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Oz court orders piracy shutdowns

Australia’s biggest internet service providers will be forced to block access to 15 streaming sites offering pirated material after pay TV operator Foxtel took its case to the country’s Federal Court.

Peter Tonagh

Almost 130 domains will be blocked by Aussie telcos after the Federal Court’s order, in a move aimed at curbing piracy in the country.

The pay operator welcomed the decision, which will see telcos including Optus, Telstra and Vocus required to block access to sites such as Yes Movies and Watch Series 1.

Foxtel took its case to the courts almost four months ago, with this latest ruling coming after a similar decision to block an array of piracy sites including The Pirate Bay last year.

Some sites have, however, already moved their domains to counter the action, which coincides with the launch of The Price of Piracy campaign. The campaign is being led by industry body Creative Content Australia to raise awareness around the impact of piracy on producers.

Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh welcomed the judgment as “another critical step in combating online piracy, which continues to undermine Australia’s creative industry.”

He added: “The government’s passage of the site-blocking legislation, and the court’s continued willingness to impose site-blocking orders, illustrates the gravity of the threat and the concern we should all have about protecting the hard work of the actors, writers, directors and production teams involved in creating the programming we all love.”

Foxtel has been waging a long campaign against piracy in Australia, and earlier this year pursued individuals who had streamed its pay-per-view boxing for free over Facebook Live.

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