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Australia: Studios, Foxtel plan anti-piracy action

In what is seen as the first test of Australia’s new copyright laws, media company Village Roadshow is to lead an action – backed by Hollywood studios – in the Australian Federal Court aimed at requiring Internet Service Providers to block piracy website Solarmovie. The move follows recent successful action in Singapore and in November 2013 in the UK.

The action is the first taken to the Federal Court under the Copyright Amendment (online infringement) Act passed by Parliament which was put forward by the then Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull in June 2015. Should the application succeed, ISPs such as Telstra, Optus, TPG and Dodo, will be required to block access to the infringing site.

As well as the Village Roadshow action, a number of rights holders are preparing proceedings that will be commenced in the Federal Court shortly, including a separate action from pay-TV provider Foxtel.

According to Village Roadshow co-chief executive Graham Burke, site blocking needs to be accompanied by two initiatives. “The legislation has to be accompanied by sincere passionate communication to win people over and we have to continue to provide product in a timely and affordable way,” he told Fairfax Media. “The pirates, they steal other people’s creativity and they have advertising and it’s millions of dollars and they provide nothing. Not one job or any creative input into the community,” he declared.

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