Australia’s biggest telcos have been ordered to block access to 57 international websites that allow users to download pirated TV shows and movies.
In a ruling handed down on Friday, the Federal Court found that the websites operated with a “blatant disregard for the rights of copyright owners”.
It ordered Telstra, Optus, Vocus and TPG to take “reasonable steps”, within 15 days, to stop their customers accessing the websites, which include piratebay.to, watchfree.to, torrentproject.se, Yes Movies, Vumoo and Los Movies.
The blocked piracy sites
- Yes Movies
- Los Movies
- Cartoon HD
- Watch Series 1 and Watch Series 2
- Project – Free TV
- Watch Episodes, Watch Episode Series, Watch TV Series
- The Dare TV
- Putlocker9.is, Putlocker9.com
- Torrent sites: 1337x
The decision was welcomed by industry body Creative Content Australia, which has launched a campaign to highlight the devastating financial impact of pirating on the film and television industry.
The organisation’s executive director, Lori Flekser, said the ruling vindicated the position of creative industries, which had long argued that pirating prevented creators of original content from being able to fully recoup their financial investment.
“Pirate sites firstly earn a lot of money from other people’s content — that’s income and revenue that local and global practitioners who have worked incredibly hard on those productions don’t get to see,” she said.
“Piracy is not a victimless crime: the victims are the creative industries who lose jobs, who lose revenue and who lose potential jobs in the films that simply aren’t made because the risks of recouping the revenue are too high.”
Ms Flekser said as a result, investors were more reluctant to invest in film and television content, which reduces the amount of content made, and ultimately results in less choice for consumers.
One case was brought by eight film distributors led by Roadshow Films, while a separate case was bought by Foxtel.