The Federal Court has finally ordered Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to start blocking access to popular torrenting sites; including The Pirate Bay, TorrentHound and SolarMovie. In around a fortnight it will be much more difficult for the average person to access these sites and others like them in Australia.
With that in mind, we think it's worth revisiting the original court documents that reveal the sites, services and URLs that Foxtel and Village Roadshow are seeking to block in Australia. Here is the full list along with the reasoning behind the ban.
The war on online piracy just got more interesting with Foxtel and Village Roadshow successfully blocking five popular torrent websites through the courts. The five sites on the ban list are The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, TorrentHound, IsoHunt and SolarMovie. Australian ISPs - including Telstra, Optus, TPG, M2, Dodo and iiNet - have just 15 days to comply with the order.
We originally reported the below list back in February but figured many of you would want to take another look in light of yesterday's announcement. Interestingly, Foxtel and Village Roadshow took a two-pronged approach with their legal actions: Foxtel's application targeted the four aforementioned torrent sites, while Village Roadshow went after the streaming site SolarMovie.
Both companies have also named multiple URLs for the sites they are seeking to block. In other words, a simple suffix change will not be enough to circumvent the ban. Here's the full list:
|Domain name||IP address|
In the same document, Foxtel explained the reason it was filing legal action as follows:
A significant factor in Foxtel’s ability to attract subscribers is the exclusivity in Australia of a proportion of the programming it offers, including the Programs, the Australian premieres of which were exclusive to Foxtel's subscription television services.
Foxtel’s programs have been, and continue to be, available without charge outside Foxtel’s subscription packages, and Foxtel has thereby suffered and will suffer loss and damage, including lost subscription fees, lost opportunity to earn subscription fees, lost opportunity to earn licensing fees, and other damage from loss of control over copyright in episodes of the Programs.
The reason for the primary purpose of The Pirate Bay [et al] is to infringe or facilitate the infringement of copyright (whether or not in Australia).
Foxtel also accused The Pirate Bay, et al, of encouraging internet users to infringe copyright by using their websites.
"[These sites] had and have the power to prevent the infringements by Internet Users including the infringing acts pleaded above; and... have chosen not to take any or any sufficient steps to prevent such infringements or continuing infringements," Foxtel said in the particulars of the document.
Village Roadshow's legal action was quite similar. It also mentioned specific movies including Jurassic World, Straight Outta Compton and The Lego Movie. You may recall that the theatrical release of the latter was controversially delayed in Australia, a decision that Village Roadshow explicitly blamed for the movie's high piracy levels. (Despite this, it's doing the same thing with the LEGO movie sequel.)
We strongly doubt that Foxtel and Village Roadshow will rest idle after this victory. You can expect more torrent and streaming sites to be added to the ban list, pending approval from the court. Now that a legal precedent has been set, subsequent URL blocks will likely pass without problem. If a website lets you view material that Foxtel or Village Roadshow own the rights to, it probably isn't safe.
Tell us what you think about these developments in the comments.