On 18 April, ARIA members Universal Music Australia Pty Limited, Warner Music Australia Pty. Limited, Sony Music Entertainment Australia Pty Ltd and J Albert & Son Pty Ltd, together with APRA AMCOS, filed an application in the Federal Court of Australia seeking orders under section 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) to have the offshore site KickassTorrents and related proxy sites blocked in Australia.
Section 115A is a no-fault remedy which allows copyright owners or their exclusive licensees to apply for injunctions to have carriage service providers (ISPs) put blocks in place to prevent their subscribers accessing sites which have the primary purpose of infringing or facilitating the infringement of copyright.
The Government described the sites which are the intended target of these orders as being ones which flagrantly disregard the rights of copyright owners, the “worst of the worst”. These sites do nothing but exploit the creativity of others and give nothing back to the artists, songwriters, record labels and music publishers whose music is stolen and made available on them, as they make millions of dollars from the advertising which appears on them.
These orders will also support legitimate licensed online services which offer music fans access to the music they love across a range of devices at any time and any day.
“Online infringement continues to be a major threat to the sustainability of the Australian music industry. Illegal offshore sites like Kickass Torrents show a complete disrespect for music creators and the value of music. Australian music fans already have access – for free if they choose – to the world’s repertoire of music via more than 20 legitimate licensed online music services. Blocking access to sites like Kickass Torrents is all about supporting those services and allowing the writers whose songs are available on them to be paid for their work”, Jenny Morris OAM, Chair of the APRA Board.
For further information see the Music Rights Australia website: http://www.musicrights.com.au/news/musicindustryfilesunders115a/