Site blocking orders for major telcos

Australia’s major telcos have been placed on notice by the Federal Court issuing site blocking orders in a bid to stamp out online movie piracy.

On Friday, the court granted an application by Roadshow Films for the orders under Section 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), against 49 carriage service providers, almost all from the Telstra, Optus, TPG, Vodafone or Vocus groups.

The motion picture producer and distributer had identified 33 Target Online Locations – accessible via a range of domain names, URLs and IP addresses – infringing its copyright through the carriage service providers.

Justice Nicholas ordered the providers to take reasonable steps, within 15 days, to disable access to the locations by implementing one or more of:

  • DNS (Domain Name System) blocking of target domain names;
  • IP address blocking or rerouting of target IP addresses;
  • URL blocking of target URLs and target domain names; or
  • any alternative technical means for disabling access as agreed between the applicants and respondents.

Other orders included that the providers redirect users seeking access to the target sites; and establish, maintain and host a webpage which informs users that the target sites have been disabled due to copyright infringement.

Justice Nicholas said the evidence showed all Target Online Locations were most likely situated overseas, and all had been notified of the proceeding.


He said the primary service offered by the locations was to “provide online access without charge to large numbers of motion pictures and television programs”, including “many well-known commercially released titles”.

He said many of the locations purported to provide a notification system for copyright owners.

“In almost every case the notification system does not appear to provide any genuine or effective means for notifying the operators of the Target Online Locations of copyright infringement occurring at their online location or to facilitate genuine or effective remedial action in relation to any such infringement by the operator,” he said.

Justice Nicholas said he was satisfied each location infringed copyright.

“I am also satisfied that the primary purpose or effect of each of the Target Online Locations is to infringe, or to facilitate the infringement of, copyright,” he said.

“The evidence satisfies me that the copyright infringement engaged in, or facilitated by, the Target Online Locations is flagrant and that the operators display a blatant disregard for the rights of copyright owners.”


The three-year orders may be extended if the infringement continues.

No order was made as to costs.

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