January 16, 2018
The Motion Picture Association, the international arm of the Motion Picture Association of America, has secured a High Court injunction in Ireland enabling Internet service providers to block websites streaming pirated movies and TV shows.
Commercial Court Judge Brian McGovern Jan. 15 ruled there was “significant public interest” under the 2000 Copyright and Related Act granting the orders against ISPs Eircom, Sky Ireland, Vodafone Ireland, Virgin Media Ireland, Three Ireland, Digiweb, Imagine Telecommunications and Magnet Networks.
The ISPs did not contest the ruling.
The MPA, which represents Sony Pictures Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Studios and Lionsgate, among others, alleges upwards of 1.5 million people in Ireland could be illegally downloading/streaming copyrighted content.
Infringing websites included gowatchfreemovies.to, EXTV.ag, 123movieshub.to and Rarbg.to.
The MPA reportedly found that the eight websites targeted had generated more than 6 million visits last October. Several of the sites have also been blocked in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Austria and Norway.
Stan McCoy, president and managing director of MPA EMEA, said the court ruling would safeguard consumers against pirated content, in addition to helping more than 18,000 people employed by the Irish film industry.
“As the Irish film industry is continuing to thrive, the MPA is dedicated to supporting that growth by combatting the operations of illegal sites that undermine the sustainability of the sector,” McCoy said in a statement.