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Hollywood granted a blocking order against three streaming sites in Ireland

Written by Samuel O'Toole on 06 April 2017

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The Motion Picture Association, on behalf of several major Hollywood studios, has been granted an order to block three popular streaming sites in Ireland. The three sites: movie4k.to, primewire.ag and onwatchseries.to have all been blocked by internet service providers.

Back in 2009 the Pirate Bay was blocked as part of a voluntary agreement between copyright holders and the local internet service provider Eircom. Subsequently, the High Court followed suit and ordered the other big internet service provides do the same.

Times change, and although the Pirate Bay is no longer with us, various other pirate streaming sites have sprung up. The Motion Picture Association sought to expand the blocking measure with a complaint in the Commercial Court. The complaint and subsequent order was sought on the grounds that up to 1.3 million users were thought be involved in illegally accessing films from the sites.

The complaint describes the sites listed above as massive copyright infringement hubs, and with thousands of infringing moves, who can argue anything different. Justice Brian Cregan found that it was “clear” that infringement of the movie studios copyright “manifestly occurred” on the sites. He went further and explained that the blockades will not interfere with lawful internet use, or would they be characterized as disproportionate.

It was reported in the Irish Times that the internet service providers did not oppose the blockades. What the internet service providers did ask for was a limit of 50 notifications per month from the movie companies asking them to block sites. Unsurprisingly, the movie studios did not like the sound of this and neither did the Judge, who said that there should not be a limit on the amount of notifications at the time being.

Many streaming sites simply change their domain name to get around blocking orders, in this game of cat and mouse it is unclear who has who. 

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