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Roadshow wins smart TV piracy website blocks

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Another successful Federal Court case by Roadshow Films has resulted in Australia's internet service providers being ordered to block 16 online locations of alleged piracy websites.

Justice Nicholas on Friday approved the block of domain names being used by smart TV boxes to access alleged copyright-infringing streaming services via apps.

"Each respondent must, within 15 business days of service of these orders, take reasonable steps to disable access to the target online locations," Nicholas J said, including by DNS blocking, IP address blocking or rerouting, URL blocking, or "any alternative technical means for disabling access".

Earlier this month, Roadshow had said it is willing to continue paying for the cost of piracy website blocks because it is in the "public interest"[1].

Roadshow had taken aim at people making use of an app to use "illicit streaming devices" such as an Android OS set-top box, laptop, or smartphone, with the app communicating with facilitating servers through the cloud using the domain names that have now been blocked.

Severing the communication path by blocking the domain names will stop the copyright works from being accessed through the app, counsel said, with some of the channels available including the English Premier League, Bein Sports, Disney channels, BBC Worldwide, and National Geographic.

A subscription for the service costs AU$240 per year or AU$30 per month, according to Roadshow, which represented a group of film studios including Disney, Universal, Warner Bros, Twentieth Century Fox, and Paramount during the case.

One stumbling block in the hearing was that while the HD Subs Plus app was fully operational between December 2016 and December 2017, it was then updated to the "upgraded HD Subs Plus app" and, in late January, automatically upgraded to an app called Press

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