Record labels have won against internet service providers to have piracy website KickassTorrent blocked but will have to pay $50 per name to have the website’s domain names blocked.
In Friday’s ruling, Justice Stephen Burley ordered ISPs including TPG, iiNet, Optus and Telstra to block KickassTorrent by blocking seven domain names including kat.al, kickass.cd and kickass.ukbypss.download.
However, the record labels will have to pay $50 per domain name to have the piracy websites blocked.
The ISPs have 15 business days to disable access the piracy websites.
In April last year, the biggest global record labels including Universal, Sony and Warner sought injunction to have KickassTorrents and “related proxy sites” blocked in Australia under the Copyright Act. The ISPs did not object to blocking the websites but they said they should not solely bear the cost of enforcing the domain name blocking.
Record labels argued the internet service providers should bear their own costs of complying with the domain name blocking because it represents the cost of “doing business” and the costs of enforcing the court orders would be minimal.
However, TPG, Telstra and Optus argued the record labels should pay some or all of their compliance costs because they were innocent parties in the copyright infringement and the injunction would srve the record labels’ commercial interests.
Justice Burley said the record labels should pay the ISPs’ costs or “some significant portion thereof”, because they will benefit from the proper policing of copyright law.
Justice Burley said the compliance cost of blocking the domain names in this case “appeared to be minimal” but as a matter of principle the record labels should bear the nominal cost of blocking them, being $50 per domain name.
To prevent KickassTorrent from being accessible via phoenix-like domain names, the record labels will be able to apply for court order to automatically block other domain names that pop up in the future.
Justice Burley said the “primary, and problaby sole, function” of the KickassTorrent website is to enable the digital downloading of musical works, sound recordings, movies and books, free of charge and without the licence or approval of the owners of copyright in those works.
“The evidence indicates that the website enables users to infringe copyright on an industrial scale,” Justice Burley said.
Friday’s decision follows Hollywood production studios’ big win against ISPs last year, when the Federal Court ruled ISPs have to block access to piracy sites including The Pirate Bay, Torrent Hount and IsoHunt. However, the court ruled Hollywood production studios have to pay $50 per domain name to block the sites.
\\ Source: AFR //