Foxtel launches new round of piracy site blocking applications

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Posted

May 08, 2017 12:00:56

Foxtel has launched another case in the Federal Court to have the piracy streaming websites Yes Movies, Los Movies, Watch Series and Project Free TV blocked in Australia.

Key points:

  • PirateBay, Torrentz, Torrent Hound and ISOHunt have previously been targeted
  • Documents filed target TPG, Telstra, Optus, Vocus/M2
  • Online tech savvy users have already found ways around the blocks

It is the country’s fifth site blocking case to be brought before the Federal Court and is Foxtel’s second.

The documents were filed with the court late last week and target internet service providers TPG, Telstra, Optus and Vocus/M2.

Those sites primarily stream movies and television to users, who watch the pirated content with their web browser.

It is now a familiar legal process for Foxtel, which was successful in having The Pirate Bay blocked in Australia late last year.

The 2016 landmark case was the first time Australia’s site blocking laws had been used.

The case resulted in the country’s largest ISPs — including Telstra, TPG and Optus — being ordered to block customer access to the piracy websites.

Along with The Pirate Bay, Foxtel was successful in getting the websites Torrentz, Torrent Hound and ISOHunt added to the blocked list.

A Foxtel spokesman said the company was confident the next round of sites would be blocked.

“Foxtel believes that the new site blocking regime is an effective measure in the fight to prevent international operators illegitimately profiting from the creative endeavours of others,” he said.

“We trust that Australians recognise that there are increasing numbers of ways to access content in a timely manner and at reasonable prices.”

“Which ensure that revenue goes back to the people who create and invest in original ideas.”

Rights industry strategy

Australia’s major rights holders — like Foxtel, movie distributor Village Roadshow, and music corporation Universal Music — have all filed and won site blocking applications over the last 12 months.

The latest case is part of a broader industry strategy to systemically knock large piracy websites off the internet.

Village Roadshow has been successful in getting orders to have streaming service Solar Movie taken offline and Universal Music was successful in having KickassTorrents removed.

However, the legal argument has never been about whether the websites can be blocked, as the site blocking legislation only requires proof that the torrent website’s “primary purpose” is to “facilitate” piracy.

Instead, the cases have primarily been about how the sites should be blocked and, most importantly for the rights holders and ISPs, who should pay for it.

In Foxtel’s first case against The Pirate Bay, Justice Nicholas ordered that rights holders would have to pay ISPs $50 per domain being blocked.

Site blocking efficacy questioned

Following the series of court orders, it appears technically savvy internet users have figured ways around the blocks.

A video on YouTube was published in the days after The Pirate Bay was ordered to be blocked showing users how to change their computer settings to avoid it.

“How to fix The Pirate Bay now that Telstra blocks it”, says the video which has currently been viewed more than 25,000 times.

Discussing the blocks on Reddit, user “Arasuki” said they made the simple change to their computer “months ago [before the blocking begun]”.

“The torrenting block was effective on me for a grand total of zero seconds,” they said.

“Congratulations you big Hollywood knobs, you played yourself.”

Topics:

piracy,

computers-and-technology,

law-crime-and-justice,

business-economics-and-finance,

industry,

telecommunications,

company-news,

australia



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