Village Roadshow Films leads a coalition of entertainment firms supporting the ban of four websites which they reckon as perpetrating piracy.
The group is disputing that Australian Internet service providers (ISPs) should stop the four Internet sites that illegally offer downloadable subtitle files.
Today, a case management court hearing argued that Yifysubtitles, Subscene, Addic7ed, and Opensubtitles.org do not provide access to a TV show or film streaming or downloads.
Accused of piracy by Roadshow and a group of other entertainment firms, what they offer are SubRip (.srt) files that can be employed when illegally downloading movie files to show the subtitles.
This is the first instance of an application for an injunction to the Federal Court which is directed against subtitle services. The four subtitle providers are members of over 150 domains and an ensemble of 77 Internet services.
This instance is the largest single site-blocking application for a court mandate that is brought under the anti-piracy laws of the country.
Presiding over the application, Justice John Victor Nicholas sought information for the court injunction from the lead applicant, Village Roadshow Films, and a horde of movie studios: Universal, Disney, Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers, Columbia Pictures, and Twentieth Century Fox.
The group is supported by entertainment distributor Madman Entertainment Proprietary Limited which is based in Australia and Hong Kong firm Television Broadcasts Limited.
Justice Nicholas gathered information about the characteristics of the subtitle download services. He cited that he is expecting the hearing of the case to concentrate on those websites in question.
Just like in past cases, the judge will be furnished with a secure Internet connection and a laptop to be able to examine the disputed websites. This will help diminish the lengthy duration of the eventual court proceeding.
From the applicants, Justice Nicholas asked for proof of how they will satisfy the main purpose prerequisite of the Copyright Act’s Section 115a which is the law that facilitates the website blocking with regards to the subtitle websites.
Under Section 115a of the legislation, an Internet service must possess the facilitation of copyright infringement or infringe as its main objective.
In August, results of a recent study by the Department of Communications of Australia demonstrated that for the third consecutive year, piracy or online copyright infringement rates have nosedived across films, TV series, and music.
The primary factor behind this trend is that paying consumers for digital content are soaring. The Department cited that the development is most likely propelled by paid streaming services like Stan and Netflix.
These over-the-top entertainment firms have presented themselves as dramatically well-received over the past few years.
The research results also indicated that consumers nowadays do not think they there is still a need to engage in piracy given the huge volume of content legally offered by the streaming services.