Australian Entertainment Industry Wants to Ban ‘Pirate’ Subtitle Websites

By Nitish Singh / August 2, 2018

Piracy blocking laws have gone into effect Down Under, and it is not just torrent websites that the Australian entertainment industry is going after. Over seventy third-party subtitle websites for TV shows and movies are being targeted by companies like Twentieth Century Fox, Columbia, Universal, Roadshow, Disney and other big names. These websites often offer fan-made subtitles for pirated copies of movies, anime, and TV shows and may soon be blocked by local ISPs.

The group of companies have already successfully filed multiple applications successfully against piracy websites and are now taking aim against subtitle providers. If the Federal Court of Australia approves the application against the 77 websites, a total of 151 domains belonging to the subtitle providers will be taken down since the piracy blocking laws have gone into effect in the country. The ISPs that have responded to the requests include Vocus, Vodafone, Optus, Telstra, TPG and all its subsidiaries.

Counsel representing the entertainment industry companies revealed “People unknown have recorded from the motion pictures … then translated the words into different languages and then those websites make available files that contain the subtitles in those languages”. The case has been scheduled for its first hearing on September 7.

While previous petitions filed against subtitle websites have been approved without hesitation from the Federal court, the latest petition involves certain complications. The court will be scrutinizing literary copyrights before bans are handed against websites. For the first time, big players in the third-party subtitle community like Subscene, YIFYSubtitles, and Submovies are being targeted. With many torrent websites banned in Australia, getting access to content from torrent websites has become more difficult than ever.

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