Torrent websites The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, Torrent Hound, IsoHunt and streaming service SolarMovie will be blocked by Australian ISPs following a Federal Court ruling.
The Copyright Act, passed by the Parliament in 2015, gives copyright owners and licensees the ability to seek injunctions against ISPs ordering them to block access to overseas sites that infringe copyright.
Following a case brought by rights holders including Roadshow Films, Foxtel, Disney, Paramount, Columbia, and 20th Century FOX, Justice John Nicholas of the Federal Court ruled 4 major sites and one streaming service will all have to be rendered inaccessible in Australia. The same applies to dozens of affiliated and non-affiliated proxy and mirror sites.
Torrentz, TorrentHound, and Solarmovie have all shut down since the beginning of the legal action but the court ruled they be blocked in case they returned.
ISPs including Telstra, Optus, TPG and iiNet were given just 15 days to comply with the blocking order, redirecting traffic to a landing page or, alternatively, redirect them to a page put in place by rightsholders.
Online news site TorrentFreak reports the ISPs will all have to foot the bill for putting their own blocking mechanisms in place but rightsholders must pay $50 per domain moving forward. The rightsholders were also ordered to pay the ISPs’ legal costs.
Foxtel Chief Executive, Peter Tonagh, said, “Piracy does great damage to Australia’s content creating industries and we were delighted that the Government and Parliament recognised this by passing these new legislative provisions last year.
“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.
“We are playing our part to reduce the attractiveness of piracy by making content available in a timely manner, at different price points, and on multiple devices and. More broadly, the content creation industries will continue to educate the public on the harm piracy does and how to get access to content in a legitimate manner.
“This judgement gives us another tool to fight the international criminals who seek to profit from the hard work of actors, writers, directors and other creators the world over.
“We have already seen successful implementation of similar site blocking efforts overseas and are looking forward to a reduction in online piracy here.”