Rather than taking site operators to court, copyright holders increasingly demand that Internet providers should block access to ‘pirate’ domains.
As a result, courts all around the world have ordered ISPs to block subscriber access to various pirate sites.
This is also happening in Australia where the first blockades were issued late last year. In December, the Federal Court ordered ISPs to block The Pirate Bay and several other sites, which happened soon after.
However, as is often the case with website blocking, one order is not enough as there are still plenty of pirate sites and proxies readily available. So, several rightsholders including movie studio Village Roadshow and local broadcaster Foxtel went back to court.
Today the Federal Court ruled on two applications that cover 59 pirate sites in total, including many popular torrent and streaming portals.
The first order was issued by Justice John Nicholas, who directed several Internet providers including IINet, Telstra, and TPG to block access to several pirate sites. The request came from Village Roadshow, which was backed by several major Hollywood studios.
The order directs the ISPs to stop passing on traffic to 41 torrent and streaming platforms including Demonoid, RARBG, EZTV, YTS, Gomovies, and Fmovies. The full list of blocked domains is even longer, as it also covers several proxies.
“The infringement or facilitation of infringement by the Online Locations is flagrant and reflect a blatant disregard for the rights of copyright owners,” the order reads.
“By way of illustration, one of the Online Locations is accessible via the domain name ‘istole.it’ and it and many others include notices encouraging users to implement technology to frustrate any legal action that might be taken by copyright owners.”
In a separate order handed down by Federal Court Judge Stephen Burley, another 17 sites are ordered blocked following a request from Foxtel. This includes popular pirate sites such as 1337x, Torlock, Putlocker, YesMovies, Vumoo, and LosMovies.
The second order also includes a wide variety of alternative locations, including proxies, which brings the total number of targeted domain names to more than 160.
As highlighted by SHM, the orders coincide with the launch of a new anti-piracy campaign dubbed “The Price of Piracy,” which is organized by Creative Content Australia. Lori Flekser, Executive director of the non-profit organization, believes that the blockades will help to significantly deter piracy.
“Not only is there decreasing traffic to pirate sites but there is a subsequent increase in traffic to legal sites,” she said.
At the same time, she warns people not to visit proxy and mirror sites, as these could be dangerous. This message is also repeated by her organization’s campaign, which warns that pirate sites can be filled with ransomware, spyware, trojans, viruses, bots, rootkits and worms.