Court orders ISPs to block access to illicit Android-based streaming service

Domains linked to HDSubs+ app will be blocked by Telstra, Vocus, TPG and Optus

Roadshow Films has been successful in its Federal Court application to have Telstra, Optus, Vocus and TPG block their subscribers from accessing a streaming service associated with an Android app.

The application for injunction targeted 16 domains linked to the HDSubs+ app. The app is compatible with a range of Android devices but is intended for use with set-top devices running the Google-developed platform.

Roadshow targeted domains used for user authentication, electronic program guide data, streaming location data, and software updates.

A second application targeting illicit streaming services is currently before the Federal Court. That application brought by Hong Kong broadcaster TVB seeks to hinder the use of seven Android set-top boxes: A1, BlueTV, EVPAD, FunTV, MoonBox, Unblock, and hTVS. The company wants ISPs to block a number of online locations, including the proprietary app stores used by the set-top boxes.

TVB’s application will be subject to a further hearing, due to the uncertain copyright status in Australia of live Chinese TV broadcasts.

The TVB and Roadshow applications are the first to specifically target set-top box streaming services. Other injunctions have targeted websites that offered download services, links to download services or streaming services.

Foxtel, which alongside Roadshow has been one of the keenest users of the site-blocking provisions introduced into Australian copyright law in 2015, also has an application for injunction before the court.

At a case management hearing this morning the pay TV company said it was seeking to block 15 websites it claims are linked to piracy. The court heard that Foxtel wants to find ways to cut the costs of applying for site-blocking injunctions, with the company describing the current process as “quite cumbersome”.

Unlike the TVB and Roadshow applications, Foxtel’s latest application seeks to block standard web-based BitTorrent and streaming services of the kind that are currently subject to site-blocking injunctions.

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