Hollywood will test Australia's new piracy laws and try to block SolarMovie

Picture: Prop Store/Eon Productions

Village Roadshow will be leading several big Hollywood studios in the Australian Federal Court as they try to get a first piracy website blocked under the government’s new Copyright Amendment Act for the first time.

The website they are after is called SolarMovie, a site which has been blocked by similar court orders in the UK and Singapore. In June 2015, the then communications minister Malcolm Turnbull presented and got an Australian version of the bill passed by parliament.

Graham Burke, co-CEO of Village Roadshow, told News Corp that he’s leading the charge to protect “creative Australia”.

“What we’re doing is leading a major thrust on behalf of the Australian industry,” he said.

“There just won’t be a creative Australia. There won’t be a ‘Red Dog’, there won’t be a ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, there won’t be a ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ — we’ll be trampled by a lot of foreign criminals that put zero back into the business and collect multi-millions in advertising.”

As part of the new legislation, rights holders are allowed to apply to a Federal Court judge to have overseas websites blocked if they are deemed to primarily facilitate copyright infringement.

If successful, ISPs would be forced to block the website to their customers in Australia, although known workarounds such as VPNs still present a problem for rights holders.

Earlier this month, Dallas Buyers Club LLC abandoned its 18-month case against iiNet where it was seeking the details of people it believed had illegally downloaded its movie. The law firm representing DBC LLC, Marque Lawyers, confirmed that it would not be making any further applications after its last bid in December was blocked.

The firm said that there was simply nothing that could be done to get the outcome it sought, so there was no point in proceeding.

DBC LLC was attempting to get the names and details of nearly 5000 iiNet account holders it accused of illegally sharing the film, hoping to recoup some of the piracy costs.

Dallas Buyers Club LLC was originally granted access in April to the 4726 iiNet account holders who allegedly shared the film over torrent networks.

However Justice Perram put a stay on the order until the studio satisfied him on the details of how they would communicate the alleged infringement to account holders.

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