Lights, camera...copyright infringement!26 September 2017
The Federal Court of Australia recently handed down orders in two cases concerning access to copyright infringing websites. These are the latest in a string of cases under s 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), which allows the Federal Court to order internet service providers to block access to overseas websites that facilitate copyright infringement.
In Foxtel Management Pty Limited v TPG Internet Pty Ltd  FCA 1041, Foxtel sought orders against TPG, Telstra, Optus and Vocus to block access to 17 copyright infringing sites, including WatchSeries, Project Free TV and Putlocker. The sites in question were hosting a number of unauthorised streams of film and television content without the licence or approval of the copyright owners of the works. Justice Burley granted orders blocking access to all 17 sites on the basis that their primary purpose was to infringe, or facilitate infringement of, Foxtel's copyright over a number of television series.
In Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v Telstra Corporation Limited  FCA 965, Roadshow Films sought orders against the same internet service providers (being TPG, Telstra, Optus and Vocus) to block a further 49 copyright infringing websites including The Pirate Bay, EZTV and Demonoid. Justice Nicholas held that the sites "flagrantly" facilitated the infringement of Roadshow Film's copyright by allowing internet users to directly stream or download copyright infringing material.
Since the enactment of s 115A of the Copyright Act in 2015, the Federal Court has ordered more than 340 domain names be blocked by internet service providers in Australia.