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By Sarah Ward
October 11, 2016
By Sarah Ward
October 11, 2016

Been sailing the internet seas and plundering its illegal film bounties, movie pirates? Yarrr, well you just might find yourself at the centre of a new round of legal action. Australian film company Village Roadshow has revealed that their attempts to stamp out copyright theft will soon extend to suing individual infringers. If you've downloaded one of their flicks, yes, that could mean you.

No, this isn't another Dallas Buyers Club situation exactly, however if you're the swashbuckling type, you might receive a letter in the mail. Village Roadshow's new tactics involve going after repeat culprits and asking for a fee of around $300. "Not for a king's ransom but akin to the penalty for parking a car in a loading zone. If the price of an act of thievery is set at say $300, we believe most people will think twice," said Village Roadshow co-chief executive Graham Burke.

Deterrence, rather than punishment, is the aim here — and continuing to try to convince everyone that they should bite the bullet and pay to watch Game of Thrones. "Any revenue derived from this proposed legal program will be devoted to positive education on piracy," Burke continued. "I should also point out that it is our intent with this strategy that, should anyone be caught in the net who has dire health or difficult circumstances, we would waive the action providing they undertake not to infringe again."

Just when the lawsuits will start wasn't announced, though Village Roadshow have a history of being active in the area, with the company initiating court action against movie streaming website SolarMovie earlier this year. Burke also holds the role of Creative Content Australia chair — aka the head of the film industry's anti-piracy arm — and advised that, once the precedent for blocking websites has been clearly established under Australia's current site-blocking legislation, "We will be ready to immediately bring another court action requesting the blocking of an additional 100 criminal sites."

The plan was revealed as part of a speech entitled 'The Piracy Plague', which was delivered at the Australian International Movie Convention on the Gold Coast this week. And no, the link between the Goldie and that other form of piracy wasn't lost on anyone. In fact, it was even mentioned. You can thank Johnny Depp, his dogs and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales for that, obviously.

Published on October 11, 2016 by Sarah Ward


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