On 19 June 2018, the Federal Court of Australia (Court) handed down its decision in Foxtel Management Pty Ltd v TPG Internet Pty Ltd  FCA 933. This is the Court’s most recent exercise of the “website blocking power” contained in section 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) (Act).
Nicholas J ordered that Telstra, Optus, Vocus and TPG all block 28 websites that facilitated the illegal download and streaming of movies and TV shows. His Honour found that the nature and extent of the copyright material made available on each website demonstrated “a flagrant disregard by the operators of the rights of copyright owners”.
The decision shows that the process under section 115A of the Act is now relatively settled: the copyright owners are familiar with the type of evidence that they need to adduce; the ISPs are no longer inclined to participate in the proceedings (presumably in order to avoid costs liability); and, the orders made by the Court now follow a familiar form.
The use of section 115A of the Act appears to have become business as usual.
By Troy Gurnett and Liam Maguire