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Image Source: lifehacker.com.au
  • A new blow to Australian-based pirating websites comes from a dual injunction request on the Federal Court.
  • Film and Music copyright owners are now targeting everything that enables users to consume pirated content, including online ripping and conversion tools.
  • The chances of the 83 domains not getting blocked by Australian ISPs are slim to none at this point.

The Australian Federal Court is currently processing two copyright act injunctions submitted against a total of 83 pirate sites, and given the history and current trend, the next move is bound to be their blocking by the local ISPs (internet service providers). Australia has been very strict with copyright infringement websites these past few years, and it seems that the pirates will not get a break any time soon.

The first injunction was requested by a coalition of film companies including Village Roadshow, targeting 79 torrenting and streaming portals that allegedly contain copyright protected material. In the long list of targeted URLs, there are many anime and cartoon websites, subtitle databases, YIFY proxies, torrent searching tools, TV streaming portals, and straight out the movie and series online databases. While this request for an injunction is a blow to Aussie piracy due to the number of the websites that are listed, the second request is even more interesting as it’s the first of its kind.

More specifically, the second injunction request was submitted by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), Sony Music, Universal Music, Music Rights Australia, and Warner Music. What this bloc of copyright owners asks for is the blocking of the user access to four domains that enable people to rip music for other platforms. For example, ripping YouTube videos and converting them to mp3 before downloading them to the user’s machines may not sound like “classic piracy”, but it is infringing the licensing details of this content. While these online ripping and media converting tools do not directly contain any copyright-protected material, they are still acting as a piracy promotion and enablement tool.

As a representative of Music Rights Australia told Computerworld: “These no-fault injunctions are used to block the worst of the illegal sites which undermine the local and international music industry. We use this effective and efficient no-fault remedy to block the illegal sites which undermine the many licensed online services which give music fans the music they love where, when and how they want to hear it.”

Following the action was taken against these websites, the Australian Federal Court is expected to issue a blocking order passed to Telstra, Vocus, Vodafone, Optus, TPG, and all of their subsidiaries. The decision will be based on the section 115a of the Australian Copyright Act law, that has been proven overly reliable for copyright owners in the past. Music labels believe that by blocking access to ripping websites, more people will turn to legitimate methods of consuming their content. While this hasn’t been proved, copyright owners are known to use this argument a lot in court.

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