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HomePoliticsIndiaBlock sites guilty of copyright infringement: Aus court to ISPs

Block sites guilty of copyright infringement: Aus court to ISPs


Sydney: On Thursday, the Australian Federal Court ordered Internet service providers to block websites found guilty of copyright infringement. The court required 5 websites be blocked — Pirate Bay, Torrentz, isoHunt, Torrenthound, and SolarMovie.

The Melbourne Federal Court building, from file [Image: Adz]

In the first case of site blocking under new Australian legislation, the court asked the companies to block access to these websites within fifteen business days. The ISPs are free to choose the method of blocking; options include DNS blocking, blocking IP addresses and URL blocking.

The court has asked the copyright holders to pay up to A$50 to the ISPs for each domain to be blocked. After successful blocking of these websites, they are to be replaced by a landing page showing an “access denied” message as well as a notice the website “infringes or facilitates the infringement of copyright.”

Peter Tonagh, the chief executive of copyright holders Foxtel said, “This judgment is a major step in both directly combating piracy and educating the public that accessing content through these sites is not OK, in fact, it is theft”.

Graham Bruke, co-executive of the other copyright holder in the case, Village Roadshow, in October called people who pirate the copyrighted material “leeches and thieves” and compared them to heroin sellers. Foxtel and Village plan to block over 50 websites.

The operators of SolarMovie and the torrent websites did not attend the court hearing.

Various Linux distributions like Debian, Ubuntu and OpenSUSE allow users to download the freely licensed operating system through torrents.

From Wikinews under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence

The legal fight between copyright holders and ISPs on whether the ISPs have to block websites that use copyrighted material has been going on in courts around the world for years. In 2015 in a similar case a Swedish court ruled [JURIST report] that the ISPs were not required to block Pirate Bay and other similar sites. The same question was also decided by Irish [JURIST report] and Dutch courts [JURIST report] in 2013 and 2014, where the courts came to different results. The co-founder of Pirate Bay Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has also been involved in several lawsuits over alleged hacking. In 2013 a Swedish court found him guilty of hacking and fraud and sentences him to two years in prison, which was later reduced [JURIST report] to one year. In 2014 he was found guilty [JURIST report] of hacking into public records by a Danish court Jurist

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