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Federal Court orders another 86 piracy sites blocked

A Federal Court judge has ordered Australian internet service providers to block access to an additional 86 piracy-focused websites and has also allowed a new process that may result in those sites being reblocked more quickly if they change their name or web address.

In the latest legal win for a group of film and television production companies including Village Roadshow, Disney, Netflix and Warner Bros., ISPs must take reasonable steps to block access to the new sites, which include torrent directories, unofficial streaming sites and proxy unblockers, within 15 days.

Warner Bros' Scoob was the most torrented movie of last week, according to news site Torrent Freak.

Warner Bros’ Scoob was the most torrented movie of last week, according to news site Torrent Freak.

The case was first heard in December 2019 and an initial judgement was handed down in April.

In an effort to make amending the list of sites to be blocked quicker and less expensive, the judge also allowed a procedure where the production companies can reach out to the ISPs directly in the event that a blocked piracy site re-emerges under a new name or address and request the new URL also be blocked. Unless the ISPs object, they will be obliged to block the additional URLs.

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Laws requiring ISPs block sites deemed to be primarily for the purpose of facilitating piracy were first passed in 2015 and since then Village Roadshow and other rights holders have had to return to court frequently to request the blocking of additional URLs.

Kickass Torrents, a popular repository of torrent files relating to new movies, TV shows, games and other content, was among the first to be blocked, but remains online today after frequently changing URLs.

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