Despite a clear decrease in momentum in the UK in recent times, site-blocking remains a favored anti-piracy tool in many countries around the world.
Companies exploiting the Australian market seem convinced that the practice is good for business, as a brand new blocking application filed at the Federal Court shows. First reported by ComputerWorld, it features a broad coalition of movie, TV show, and anime companies, all of whom have previous blocking experience in Australia.
To keep the ‘feel’ of the application as local as possible, it’s no surprise that Roadshow Films is the lead applicant, despite having just one movie (The Lego Movie) listed in court documents. The remaining 11 include Disney, Paramount, Columbia, Universal, Warner and Netflix, plus Hong Kong-based broadcaster Television Broadcasts Limited and anime distributor Madman Anime.
With the companies involved having trod the blocking injunction path many times before, the application itself now takes a very familiar form. It demands that 50 local ISPs including Telstra, Optus, TPG and Vodafone block a wide range of ‘pirate’ sites. In terms of content, however, this is one of the broadest applications yet.
In Australia legal-speak, pirate sites of all kinds are referred to as “Target Online Locations” (TOL), of which there are 87 (identified by their domains) in the current application.
There are several categories of ‘TOL’ – streaming platforms, download platforms, linking sites (including torrent sites), sites that offer software that allows streaming or downloads, those that provide subtitles for copyright works, plus sites that offer proxy access to pirate sites.
Some notable inclusions are the community-resurrected KickassTorrents site operating from Katcr.co, plus some less than authentic Kickass clones operating from around half a dozen additional URLs.
The same goes for a range of domains trading on the SolarMovie, YIFY and YTS brands, without being connected to the original sites. In fact, many domains listed in the application follow this copycat theme, including those featuring 123movies, Primewire, CouchTuner, Putlocker, WatchFree, ProjectFreeTV, and YesMovies-style wording.
An interesting addition is that of getpopcorntime.is. This isn’t the original Popcorn Time app download site but does offer a variant of the software that can be used to gain access to movies and TV shows. However, the domain itself doesn’t offer any infringing content, or any links to the same.
Subtitle download sites, including TVSubtitles.net and MSubs.net, are included in the application. These types of platforms were previously the topic of debate in a previous application but the court eventually conceded they can indeed be blocked.
In a sign of how far the net is now being cast (most of the major pirate sites are already blocked in Australia), this application also features Russian torrent giant Rutor.info and China-focused btbtdy.me. Both of these sites have plenty of alternative domains so blocking just these two is unlikely to achieve much.
Finally, no blocking application would be complete without an effort to block all the ‘proxy’ sites that have the sole purpose of facilitating access to sites blocked as a result of previous injunctions. The problem in respect of these proxies seems to be considerable, with at least 13 of the 87 domains in this application falling into that category.
The full list of domains requested for blocking is as follows:
Proxyportal.org, proxyportal.ws, mrunlock.space, nocensor.casa, nocensor.fun, unblockproject.icu, unblockproject.info, 123unblock.fun, 123unblock.icu, prox4you.pro, prox4you.info, unblocked.to, prostylex.org, torrents.io, katcr.co, katcr.to, kikass.to, kat.sx, kickass.sx, kickass1.to, kat.ag, ibit.to, onionplay.eu, onionplaynetwork.xyz, onionplay.co, p30download.com, torrentquest.com, rutor.info, btbtdy.me, lookmovie.ag, 037hdd.com, cuevana3.co, exsite24.pl, downduck.com, downloadha.com, emotionvideo-tv.com, movieon21.xyz, modufree.net, j20.hitjjal.com, phim33.com, tfp.is, tvsubtitles.net, msubs.net, dytt8.net, ttdytt.net, fast-torrent.ru, heroturko.net, imovies.cc, imovies.ge, getpopcorntime.is, toxicwap.com, english-films.com, topeuropix.net, topeuropix.com, poseidonhd.co, anakbnet.com, moviesjoy.net, filmlicious.net, proxybit.pro, 123movies.love, 1primewire.com, movies.cab, putlocker.digital, solarmoviefree.net, solarmovie.net, yifyddl.movie, yify.yt, yify-films.net, yifytorrentz.net, yifymovietorrent.com, ytsdownload.com, movie4k.ag, fmovies.org, 5movies.cloud, couchtuner2.com, couchtuner123.com, couchtuner.watch, couchtuner0.com, 1watchfree.me, putlockerstoworld2.com, putlocker.actor, zmz2019.com, m4ufree.tv, them4ufree.info, projectfreetv.xyz, yesmovies.gg, yesmovies.ai, yesmovies.cloud, 99kubo.tv, cayphim.net, dramacool.video, gimy.tv, kenh88.com, yeuphimmoi.com, Anime-sharing.com, Tokyotosho.info, animetosho.org, animebam.net, animebam.se, animelon.com, animejolt.com, project-gxs.com, eyeonanime.tv, animehd47.com, animereborn.io
Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.