ISPs will take coordinated approach to site blocking


news A number of internet service providers (ISPs) have agreed to take a coordinated response to orders requesting website blocking over copyright infringement.

The move comes as a response discussions over Federal Court injunctions that are being sought, under Section 115A of the Copyright Act, to force ISPs to block overseas websites alleged to be facilitating content piracy in Australia. The injunction applications will be the first attempts to make use of the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act, passed by Federal Parliament in mid-2015.

The actions are being brought by Village Roadshow and Foxtel wishing to block websites, including the Pirate Bay and SolarMovie.

Now a group of ISPs – all members of the telco industry body Communications Alliance – have now prepared a consistent response to any prospective court order to block a website.

This coordinated action, the alliance said in a statement, is aimed to ensure that the court process is as “streamlined and expeditious” as possible, which in turn will help reduce costs and save the court’s time.

However, Australian Greens Communications Spokesperson, Senator Scott Ludlam, has called for copyright holders to dedicate their resources to making content more readily available instead of launching “yet another costly court proceeding”.

“Village Roadshow and other rights holders have been too slow to adapt to changing viewer habits, and again appear to be fighting progress with litigation instead of innovation,” Ludlam said.

“This attempt to block Australians’ access to SolarMovie will cost Village Roadshow tens of thousands of dollars, whether it is successful or not. If it is successful, it will cost an Australian user a couple of bucks a month for a VPN to circumvent the block,” he said.

The senator further suggested that the popularity of Netflix and “home-grown” services like Stan and Presto indicate the appetite Australians have for legitimate media sources.

“Instead of pouring money into the pursuit of downloaders and easily-defeated site blocking in the defence of a superseded business model, rights holders should be exploring new ways to give people simple and legal access to the material they want to watch,” Ludlam concluded.


  1. Senator Ludlam is 100% correct

    I think it is clear now that after many years of telling companies this and ignoring it the driving factor is not to stop Piracy.

    The real question is:
    Why do movie and television companies support the status quo and Piracy?

    • The obvious answer is they are all luddites afraid on new technology.

      I don’t think this is correct this may have been true 5 years ago but not today.

      If not that then why.

      Businesses exist to make money this is the reason they support piracy because they want to make money.
      Which seem odd at first until you look at how they operate.

      A movie aimed at kids will make more money in the school holidays so movie companies move the release date to school holidays. This could be months away from the global release date.

      The fact is the only reason a movie is released later here than somewhere else is because the company thinks they will make more money.

      Not just more but enough to offset all piracy!

      Television is far far worse than movies in this regard go onto any store and look at episodes available to purchase in Australia. Now jump onto Wikipedia and check the newest episode that has aired.

      Most shows here are months and possibly years behind.

      A few examples
      The Big Bang Theory currently aired 15-16 episodes available to download 6 episodes

      The Flash Currently aired 14 available 10-11

      Rick and Morty Currently aired all of Season 2 available NONE

      Doctor Who is the only series I have found that releases the next or same day for all episode.

      I have purchased the last 2 seasons of Doctor Who I will not be purchasing BBT or the Flash in the future there is no point.

      I pay for content and get worse service than someone who pirates content.

      • Looking at your examples here you’re not exactly spot on.

        No idea about BBT because I don’t watch rubbish or FTA (which BBT is both).
        Rick and Morty is currently airing/has finished airing on The Comedy Channel (although was delayed by a few months)
        The Flash airs a few hours after it does in the US on Fox 8

        Definitely not perfect but not a full excuse for having unauthorised copies of copyrighted media.

        • I am comparing download only.

          1) Are you suggesting paying a hundred dollars a month for 2-3 shows?
          2) I have not downloaded via torrent or at all simply stating I will not buy their content again.

          Why does everyone who reads I have PAID for something think I have downloaded via torrent?

    • I see Foxtel, Village etc have supplied a list of IP addresses they want blocked?!?

      They must use the same fools who used to work for ASIC and took down 250,000 legitimate sites last time they tried to block an IP address!

  2. Isn’t the preferred method DNS blocking? Will the courts also order the myriad of public DNS’s to block them?

    • they can’t even get google to pay taxes, and most likely their DNS servers are US (or Cayman Islands) based anyway, so good luck with that!

    • ISP can still DNS block even if you go through a public DNS server. There are still ways around but it isn’t as simple as setting your DNS server to

      Ran into this while in Bali and unable to watch Netflix because the big telco that every hotel I stayed in was using is owned by the Indonesian government have Netflix blocked under decency laws. The simple DNS methods don’t get around it (using google DNS or a netflix unblock service)

      • I know that, but there are different “strengths” of geoblocking

        My understanding was the one the Australian site blocking will use is a straight block on the DNS entry (the most basic/cheap method). I may be wrong, but then a VPN gets around pretty well everything but application layer tests.

      • Good. It’s going to just accelerate the adoption of encrypted DNS which is what we need. And chance of getting the content dinosaurs involved in IPv4 so we can finally accelerate the adoption of IPv6.

        • Love it, while IPv6 on its own won’t make much difference because the IPv6 DNS servers still use port 53, but encrypted DNS on port 443 will certainly stop the ISPs in their tracks :)

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