Australian carriers ordered to block more pirate streamers

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Australian carriers ordered to block more pirate streamers

Federal Court backs movie studios.

Telstra, Optus, Vocus, Vodafone and TPG are among internet providers to be been ordered to block 34 pirate sites under a Federal Court judgment.

Movie studios brought the case in November 2021, following a similar case in September last year that led to an order to block another 100 domains.

In the latest judgment, Justice John Nicholas gave the telcos  - a total of 48 respondents, including various subsidiaries of Telstra, Optus, Vocus, Vodafone and TPG - 15 days to “take reasonable steps to disable access to the target online locations”.

Most carriers didn’t contest the application, made on behalf of Disney, Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Universal, Warner Bros or Netflix.

Justice Nicholas said the ad-supported sites had “large catalogues of infringing material”, and that they “infringe copyright flagrantly and their operators display a disregard for copyright general”.

The order lets the carriers choose between blocking DNS addresses, IP addresses, or URLs.

The case was brought under Section 115a of the Copyright Act, first enacted in 2015. 

The judgment noted that “none of the operators provided any substantive reply to the solicitors’ communications”.

“None of the operators of the target online locations applied to be joined as a party to the proceeding and none sought to appear at the hearing”, the judgment states.

The infringing sites were frequently registered in multiple top-level domains.

For example, the lawsuit showed “7movierulz”, which appeared to offer pirated Bollywood content, as having domains in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (.vc), Latvia (.lv), Palau (pw), Madagascar (mg), the British Virgin Islands (.vg), Mexico (.mx) and and Peru (.pe).

iTnews contacted the major carriers for comment.

A Telstra spokesperson told iTnews: “We will abide by the Federal Court ruling and will act accordingly.” TPG, which owns many ISP brands as well as Vodafone, said likewise.

An Optus spokesperson said: "Optus blocks websites if the Australian Federal Court has determined infringe or facilitate the infringement of copyright, as per section 115A of the Copyright Act."

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