Big expansion for Australia’s anti-piracy website blocking regime

58 sites blocked by court order

The Federal Court this morning ordered Australia’s biggest Internet service providers (ISPs) to block 58 individual pirate sites and more than 200 different domains and IP addresses.

The orders were handed down in response to separate applications for injunction brought by Village Roadshow and pay TV provider Foxtel, with Optus, Telstra, TPG and Vocus ordered to implement new website blocks.

Subsidiaries of the four will also be affected by the injunction, including well-known ISPs such as iiNet, Internode and Dodo.

Roadshow sought to have 41 sites blocked, with the company’s application heard in May.

The company in February applied for an injunction, with Columbia Pictures, Disney, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros. were also listed as applicants.

Roadshow’s legal team gave an in-court demonstration of some of the sites the company wanted blocked, including streaming and BitTorrent-based services.

The sites affected by the application are 123Movies; Alluc; Bitsnoop; Couchtuner; Demonoid;;; EYNY; EZTV; FMovies; GenVideos; Hdmovieswatch; Icefilms; Kinogo; KissCartoon; Limetorrents; MegaShare; Movie4k; Phimmoi;; PrimeWire;;;;; Rarbg; RIsbb; Shush; Softarchive; Spoacemov; Tehparadox; Torrent Downloads; Torrentproject; Viooz; WatchFree; WatchSeries; Xemphimso;;; Yify Torrent; and YTS.

Foxtel’s application for injunction targeted 17 sites: YesMovies; Vumoo; LosMovies; CartoonHD; Putlocker; Watch Series 1; Watch Series 2; Project Free TV 1; Project Free TV 2; Watch Episodes; Watch Episode Series; Watch TV Series; The Dare Telly;;; Torlock; and 1337x.

The website-blocking injunctions were made possible by 2015 changes to Australian copyright legislation.

“Foxtel welcomes today’s judgment as another critical step in combating online piracy, which continues to undermine Australia’s creative industry,” Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh said.

“The government’s passage of the site blocking legislation, and the court’s continued willingness to impose site-blocking orders,  illustrates the gravity of the threat and the concern we should all have about protecting the hard work of the actors, writers, directors and production teams involved in creating the programming we all love.”

Today’s orders coincide with the launch of what Foxtel said was “Australia’s biggest ever anti-piracy campaign”, ‘The Price of Piracy’ led by Creative Content Australia.

The orders bring to five the number of site-blocking injunctions granted by the Federal Court. Roadshow and Foxtel were the first organisations to take advantage of the new laws. Roadshow last year successfully applied to have Solar Movie blocked, while Foxtel was granted an injunction targeting The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, TorrentHound and IsoHunt.

Another site-blocking application was brought by music industry organisations and targeted BitTorrent site Kickass Torrents. An injunction in that case was granted in April this year.

ISPs did not oppose Roadshow’s and Foxtel’s latest applications for injunction, declining to enter an appearance at court. The orders sought, and granted today, were modelled on those handed down by the court in response to the previous applications.

They include provisions for potentially expanding the domains, URLs and/or IP addresses that ISPs must block — an effort to combat the proliferation of alternative domains, mirror sites and proxy sites often provided by piracy-linked websites.

Foxtel in June returned to court to amend its initial application, adding additional Torrentz and Pirate Bay domains.