Irish court blocks infringing websites

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The Motion Picture Association (the international branch of the Motion Picture Association of America), which represents some of the world’s biggest television and film studios, has secured a High Court injunction in Ireland directing Internet Service Providers to block websites involved in piracy. The suit alleges that several websites gave up to 1.5 million people in Ireland access to unlicensed video content, either through streaming or peer-to-peer file transfers.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern said that he was satisfied that the websites in question had engaged in widespread infringement of the studios’ copyright, and that there were “significant public interest grounds to grant the orders sought by the Motion Picture Association, which represents Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Universal, Warner Bros, Paramount, Disney, Columbia and Sony Pictures.

Proceedings were brought against Eircom, Sky Ireland, Vodafone Ireland, Virgin Media Ireland, Three Ireland, Digiweb, Imagine Telecommunications and Magnet Networks. None opposed the application.

The websites blocked include Gomovies, Rarbg, EZTV and Watchfree.

Stan McCoy, Senior Vice President and Regional Policy Director EMEA at the MPA, said that preventing the pirate sites from freely disturbing other people’s work would help provide greater job security for the 18,000 people employed through the Irish film industry.


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