news Members of Australia’s music industry have teamed up to block peer-to-peer file-sharing site KickassTorrents over piracy concerns.
Together, Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) members Universal Music Australia, Warner Music Australia, Sony Music Entertainment Australia and J Albert & Son, along with licencing body APRA AMCOS, have filed an application in the Federal Court seeking orders under section 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 to have the offshore website KickassTorrents and related proxy sites blocked in Australia.
“Online infringement continues to be a major threat to the sustainability of the Australian music industry,” said Jenny Morris, Chair of the APRA Board. “Illegal offshore sites like KickassTorrents show a complete disrespect for music creators and the value of music. Australian music fans already have access – for free if they choose – to the world’s repertoire of music via more than 20 legitimate licensed online music services.”
“Blocking access to sites like KickassTorrents is all about supporting those services and allowing the writers whose songs are available on them to be paid for their work,” Morris added.
According to a statement from the APRA, Section 115A is a “no-fault remedy” allowing copyright owners or their exclusive licensees to apply for injunctions to have ISPs put blocks in place to prevent their customers accessing sites which have the “primary purpose of infringing or facilitating the infringement of copyright”.
The Government has previously indicated that the intended target of these orders should be the “worst of the worst” – those that flagrantly disregard the rights of copyright owners.
“These sites do nothing but exploit the creativity of others and give nothing back to the artists, songwriters, record labels and music publishers whose music is stolen and made available on them, as they make millions of dollars from the advertising which appears on them,” the APRA said.
“These orders will also support legitimate licensed online services which offer music fans access to the music they love across a range of devices at any time and any day,” it concluded.
KickassTorrents is a website providing torrents and magnet links to allow p2p file sharing among users using the BitTorrent protocol. The site claims that it complies with the DMCA and removes copyright-infringing content when it receives complaints from rightsholders.