On 18 August 2017, the Federal Court made orders directing various internet service providers to block access to a further 80 foreign websites which provide access to copyright-infringing material, including KissCartoon, WatchFree, Putlocker, EZTV, Demonoid and Limetorrents. As expected, the process for obtaining website blocking orders has become more streamlined as the film and television studios, and internet service providers, gain experience with the website blocking regime.
Roadshow Films and a collective of film and television studios sought the blocking orders against 49 internet service providers in Australia under section 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). This is the third case under this provision since it commenced in June 2015. However, unlike the previous cases, none of the ISPs played an active role in the case, and none of them appeared at the hearing which took place in May 2017.
The orders made by Justice Nicholas, which last for three years unless Roadshow seeks to extend them, are substantially the same as those made in the first case brought by Roadshow last year. You can read our article on that case here.
The orders provide that Roadshow must pay $50 to the ISPs for each website blocked. The orders also provide a mechanism for the orders to be expanded to include new domain names, IP addresses or URLs for any of the websites the subject of the orders by filing evidence and proposed orders with the Court.
The process for obtaining website blocking orders against foreign websites that provide access to copyright-infringing material is becoming more efficient. The orders in this case were made within 6 months of Roadshow filing its application.
Foxtel, whose first website blocking application was heard with Roadshow's, has also applied to the Court for further website-blocking orders. Its application, which was filed in May 2017, was heard by Justice Burley on 8 August 2017 and is awaiting final judgment.