Business News Digital Legal

Austrian court overturns web-block injunctions

By | Published on Friday 24 June 2016


The Court Of Appeal in Austria has overturned a web-block injunction issued by the Commercial Court Of Vienna last summer, which forced local internet service providers to block their customers from accessing The Pirate Bay and three other piracy websites.

Last year’s ruling saw Austria join numerous other countries in providing the entertainment industry with web-blocking as an anti-piracy tactic against copyright infringing websites based outside the local jurisdiction.

Although not a perfect tactic by any means – it’s relatively easy to circumvent the blockades – web-blocking has become popular with rights owners in countries where it is an option, and even some ISPs now see it as one of the more practical approaches to trying to curtail online piracy.

Though net firms in Austria were not impressed when web-blocking arriving in their country, and therefore they have welcomed the appeals court judgement cancelling the blockades.

According to Torrentfreak, the appeal ruling, actually made last month but only just made public, seemingly cites a judgement in the German courts in deciding that web-blocks were not appropriate in this case.

The local music industry has already confirmed it will now appeal the appeal, taking the matter to Austria’s Supreme Court, with a rep insisting that the original web blocks “were clarified legally in a four-year procedure involving the European Court”.

So maybe the good old European Courts Of Justice can step in here and help the Austrian music community in their bid to fight piracy. A nice little option to have, no longer available to the UK music community of course, now the ECJ’s been resolutely told to go fuck itself. Good times.