Dublin
04 April 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

MPA wins site block in Ireland


Members of the Motion Picture Association (MPA) have secured an injunction against three websites that were distributing infringing film and TV content to Irish consumers.

The ruling, secured in the commercial division of the High Court in Dublin, requires ISPs to block access to websites on hosted on the movies4k.to, primewire.ag and onwatchseries.to domains, which collectively received nearly four million views in October 2016 alone.

Summonses were served on Sky Subscribers Services, Vodafone Ireland, Virgin Media Ireland, Three Ireland, Digiweb, Imagine Telecommunications and Magnet Networks. Many of these ISPs are already working in co-operation with the MPA following similar action in the UK.

Several MPA members were involved in the litigation, including Warner Bros, Twentieth Century Fox and Disney.

Stan McCoy, MPA president and managing director in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: “Ireland has a fantastic film industry which provides thousands of jobs and it is important that we protect it from corrupt operators who profit by stealing and selling content illegally.”

“Piracy is a borderless issue with pirate site operators often hosting their websites overseas in an attempt to shield themselves from the law. That’s why the creative community worldwide must work together to solve it.”

Site blocking has been effective in the UK in the past, with previous actions leading to a 75 percent drop in traffic and a 25 percent fall in activity in piracy overall, according to brand and content protection specialist Incopro, which reported on the practice in 2014.

Approximately 1,200 sites have been blocked in Europe since 2010 for distributing copyrighted content illegally, according to the MPA.

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