Business News Legal

Australian film industry launches new anti-piracy campaign as latest web-blocks go through

By | Published on Monday 21 August 2017

Web-blocking is now well underway in Australia after courts there issued two separate orders last week that together command that net firms block access to 59 piracy sites.

As previously reported, Australia was relatively late to the web-block party, where copyright owners get injunctions ordering internet service providers to block access to websites that can be proven in court to be liable for rampant copyright infringement – either directly or by facilitating the infringement of others.

Australian law-makers passed a new law in 2015 allowing web-blocking in the country, and the first blockade was then instigated late last year, with old favourite The Pirate Bay among the initial batch of blocked outfits.

subsequent injunction then targeted various sites informally linked to the now defunct KickassTorrents, which had had the cheek to fall offline entirely in the time it took for that particular web-block application to go through the motions

The two new sets of blockades were requested by telly firm Foxtel and movie maker Village Roadshow, and cover websites like EZTV and Gomovies. The latest web-blocks were welcomed by film industry group Creative Content Australia, which also announced a big new consumer-facing anti-piracy campaign to coincide with the judgements.

The organisation’s chair Graham Burke told reporters: “Site-blocking has been very effectively implemented around the world and proven to reduce the theft of screen content as well as increase the use of legal sites. The thieves who run pirate sites contribute nothing to Australia – they employ no-one and pay no taxes here. Of the enormous profits they earn, not one cent goes back to the original creators of the content”.

Meanwhile the group’s Executive Director, Lori Flekser, commented on the new anti-piracy campaign, adding that: “We are proud to bring this new campaign to Australians. Consumers, often unwittingly, bear significant costs of illegal streaming – not only will they suffer from diminishing investment in the content they love to consume, but pirate sites are amongst the most hazardous places on the internet”.