The Federal Court on Tuesday ordered internet providers Telstra, Optus, Vocus and TPG to block 28 websites accused of facilitating the illegal download and streaming of movies and TV shows.
Justice John Nicholas said the targeted websites allowed users to watch “many well-known commercially released motion pictures and television programs” using a device connected to the internet. The nature of the content, and the fact it was delivered free of charge, “strongly suggests” that the material was made available online without the licence of the copyright owners, he said.
“The nature and extent of the copyright material made available at each of the target online locations, or at other online locations, to which they provide links, demonstrates a flagrant disregard by the operators of the rights of copyright owners. The only persons likely to be interested in communicating with the target online locations are those who seek instant access to movies and television programs without having to pay for it.”
Some of these sites directed users to other websites such as The Pirate Bay, which were well known for their connection with copyright infringement, he said.
The judge has given the telecommunication firms 15 days to disable access to the offending websites through DNS blocking, IP address blocking, URL blocking or any alternative technical means. Foxtel is to pay the respondents $50 for each site that is disabled through DNS blocking.
This is the second time in recent months that Judge Nicholas has ordered a series of pirate websites to be blocked. In April, he delivered a judgment ordering Telstra, Optus, Vocus and TPG to disable access to 16 different sites. That case was initiated by slew of major film studios including Roadshow, Columbia Pictures, Disney Enterprises, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal City Studios, and Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Foxtel was represented by MinterEllison. The telecommunications firms either filed submitting appearances or did not appear.
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