Piracy sites to be blocked

Torrent websites The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, Torrent Hound, IsoHunt and streaming service SolarMovie will be blocked by Australian ISPs following a Federal Court ruling.

The Copyright Act, passed by the Parliament in 2015, gives copyright owners and licensees the ability to seek injunctions against ISPs ordering them to block access to overseas sites that infringe copyright.

Following a case brought by rights holders including Roadshow Films, Foxtel, Disney, Paramount, Columbia, and 20th Century FOX, Justice John Nicholas of the Federal Court ruled 4 major sites and one streaming service will all have to be rendered inaccessible in Australia. The same applies to dozens of affiliated and non-affiliated proxy and mirror sites.

Torrentz, TorrentHound, and Solarmovie have all shut down since the beginning of the legal action but the court ruled they be blocked in case they returned.

ISPs including Telstra, Optus, TPG and iiNet were given just 15 days to comply with the blocking order, redirecting traffic to a landing page or, alternatively, redirect them to a page put in place by rightsholders.

Online news site TorrentFreak reports the ISPs will all have to foot the bill for putting their own blocking mechanisms in place but rightsholders must pay $50 per domain moving forward. The rightsholders were also ordered to pay the ISPs’ legal costs.

Foxtel Chief Executive, Peter Tonagh, said, “Piracy does great damage to Australia’s content creating industries and we were delighted that the Government and Parliament recognised this by passing these new legislative provisions last year.

“This judgment is a major step in both directly combating piracy and educating the public that accessing content through these sites is not OK, in fact it is theft.

“We are playing our part to reduce the attractiveness of piracy by making content available in a timely manner, at different price points, and on multiple devices and. More broadly, the content creation industries will continue to educate the public on the harm piracy does and how to get access to content in a legitimate manner.

“This judgement gives us another tool to fight the international criminals who seek to profit from the hard work of actors, writers, directors and other creators the world over.

“We have already seen successful implementation of similar site blocking efforts overseas and are looking forward to a reduction in online piracy here.”


  1. If Foxtel want people to stop pirates here what they can do (it won’t stop it completely but it will strengthen their platform and draw in more subscribers)

    1. HD for all channels (and free)
    2. Cheaper prices (for all Foxtel platforms: Cable, Satellite and Play)
    3. Get the popular US shows that aren’t being showed in Australia right now (Gotham just to name one)
    4. Foxtel Play in HD
    5. More shows ‘express’ (Mr Robot is one)
    6. A dedicated HBO package for Foxtel Play (for those people who just want to watch things like Game of Thrones, Westworld etc. This would just be a Foxtel Play exclusive HBO channel showing new HBO episodes as it does on Showcase, Comedy Channel or any other channels that show HBO and 24/7 HBO when there are no new episodes. Plus a dedicated HBO page on Anytime for these shows. All in HD of course. Also this wouldn’t require the base package.)
    7. Being…

  2. Forgot to add, the other day Foxtel sent me a letter, yep the cost of their service is going up, might only be $2 per month but it all adds up for an already expensive service which I mainly keep for the live motor sport like the F1 and Supercars.

  3. What about TV shows we currently don’t get and never will, I’m thinking talk shows such at Conan, it was dropped over 3 years ago, can someone telling where I can legally watch it in Australia? I’m sure there are many more examples of shows not aired here.

      • Difference is most scripted shows can be aired at anytime (spoilers aside) and will come out on DVD at some point, but talk shows like Conan are only relevant for a short time by their very nature. We will never see the last 3 years of Conan in the country ever because Nein dropped the show when it did and Foxtel didn’t pick up the rights.

  4. Some of the US tv shows like “Big Bang” & “Modern Family” are shown late here in Australia. TV networks need to pull their fingers out & show tv shows hours after the US.
    As for Foxtel, they continue to raise the price for content that has been repeated million times & as i am a cable subscriber i am very mad that foxtel charges me extra $10 per month to watch in HD

  5. A precedent has been set. For $50 and a friendly Judge anyone can block access to any internet site that impedes their business.
    How many movies did Disney, Paramount, Columbia, and 20th Century FOX make in Australia this year?

  6. Armchair Analyst

    This ruling sounds fair and was the best possible outcome, because if they tried tracking down all customers that would have cost more and would have been highly unpopular! The fact these things happened shows that there r business people who hate the market method and do whatever they can to put barriers up and have protectionism! Now that there are reasonable and accessible legal means torrenting will eventually cease!

    • Your right. It’s a win and lose situation for pirates. At least they aren’t going out looking for them but they lose their favourite torrent site. Although it wouldn’t be hard to find another one that would fill their needs.

  7. I stream 90% of the tv shows and movies that we watch and apart from the pirate bay site, which I have never used, I have not heard of any of the blocked sites before. Methinks they are p*****g in the wind.

  8. I’m all for these sites being blocked and believe people should pay for their content. But it works both ways. Foxtel don’t pay free to air networks to retransmit their channels like in the us. Foxtel also stopped broadcasting tv1 and movie networks which closed two company’s to do their channels in house. Plus they don’t want to give channel ten 11 of their 207 afl games which would give ten a boost plus give channel ten Australian content a kick start with cross promotion. Plus also recently they’ve announced job losses.

    Seriously fox practice what you preach.

  9. The largest decrease in illegal downloading in Australia occurred when Netflix and Stan became available – content made available in a timely manner at a reasonable price. Just sayin’.

    Foxtel’s policy of forcing people to pay a lot more $ for a bunch of stuff that they don’t want has had much less effect.

    • Exactly. Let’s say you want to do the right thing and pay for Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead (for example) – you are up for $55 a month (for HD), compared to $12 a month for shows like House of Cards, OITNB and more on Netflix. If only we could subscribe to HBO in Australia.

  10. The whole industry is delusional if it thinks these measures will have any serious impact. They’ve even stated that Australian’s won’t take up VPNs as a dead simple work around.

  11. There are ways around this,interesting Foxtel said earlier that piracy was one of the reason that subscriptions were high of course we all they were looking for excuses to maintain their high prices

  12. VPN vendors will be popping champagne corks! (and it may even be easier to circumvent)

    Not that any of these sites were what you’d call reliable sources anymore, it’s a bit like banning Model Ts because the new Ford GT is too fast.

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