Tag Archives: Federal Court

Major Movie Studios Obtain Blocking Injunction Against 115 ‘Pirate’ Domains

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/major-movie-studios-obtain-blocking-injunction-against-115-pirate-domains-200422/

For several years, entertainment industry companies have been applying for blocking injunctions under Australian copyright law. According to them, having sites rendered inaccessible by consumer ISPs is an effective response to large-scale piracy.

This week yet another injunction process, involving a range of movie and TV show companies, came to its conclusion in the Federal Court.

Roadshow Films, Village Roadshow Films, Disney, Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Universal Studios, Warner Bros., and Netflix (the ‘MPA/Roadshow applicants’) previously claimed that their copyrights, related to content including The Lego Movie, Toy Story, Spider-Man, Dunkirk, and Stranger Things, were being infringed on a wide range of unlicensed platforms.

Television Broadcasts Limited and TVBO Production Limited (the ‘TVB applicants’) alleged the same in respect of their Chinese television programs including Dead Wrong and Provocateur. Madman Anime (Madman) made similar claims over their film Tokyo Ghoul.

Together, they demanded that 86 “target online locations” should be blocked by 50 ISPs operated by Telstra, Optus, Vocus, TPG, and Vodafone under s115A of the Copyright Act 1968.

Under that legislation, the Federal Court is able to grant an injunction to prevent access to an “online location” based outside Australia when it infringes or facilitates an infringement of copyright and has the same “primary purpose or primary effect.”

The Court found that the MPA/Roadshow and TVB applicants had standing to bring the action as owners and/or exclusive licensees of content. In respect of Madman, the Court found that despite no copyright owner being joined in the action, its status as an exclusive licensee was sufficient.

The range of sites targeted is broad, including streaming and download platforms, linking sites (including torrent sites), sites that offer software that allows streaming or downloads, subtitle archives, 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 authentic Kickass clones. Others, trading on familiar brands but unconnected to their namesakes, include 123movies, Primewire, CouchTuner, Putlocker, WatchFree, ProjectFreeTV, and YesMovies-style domains.

Further additions are getpopcorntime.is (a site offering a Popcorn Time software variant), subtitle download sites TVSubtitles.net and MSubs.net, plus Russian torrent giant Rutor.info and the China-focused btbtdy.me.

Efforts were made by the applicants to contact the operators of these platforms but according to the Court, just one responded. Sarah Florian, the supposed operator of Animelon.com, claimed to control a “non-profit educational entity that uses animated videos to provide a novel and fun way for users to learn the Japanese language.” The Court concluded, however, that Animelon.com “flagrantly facilitates the infringement of copyright.”

The nature of the other sites in the applications warranted discussion but were all determined to breach copyright law. According to the Court, in various ways they provide direct access or facilitate access to copyright works, including movies, TV shows, and subtitle files. This applies to the proxy and Popcorn Time sites too.

Noting that many of the sites are already blocked in other regions as a result of similar copyright injunctions, Justice Burley declared the platforms to be “flagrant” copyright infringers.

“I am satisfied, having regard to the content made available at the target online locations, that each either makes copyright works available online for transmission to users, or facilitates the infringement of copyright by making it easier for users to ascertain the existence or whereabouts of other online locations that themselves infringe or facilitate the infringement of copyright within section 115A(1)(a),” his order reads.

“I am also satisfied that the primary purpose or primary effect of the target online locations is to infringe, or facilitate the infringement of, copyright: s 115A(1)(b).”

The injunction granted by the Judge allows the applicants to make additions to the domain names, URLs and IP addresses listed in the original order, after the order has been made. This is to tackle countermeasures often implemented by target sites to evade blocking.

The process for this application has been adjusted in order for new instructions to be processed quickly, to reduce costs, and to ensure the objective of Australia’s blocking process isn’t frustrated, the Court adds.

“It is apparent that the legislative intention is to facilitate, in appropriate cases, a more expeditious and less expensive means by which orders may be amended. Importantly, parliament did not intend, and the orders I propose to make do not permit, the applicants to bring new target online locations within the scope of the orders,” Justice Burley notes.

“Rather, the applicants may only seek to bring within the scope of the orders new domain names, IP Addresses or URLs for the 86 target online locations which are in issue in these proceedings. Should the applicants wish to block access to a new target online location, a separate application will need to be brought.”

The injunction (Roadshow Films Pty Limited v Telstra Corporation Limited [2020] FCA 507) can be obtained here.

The full list of domains to be blocked by the 50 ISP respondents reads as follows:

mrunlock.space
mrunlock.red
nocensor.surf
nocensor.casa
nocensor.fun
unblockproject.pw
unblockproject.icu
unblockproject.info
123unblock.space
123unblock.fun
unbl0ck.online
123unblock.icu
prox4you.club
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
onionplay-network.xyz
onionplay.co
proxyportal.org
proxyportal.ws
p30download.com
torrentquest.com
rutor.info
btbtdy.me
lookmovie.ag
037hdd.com
cuevana3.io
cuevana3.co
exsite24.pl
downduck.com
downloadha.com
emotionvideo-tv.com
movieon21.biz
movieon21.xyz
m6.modufree.net
j20.hitjjal.com
phim33.com
tfp.is
tvsubtitles.net
msubs.net
dytt8.net
ttdytt.cc
ttdytt.net
fast-torrent.ru
heroturko.net
imovies.cc
imovies.ge
getpopcorntime.is
toxicwap.com
english-films.com
topeuropix.net
topeuropix.com
poseidonhd.me
poseidonhd.co
anakbnet.com
moviesjoy.net
filmlicious.net
proxybit.fun
proxybit.pro
123movies.love
1primewire.com
movies.cab
putlocker.digital
solarmoviefree.net
solarmovie.net
yifyddl.movie
yify.yt
yifymovietorrent.com
ytsdownload.com
movie4k.ag
fmovies.org
5movies.cloud
couchtuner2.com
couchtuner123.com
couchtuner.watch
couchtuner0.com
2watchfree.me
1watchfree.me
putlockerstoworld2.com
putlocker.actor
rrys2019.com
zmz2019.com
m4ufree.tv
them4ufree.info
projectfreetv.xyz
yesmovies.gg
yesmovies.ai
yesmovies.cloud
99kubo.tv
cayphim.net
dramacool.video
dramacool.movie
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

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, torrent sites and more. We also have an annual VPN review.

Pirate IPTV Blocking Case is No Slam Dunk Says Federal Court Judge

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-iptv-blocking-case-is-no-slam-dunk-says-federal-court-judge-180502/

Last year, Hong Kong-based broadcaster Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) applied for a blocking injunction against several unauthorized IPTV services.

Under the Copyright Act, the broadcaster asked the Federal Court to order ISPs including Telstra, Optus, Vocus, and TPG plus their subsidiaries to block access to seven Android-based services named as A1, BlueTV, EVPAD, FunTV, MoonBox, Unblock, and hTV5.

Unlike torrent site and streaming portal blocks granted earlier, it soon became clear that this case would present unique difficulties. TVB not only wants Internet locations (URLs, domains, IP addresses) related to the technical operation of the services blocked, but also hosting services akin to Google Play and Apple’s App Store that host the app.

Furthermore, it is far from clear whether China-focused live programming is eligible for copyright protection in Australia. If China had been a party to the 1961 Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations, it would receive protection. As it stands, it does not.

That causes complications in respect of Section 115a of the Copyright Act which allows rightsholders to apply for an injunction to have “overseas online locations” blocked if they facilitate access to copyrighted content. Furthermore, the section requires that the “primary purpose” of the location is to infringe copyrights recognized in Australia. If it does not, then there’s no blocking option available.

“If most of what is occurring here is a reproduction of broadcasts that are not protected by copyright, then the primary purpose is not to facilitate copyright infringement,” Justice Nicholas said in April.

This morning TVB returned to Federal Court for a scheduled hearing. The ISPs were a no-show again, leaving the broadcaster’s legal team to battle it out with Justice Nicholas alone. According to details published by ComputerWorld, he isn’t making it easy for the overseas company.

The Judge put it to TVB that “the purpose of this system [the set-top boxes] is to make available a broadcast that’s not copyright protected in this country, in this country,” he said.

“If 10 per cent of the content was infringing content, how could you say the primary purpose is infringing copyright?” the Judge asked.

But despite the Judge’s reservations, TVB believes that the pirate IPTV services clearly infringe its rights, since alongside live programming, the devices also reproduce TVB movies which do receive protection in Australia. However, the company is also getting creative in an effort to sidestep the ‘live TV’ conundrum.

TVB counsel Julian Cooke told the Court that live TVB broadcasts are first reproduced on foreign servers from where they are communicated to set-top devices in Australia with a delay of between one and four minutes. This is a common feature of all pirate IPTV services which potentially calls into question the nature of the ‘live’ broadcasts. The same servers also carry recorded content too, he argued.

“Because the way the system is set up, it compounds itself … in a number of instances, a particular domain name, which we refer to as the portal target domain name, allows a communication path not just to live TV, but it’s also the communication path to other applications such as replay and video on demand,” Cooke said, as quoted by ZDNet.

Cooke told the Court that he wasn’t sure whether the threshold for “primary purpose” was set at 50% of infringing content but noted that the majority of the content available through the boxes is infringing and the nature of the servers is even more pronounced.

“It compounds the submission that the primary purpose of the online location which is the facilitating server is to facilitate the infringement of copyright using that communication path,” he said.

As TF predicted in our earlier coverage, TVB today got creative by highlighting other content that it does receive copyright protection for in Australia. Previously in the UK, the Premier League successfully stated that it owns copyright in the logos presented in a live broadcast.

This morning, Cooke told the court that TVB “literary works” – scripts used on news shows and subtitling services – receive copyright protection in Australia so urged the Court to consider the full package.

“If one had concerns about live TV, one shouldn’t based on the analysis we’ve done … if one adds that live TV infringements together with video on demand together with replay, there could be no doubt that the primary purpose of the online locations is to infringe copyright,” he said.

Due to the apparent complexity of the case, Justice Nicholas reserved his decision, telling TVB that his ruling could take a couple of months after receiving his “close attention.”

Last week, Village Roadshow and several major Hollywood studios won a blocking injunction against a different pirate IPTV service. HD Subs Plus delivers around 600 live premium channels plus hundreds of movies on demand, but the service will now be blocked by ISPs across Australia.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Aussie Federal Court Orders ISPs to Block Pirate IPTV Service

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/aussie-federal-court-orders-isps-to-block-pirate-iptv-service-180427/

After successful applying for ISP blocks against dozens of traditional torrent and streaming portals, Village Roadshow and a coalition of movie studios switched tack last year.

With the threat of pirate subscription IPTV services looming large, Roadshow, Disney, Universal, Warner Bros, Twentieth Century Fox, and Paramount targeted HDSubs+ (also known as PressPlayPlus), a fairly well-known service that provides hundreds of otherwise premium live channels, movies, and sports for a relatively small monthly fee.

The injunction, which was filed last October, targets Australia’s largest ISPs including Telstra, Optus, TPG, and Vocus, plus subsidiaries.

Unlike blocking injunctions targeting regular sites, the studios sought to have several elements of HD Subs+ infrastructure rendered inaccessible, so that its sales platform, EPG (electronic program guide), software (such as an Android and set-top box app), updates, and sundry other services would fail to operate in Australia.

After a six month wait, the Federal Court granted the application earlier today, compelling Australia’s ISPs to block “16 online locations” associated with the HD Subs+ service, rendering its TV services inaccessible Down Under.

“Each respondent must, within 15 business days of service of these orders, take reasonable steps to disable access to the target online locations,” said Justice Nicholas, as quoted by ZDNet.

A small selection of channels in the HDSubs+ package

The ISPs were given flexibility in how to implement the ban, with the Judge noting that DNS blocking, IP address blocking or rerouting, URL blocking, or “any alternative technical means for disabling access”, would be acceptable.

The rightsholders are required to pay a fee of AU$50 fee for each domain they want to block but Village Roadshow says it doesn’t mind doing so, since blocking is in “public interest”. Continuing a pattern established last year, none of the ISPs showed up to the judgment.

A similar IPTV blocking application was filed by Hong Kong-based broadcaster Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) last year.

TVB wants ISPs including Telstra, Optus, Vocus, and TPG plus their subsidiaries to block access to seven Android-based services named as A1, BlueTV, EVPAD, FunTV, MoonBox, Unblock, and hTV5.

The application was previously heard alongside the HD Subs+ case but will now be handled separately following complications. In April it was revealed that TVB not only wants to block Internet locations related to the technical operation of the service, but also hosting sites that fulfill a role similar to that of Google Play or Apple’s App Store.

TVB wants to have these app marketplaces blocked by Australian ISPs, which would not only render the illicit apps inaccessible to the public but all of the non-infringing ones too.

Justice Nicholas will now have to decide whether the “primary purpose” of these marketplaces is to infringe or facilitate the infringement of TVB’s copyrights. However, there is also a question of whether China-focused live programming has copyright status in Australia. An additional hearing is scheduled for May 2 for these matters to be addressed.

Also on Friday, Foxtel filed yet another blocking application targeting “15 online locations” involving 27 domain names connected to traditional BitTorrent and streaming services.

According to ComputerWorld the injunction targets the same set of ISPs but this time around, Foxtel is trying to save on costs.

The company doesn’t want to have expert witnesses present in court, doesn’t want to stage live demos of websites, and would like to rely on videos and screenshots instead. Foxtel also says that if the ISPs agree, it won’t serve its evidence on them as it has done previously.

The company asked Justice Nicholas to deal with the injunction application “on paper” but he declined, setting a hearing for June 18 but accepting screenshots and videos as evidence.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

After Section 702 Reauthorization

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2018/01/after_section_7.html

For over a decade, civil libertarians have been fighting government mass surveillance of innocent Americans over the Internet. We’ve just lost an important battle. On January 18, President Trump signed the renewal of Section 702, domestic mass surveillance became effectively a permanent part of US law.

Section 702 was initially passed in 2008, as an amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. As the title of that law says, it was billed as a way for the NSA to spy on non-Americans located outside the United States. It was supposed to be an efficiency and cost-saving measure: the NSA was already permitted to tap communications cables located outside the country, and it was already permitted to tap communications cables from one foreign country to another that passed through the United States. Section 702 allowed it to tap those cables from inside the United States, where it was easier. It also allowed the NSA to request surveillance data directly from Internet companies under a program called PRISM.

The problem is that this authority also gave the NSA the ability to collect foreign communications and data in a way that inherently and intentionally also swept up Americans’ communications as well, without a warrant. Other law enforcement agencies are allowed to ask the NSA to search those communications, give their contents to the FBI and other agencies and then lie about their origins in court.

In 1978, after Watergate had revealed the Nixon administration’s abuses of power, we erected a wall between intelligence and law enforcement that prevented precisely this kind of sharing of surveillance data under any authority less restrictive than the Fourth Amendment. Weakening that wall is incredibly dangerous, and the NSA should never have been given this authority in the first place.

Arguably, it never was. The NSA had been doing this type of surveillance illegally for years, something that was first made public in 2006. Section 702 was secretly used as a way to paper over that illegal collection, but nothing in the text of the later amendment gives the NSA this authority. We didn’t know that the NSA was using this law as the statutory basis for this surveillance until Edward Snowden showed us in 2013.

Civil libertarians have been battling this law in both Congress and the courts ever since it was proposed, and the NSA’s domestic surveillance activities even longer. What this most recent vote tells me is that we’ve lost that fight.

Section 702 was passed under George W. Bush in 2008, reauthorized under Barack Obama in 2012, and now reauthorized again under Trump. In all three cases, congressional support was bipartisan. It has survived multiple lawsuits by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the ACLU, and others. It has survived the revelations by Snowden that it was being used far more extensively than Congress or the public believed, and numerous public reports of violations of the law. It has even survived Trump’s belief that he was being personally spied on by the intelligence community, as well as any congressional fears that Trump could abuse the authority in the coming years. And though this extension lasts only six years, it’s inconceivable to me that it will ever be repealed at this point.

So what do we do? If we can’t fight this particular statutory authority, where’s the new front on surveillance? There are, it turns out, reasonable modifications that target surveillance more generally, and not in terms of any particular statutory authority. We need to look at US surveillance law more generally.

First, we need to strengthen the minimization procedures to limit incidental collection. Since the Internet was developed, all the world’s communications travel around in a single global network. It’s impossible to collect only foreign communications, because they’re invariably mixed in with domestic communications. This is called “incidental” collection, but that’s a misleading name. It’s collected knowingly, and searched regularly. The intelligence community needs much stronger restrictions on which American communications channels it can access without a court order, and rules that require they delete the data if they inadvertently collect it. More importantly, “collection” is defined as the point the NSA takes a copy of the communications, and not later when they search their databases.

Second, we need to limit how other law enforcement agencies can use incidentally collected information. Today, those agencies can query a database of incidental collection on Americans. The NSA can legally pass information to those other agencies. This has to stop. Data collected by the NSA under its foreign surveillance authority should not be used as a vehicle for domestic surveillance.

The most recent reauthorization modified this lightly, forcing the FBI to obtain a court order when querying the 702 data for a criminal investigation. There are still exceptions and loopholes, though.

Third, we need to end what’s called “parallel construction.” Today, when a law enforcement agency uses evidence found in this NSA database to arrest someone, it doesn’t have to disclose that fact in court. It can reconstruct the evidence in some other manner once it knows about it, and then pretend it learned of it that way. This right to lie to the judge and the defense is corrosive to liberty, and it must end.

Pressure to reform the NSA will probably first come from Europe. Already, European Union courts have pointed to warrantless NSA surveillance as a reason to keep Europeans’ data out of US hands. Right now, there is a fragile agreement between the EU and the United States ­– called “Privacy Shield” — ­that requires Americans to maintain certain safeguards for international data flows. NSA surveillance goes against that, and it’s only a matter of time before EU courts start ruling this way. That’ll have significant effects on both government and corporate surveillance of Europeans and, by extension, the entire world.

Further pressure will come from the increased surveillance coming from the Internet of Things. When your home, car, and body are awash in sensors, privacy from both governments and corporations will become increasingly important. Sooner or later, society will reach a tipping point where it’s all too much. When that happens, we’re going to see significant pushback against surveillance of all kinds. That’s when we’ll get new laws that revise all government authorities in this area: a clean sweep for a new world, one with new norms and new fears.

It’s possible that a federal court will rule on Section 702. Although there have been many lawsuits challenging the legality of what the NSA is doing and the constitutionality of the 702 program, no court has ever ruled on those questions. The Bush and Obama administrations successfully argued that defendants don’t have legal standing to sue. That is, they have no right to sue because they don’t know they’re being targeted. If any of the lawsuits can get past that, things might change dramatically.

Meanwhile, much of this is the responsibility of the tech sector. This problem exists primarily because Internet companies collect and retain so much personal data and allow it to be sent across the network with minimal security. Since the government has abdicated its responsibility to protect our privacy and security, these companies need to step up: Minimize data collection. Don’t save data longer than absolutely necessary. Encrypt what has to be saved. Well-designed Internet services will safeguard users, regardless of government surveillance authority.

For the rest of us concerned about this, it’s important not to give up hope. Everything we do to keep the issue in the public eye ­– and not just when the authority comes up for reauthorization again in 2024 — hastens the day when we will reaffirm our rights to privacy in the digital age.

This essay previously appeared in the Washington Post.