Village Roadshow fires new salvo in war on pirates: Targets streaming app

Seeks to block sites associated with HDSubs+ streaming

Village Roadshow and a group of movie studios are pushing for a Federal Court injunction to compel Internet service providers to block more online services that the company claims are linked to online piracy.

Unlike previous injunctions obtained by Roadshow, this one targets an app, HDSubs+, which delivers streaming video to set-top boxes dubbed “illicit streaming devices” or ISDs in Roadshow’s application.

Roadshow late last month filed the application for injunction, which targets the broadband subscribers of Australia’s biggest ISPs – Telstra, Optus, TPG and Vocus – as well as their subsidiaries.

If the injunction is granted the ISPs will have to block access to 10 domains: ois001wfr.update-apk.com, ois005yfs.update-apk.com, ois003slp.update-apk.com, update002zmt.hiddeniptv.com, apk.hiddeniptv.com, crossepg003uix.hiddeniptv.com, crossepg002gwj.hiddeniptv.com, mpbs001utb.hiddeniptv.com, soft001rqv.update-apk.com and hdsubs.com.

The domains – “target online locations” – provide authentication for HDSubs+, updates for the app, information on the location of illicit streaming services, an electronic program guide, and/or a means of paying for an HDSubs+ subscription, Roadshow says.

It is the third application for injunction lodged by Roadshow that takes advantages of 2015 changes to Australian copyright legislation that allow rights holders to apply to have ISPs block sites that facilitate online piracy.

Roadshow and pay TV provider Foxtel were the first companies to take advantage of the site-blocking provisions in the Copyright Act.

The film company in 2016 had Solar Movie blocked by major Australian ISPs, while Foxtel’s first application blocked The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, TorrentHound and IsoHunt.

Those applications, along one lodged by music industry organisations, saw rights holders tussle with ISPs, primarily about which parties should foot the bill for implementing site blocks. In the end, the court ruled that rights holders would have to help defray ISPs' costs relating to blocking.

Subsequent applications in 2017 by Roadshow and Foxtel have been modelled on the orders handed down in those three cases.

In August this year, the Federal Court ordered ISPs to block 58 individual pirate sites and more than 200 different domains and IP addresses in response to separate applications by Roadshow and Foxtel.

As with those applications, Roadshow’s proposed court orders will see the company fork over $50 per domain blocked to ISPs affected by the injunction.

 

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