petition with the Indian government agency (equivalent to a Freedom of Information Act request under US law).
I think the term is appropriate esp. since some ISPs are not blocking it.
They can deduce that through the reduced download counts, but so can the shadowbanned users here through the vote counts.
The trend where some government action causes third parties to voluntarily block things even if it’s not directly required is called a ‘chilling effect’:
Tells you volumes about what they understand of tech, and should give you enough salt to view all their "digital" claims and plans with.
They can. It's likely the Internet Freedom Foundation will assist them in doing that.
I can't say we are doing the best things but at least you can still bring the govt to court here in India. Judicial system here is slow, but it at least still works...
Defaults in India are very fast.
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=32441911 ("VLC media player banned in India", August 2022, 168 comments)
Whether the US, Canada, or I presume India, pay for tech expertise does not even remotely match the private sector.
If you want highly skilled devs, and management, people who understand and are experts at tech, you are not going to get them at 1/4 of what is possible in the private sector.
And even if somehow you pulled in nationalistic, 'serve your society' tendencies, the next part appears. Work culture.
Government work needs to be highly regulated, very controlled, stodgy by nature, because it is for the public good. It needs checks and bounds far beyond a private corp, or at least different than a private corp, this is the nature of the beast.
Private corp has mechanisms to ensure success, the primary being sink or swim profit motive.
Government requires monitoring and mission success determination in a different way.
A stodgy, stifling way.
The two times I took government contracts, it was an inordinately stifling, red taped, inability to think creatively culture, a stifling type of work.
So you have ridiculously low pay, coupled with stifling, non-creative work culture.
So no wonder no one knows how hacks work, or what VLC is, or how to enforce bans / etc
The competence is, sadly, just not there.
And this affects all of us.
Few want to pay for this
It is to the public good, that there are checks and bounds on power, forms to fill out, procedures to be followed.
Yet this is counter to creativity, to moving fast, to embracing the new.
But if governments at least paid market rates for tech labour, not 1/4 of it, they would at least overcome one hurdle.
There is: salary. I assume that's what GP meant, that one way to attract talent (beyond other important stuff like preventing dumb fiefdoms, trying to keep down unnecessary red tape vs reasonable, general workplace quality etc) despite other unattractive aspects is to offer a very competitive salary/benefits. A lot of government jobs in general do still have some solid benefits, but the salaries now lag fantastically behind equivalents in the private sector for many key roles, and "spirit of public service!" only does so much.
This is true all the way to the very top in the US at least. Presidents used to get paid more: $25k at the founding (what President Washington got) would probably be something like $4.5m today. $200k in 1969 would still be about $1.5m today. But POTUS salary now is still $400k. In my opinion it should be more like $100-250m. It's easily one of, if not the, single most important jobs on the planet at the head of one of the largest, most powerful and highest revenue "organizations". It should pay more or at least equivalently to CEOs of big corps, enough that POTUS will never feel financially beholden. And onwards down, Senate should probably be $25m, House $7m etc. Pay structures throughout gov don't match the responsibility and impact the jobs have on the world. Trillions of dollars and millions to billions of people are impacted by the decisions of people getting paid a relative pittance and we wink and pretend that it's some noble thing while of course what actually happens is everyone is expected to either be independently rich or to cash in somehow or be beholden to rich patrons. It's stupid.
But the political will for paying for doing it right doesn't seem to be be there anymore.
Good idea in principle. But the problem is not the salary. It's all the campaign contributions with strings attached which they have to take to even make it to office.
This is what you should tackle first before you look at the president's salary if you want to assure independence from backers.
Also, most presidents have already been really rich and they really don't need it. The path they need to take (congress, senate) to even be considered pretty much guarantees they are already rich and influential.
Also, a good president is one that doesn't do it for the money obviously. And it's still a LOT.
“Any such proceedings, if initiated, shall be solely at your risk, cost, and for breach of your own rules,”
And it is funny they include "cost", as if every country in the planet had this bizarre custom of making the loser in a legal proceeding to pay for the lawyers of both parts.
Could this all be related to that?
Maybe related? To my knowledge, India hasn't said anything about why it's banned.
And everybody agrees the issue was a modified version of VLC being distributed, the original report put it in a confusing way that made it sound like base VLC was susceptible.
Especially since banning the real VLC would increase the risk to Indian users by increasing the adoption of the fake VLC.
I do find it hard to believe India was on top of things enough to catch the malicious version early but stupidly thought the best solution was to block the official version. But it was possible.
They don't provide traditionnal ui controls, but there are still a few buttons, play, pause, next/previous, a seek bar, subtitles/audio track, etc. Everything is pretty barebones as it's running on the subtitle engine AFAIK.
You generally drag and drop media to play it, or open files directly (or with the command line). These days I mostly use mpv, it ha great HW accel, wayland support, etc. I still use vlc for more involved cases like playing media off the network (its original use- case!), disk or webcams, etc. Though mpv can handle most of these too!