Studies say Australia is one of the world's worst illegal downloaders of shows such as Game of Thrones. So, in light of two recent court rulings, Australians are going to be that much more hard pressed to be catching up on their favorite shows in the near future.
Under the Federal Court ruling, telecommunication providers including the country's two biggest, Telstra and Optus, have been ordered to block a total of 59 websites and 127 domains. Each block costs providers around $50, a fee that is paid for by the companies filing for the suits.
42 out of 59 websites are being blocked by the order in favor of the entertainment company, Village Roadshow. For this case, the judge said the websites, especially those that come with tutorials on how to evade legal action, "reflect a blatant disregard for copyright owners."
The remaining 17 were blocked by the judge in favor of Australian cable company, Foxtel. Foxtel airs the TV show Game of Thrones, but due to the slightly pricey cable costs, most people just end up streaming or downloading pirated versions of the released episode, a phenomenon that no doubt falls heavily on the operator. So, their aggressive stance on the issue comes as no surprise.
All telecoms and ISPs now have 15 days to comply -- once they're done, Australians won't be able to access a total of 65 pirate websites via typical means.
Trying to get rid of piracy is somewhat like playing a game of whack-a-mole: strike one down, three more mirror sites pop up in place. So, getting sites blocked in bulk might prove to be a far more effective way to uproot the problem than going after the big guns persistently. Additionally, the courts have warned that they’ll be targeting individual streamers next.
The steps taken could prove to be revolutionary for the entertainment industry that loses billions in revenues every year due to piracy, and Australian authorities are planning to capitalize fully on this opportunity with elaborate anti-piracy campaigns, ads, and movements.