Movie company Village Roadshow and the US studios have launched a legal complaint against a piracy site in the Australian Federal Court on Wednesday.
Australian website Solarmovie.ph allowed users to access its free streaming service for a list of movies and television shows. The legal action followed a similar complaint lodged in the Singapore High Court, which ruled that the concerned website was “flagrantly infringing” intellectual property. It was the first legal case filed in Australia since the government passed a law in September 2015 that allowed content owners to apply for ISPs in case they wanted to block piracy sites.
Village Roadshow’s decision has gained support from US major studios namely Warner Bros., Sony, Paramount, Disney, Universal and 21st Century Fox, which aimed to block piracy websites. According to 9News, the success of the legal action will mean the piracy site is blocked for internet users who have Australian IP addresses.
Australia’s studio Chairman Graham Burke, who has been leading the entire campaign for protection of copyright, told Forbes that the team’s first target is Solarmovie as it is the “quintessential criminal site” that displayed inappropriate ads including party drugs, gambling, etc. Burke said that the site received 2.2 million visits in January. The most popular entertainment products streamed were “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which is co-produced by Village Roadshow Pictures and the Australian comedy show “Oddball.” He added that the site has already been blocked by Italy, Romania, the UK and Singapore under the website blocking law applicable in 40 countries.
“We are using the weapon the government gave us to take action against people who have been eating our lunch and threatening livelihoods,” Burke said. “We are fighting back. According to the government’s figures, 906,000 Australian jobs depend directly or indirectly on copyright protection.”
When the co-CEO was asked about the Solarmovie creating another site or resuming business after a while, he said that the team will be looking at it from time to time. He confirmed the case belonged to one of the first cases registered under copyright protection since the laws were introduced in 2015.
The case falls under the Copyright Amendment (online infringement) Act, which was introduced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in June 2015 when he held the position of the nation’s communications minister.