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error-451-censoredShort Bytes: IETF had replaced the HTTP 404 status code with HTTP 451 status code for the pages taken down on the legal/censorship basis. Apart from just representing the legality of the page, HTTP 451 also makes the internet more transparent and legally operable. Read more about HTTP status code 451 in full detail below.

Have you ever experienced not being able to watch a YouTube video in your country but the same video plays very well in the other countries? If yes, then what comes into your mind first? Legal rights?

Since YouTube came much later into the picture, these things involving legal rights used to be experienced before as well and many pages over the internet had to be removed because of the violation of the legal rights pertaining to a particular region, language, religion, or some other issues. You might not have seen such pages over the internet because they were removed after putting up the HTTP 404 status code which you must be familiar with – ‘Page not found’.

One of the most prominent reasons for HTTP 404 status code on a website page, besides other issues, used to be the legal takedowns of a page.

Keeping these legal takedowns in view, IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) has finally created a status code for the pages which have been taken down for the legal reasons. The new HTTP status code, 451, indicates that a host has received a legal demand to deny access to a resource.

Apart from just representing the legality of the page, HTTP 451 also makes the internet more transparent and legally operable. A page legally down might looks like this then:

HTTP/1.1 451 Unavailable For Legal Reasons Link: ; rel=”blocked-by” Content-Type: text/Html Page unavailable For Legal Reasons This request may not be serviced in your region because of the legal issues pertaining to this page.

And,

Page unavailable For Legal Reasons This request may not be serviced in your region because of the legal issues pertaining to this page.

Besides, legal takedowns HTTP 451 is also intended to be used in case a provider is blocking access to a particular page, thus making the whole procedure a standardized and machine-readable way.

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Also read: What is HTTP/2 and how it works?