×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Australian Courts Order Blocking of 59 Piracy Sites

In major victories for Hollywood and the local film industries, Australian federal courts have ordered the country’s major telecoms and Internet providers to block access to 59 websites that carry pirated film and TV content. The studios and distributors have been fighting legal battles Down Under for several years.

The decisions came in two separate rulings Friday. In a case brought by Village Roadshow, the judge ordered telcos including Telstra, Optus and TPG to block 42 piracy sites. In a case brought by Foxtel, a second judge ordered the blocking of another 17 sites. The Internet service providers have 15 days to block the 59 sites and 127 domains.

In the Village Roadshow case, the judge said that copyright violations were “flagrant and reflect a blatant disregard for copyright owners.” Some, he said, even offered tutorials on “how to frustrate any legal action.”

Sites to be blocked include PrimeWire, MegaShare, EZTV, Limetorrents, Project Free TV, Watch Series, KissCartoon, PutLocker, GoMovies, EYNY and Kinogo. Following an earlier order, that brings the total number of sites blocked to 65, with a total of 340 domains.

Australia is ranked as one of the countries that most access pirated versions of “Game of Thrones.” The Village Roadshow case alleged piracy of 13 movies and TV series including “The Lego Movie,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and “The Big Bang Theory.”

“This is a historic moment for Australia to have what is effectively 95% of the criminal trade blocked,” said Graeme Burke, co-head of Village Roadshow and chairman of lobby group Creative Content Australia. “The thieves who run pirate sites contribute nothing to Australia — they employ no one and pay no taxes here. Of the enormous profits they earn, not one cent goes back to the original creators of the content.”

Distributors and other rights holders have for years attempted to use legal measures in Australia to penalize piracy site operators, ISPs and individual users. But they were often frustrated by the courts, which imposed numerous difficulties, such as requiring court approval of the wording of warning letters, on the ability to sue consumers of pirated content.

Australian ISPs also previously argued that the film and TV industries had created the problem of piracy by not making content available quickly or cheaply online. That situation has changed dramatically with the success of Netflix, which is believed to have over 2 million subscriptions in Australia, and other local streaming services such as Stan.

In 2015, federal law was changed to allow rights owners to seek site blocking. Where approved, the blocks are to be paid for by the rights owners, at approximately $40 (A$50) a time.

Read the judgments here and here.

More Digital

  • Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality

    Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality Nightmare

    At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this year, Google announced that it has taken up the long and ever-lengthening dream of the video game streaming service. Meant to replace the hefty, pricey, altogether confounding experience of buying and using various gaming hardware, Google Stadia will run video games on Google’s own hardware in a server [...]

  • crunchyroll logo

    Crunchyroll Raises Subscription Price to $7.99

    AT&T-owned anime subscription video service Crunchyroll is raising its monthly subscription price from $6.95 to $7.99 a month, it announced in an email to members Friday. It’s the service’s first price increase ever, according to a spokesperson. The new pricing will go into effect on May 1 for new subscribers, while existing members will see [...]

  • StyleHaul

    StyleHaul Shuts Down U.S. Operations, Lays Off About 65 Employees

    The axe is falling on StyleHaul: The fashion, beauty and lifestyle digital media and marketing company owned by RTL Group is shuttering U.S. operations, resulting the layoff of around 65 employees. StyleHaul offices in L.A., with about 55 employees, and in New York City, with around 10 staffers, are closing. RTL said StyleHaul’s U.K. operations, [...]

  • Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown, a leading platform for letting music fans know about upcoming concerts by their favorite artists, has acquired Hypebot, a news site publishing stories about the music industry and technology, and its sister site MusicThinkTank. “I’m proud to share that Hypebot and MusicThinkTank have been acquired by Bandsintown,” wrote Bruce Houghton, the founder of the [...]

  • Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’

    Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’ Is Future of VR

    As virtual reality becomes more and more available, many developers are looking for new frontiers to expand the experiences offered by the tech. For Netherlands-based Vertigo Games, that next frontier is what they call “location-based virtual reality.” It’s essentially high-quality VR experiences where players aren’t tethered to a PC or even to the confines of [...]

  • GDC 2019: Google's Play For Gaming

    GDC 2019: Google's Play for Gaming Ubiquity, Rise of Ray Tracing, Store Wars

    The Game Developers Conference finished up Friday evening, wrapping one of the most exciting GDCs in recent memory with Google’s splashy entrance into AAA video gaming, the emergence of real-time ray tracing as a compelling technology for film, TV, and games, and the growing war between two global estore powerhouses: Valve’s Steam and the Epic [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content