9 January 2019Copyright

Film studios target ISPs in a bid to stop piracy

Nine entertainment companies have applied for an injunction in the latest push to stop Australians from accessing websites allegedly allowing users to download or stream pirated content.

The group of companies is being led by Australian mass media organisation Village Roadshow and has lodged its application for an injunction with the Federal Court of Australia.

The request lists five major internet service providers (ISPs) and seeks that they block their customers from accessing 79 websites which offer illicit streaming or downloading of copyright protected material.

Joining Village Roadshow, the other eight companies include Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal and Warner Bros. Australian distributor Madman is also an applicant.

The ISPs listed in the application—Telstra, Optus, Vocus, TPG and Vodafone—will be ordered to block access to a list of online locations for three years, using their choice of DNS, IP or URL blocking, if the injunction is awarded.

Customers of all five providers, as well as their subsidiaries, would be affected by the ruling.

The group’s application cites a range of copyright material including films and television programmes. Some of the titles mentioned include “Kingsman: The Secret Service”, “The Lego Movie”, “Toy Story”, “Cinderella” and episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” and “Shameless”.

In December 2018, the same group of companies, plus Tokyo Broadcasting System Television and Hong Kong’s Television Broadcasts Limited, obtained a wide-ranging injunction covering more than 150 domains, according to Computer World.

Last year, Australia passed new laws to expand its website-blocking provisions. The new legislation allows copyright owners and licensees to seek court orders which will force search engines to remove links to specified pirate sites.

This story was first published on TBO.

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14 June 2019   Australian media and entertainment corporation, the Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, has won a court order to block 76 piracy websites owned and operated by 51 entities.
4 June 2020   Australian internet service provider Telstra has persuaded the country’s Federal Court to modify a site-blocking injunction the ISP feared would put it at a competitive disadvantage, in a test case for Australia’s updated site-blocking regime.