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Australian court orders web-blocks against stream-ripping sites

By | Published on Monday 20 May 2019


A court in Australia has issued a web-blocking injunction against four stream-ripping sites following legal action by Music Rights Australia, it has been confirmed.

Web-blocking, of course, has become a preferred anti-piracy tactic for the music industry in those countries where injunctions of this kind are available.

That includes Australia, where a specific new law passed in 2015 said that courts could order internet service providers to block access to any websites that had a ‘primary purpose’ of facilitating copyright infringement. That law was then amended last year so that web-blocks could be instigated against sites where infringement was simply the ‘primary effect’.

To date, most web-blocks around the world have targeted more conventional file-sharing sets ups like The Pirate Bay, even though stream-ripping sites have been at the top of the music industry’s piracy gripe list for a while now. But it emerged back in January that the Aussie music industry was now seeking web-blocks against the stream-rippers.

Most stream-ripping sites would insist that they have legitimate as well as illegitimate uses and therefore shouldn’t be on the receiving end of injunctions of this kind.

Though similar arguments have always been put forward by most file-sharing platforms, and the music industry would likely argue that the stream-ripping sites have done nothing to try to limit the use of their sites by infringers, and in many cases they implicitly endorse such use.

Computerworld confirmed last week that Music Rights Australia had now successfully secured web-blocks against sites like Convert2mp3, Flv2mp3, Flvto and 2conv.

The latter of those sites have also been on the receiving end of more conventional copyright litigation in the US, where web-blocks are not currently available to rights owners. Though a US court recently dismissed the record industry’s lawsuit against the Russian operator of Flvto and 2conv on the grounds it didn’t have jurisdiction. A move that will only amplify calls Stateside for some kind of web-blocking system to be launched there too.

For the story so far on all things web-blocks, check out this recent special edition of Setlist: ‘How web-blocking became the anti-piracy tool of choice’.