Music industry jumps on Aussie piracy site blocking law

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Music industry jumps on Aussie piracy site blocking law

Bands together to restrict access to Kickass Torrents.

A handful of the world's largest record companies have joined forces to utilise the Australian government's new legislation for blocking piracy websites to restrict access to torrent site Kickass Torrents.

The Australian parliament passed legislation last year allowing rights holders to ask a court for a website-blocking injunction to be applied to sites they claim infringe upon their copyright.

The first use of the legislation came in February this year when Foxtel and Village Roadshow put forward their case for internet service providers to block local access to the likes of The Pirate Bay and SolarMovie.

Now a group of the country's biggest music companies, along with APRA AMCOS, have banded together to file an application for torrent site KickassTorrents to be blocked.

The group has also applied to block related proxy sites to make it more difficult for Kickass Torrents operators to employ quick workarounds to restore Australian access.

ARIA members Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony Music said the site exploited creativity of others and gave nothing back to artists, songwriters, record labels annd music publishers who had their music stolen.

“Online infringement continues to be a major threat to the sustainability of the Australian music industry. Illegal offshore sites like Kickass Torrents show a complete disrespect for music creators and the value of music," chair of the APRA AMCOS board Jenny Morris said in a statement.

"Australian music fans already have access – for free if they choose – to the world’s repertoire of music via more than 20 legitimate licensed online music services. Blocking access to sites like Kickass Torrents is all about supporting those services and allowing the writers whose songs are available on them to be paid for their work."

The parties will appear in court for their first hearing on June 6, one month after Foxtel, Village and ISP defendants Telstra, TPG, M2 and Optus make their second appearance in court following a period of consultation.

In that case a rift has already emerged as to how, from a technical standpoint, an ISP will implement a block. The judge has signalled a desire for the parties to settle the matter outside of court, rather than have it prescribed for them.

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