The Federal Court has ordered Australian internet service providers to block access to Kickass Torrents websites. The order comes at the behest of several major music labels who have been pushing for the blocks in court since April last year.
ISPs now have 15 days to comply with the order. Of course, none of this really matters if you know how to get around a DNS block.
Following in the footsteps of Foxtel and Village Roadshow, a consortium of music labels including Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony Music have successfully convinced the Federal Court to block a range of torrent sites in Australia.
Rights holders originally filed the case to block the Kickass Torrents website. When US authorities knocked the original URL offline, the companies redirected their attention to a number of mirror and proxy sites. URLs caught up in the latest ban include katcr.co, kickass.unblocked.tv, kat.al and Kickass.cd.
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The twenty ISPs named in the order - including TPG/iiNet, Optus, Foxtel and Telstra - will need to take reasonable steps to block users from accessing the aforementioned blocks within 15 business days.
It is likely the ISPs will implement a rudimentary form of DNS blocking to comply with the order - just as they did with previous court injunctions relating to The Pirate Bay, TorrentHound, SolarMovie and others. As we have demonstrated, these blocks are laughably easy to circumvent, even with limited computing know-how.
In addition, there's nothing to stop these sites from resurfacing under different URLs that were not named in the initial injunction. Rights holders are required to submit additional URLs to the court every time they want one added to the block list. At best, it is a war of attrition. At worst, it is a never-ending game of cat-and-mouse.
It's worth noting that torrenting itself is completely legal - it only becomes an issue when you start downloading or sharing copyrighted material without permission. As for piracy, it remains unclear what effect these methods will ultimately have. One thing is certain: it is a flawed solution at best.
Dear Lifehacker, I work for myself but the landlord of my building provides my internet. Previously I have been able to download using torrents, but they have recently started blocking me. Is there a work around?
At the end of last year, the Federal Court ordered ISPs to block five popular torrent websites including The Pirate Bay, TorrentHound and IsoHunt within 15 business days. Foxtel and Village Roadshow initiated the court case in a bid to curb piracy.
[Via Torrent Freak]