By David Z. Morris
August 20, 2017

Australian courts have ordered internet providers to block more than 50 pirate websites in two separate cases, including one brought by the network airing Game of Thrones there. Sites to be blocked include MegaShare, EZTV, Limetorrents, and Watch Series.

The larger of the two suits was brought by Roadshow Films, the Australian producer of movies including Mad Max. The other was led by Foxtel, the News Corp-owned exclusive Australian distributor of new episodes of HBO’s Game of Thrones. The series has been the most-pirated in the world for many years, and the season 7 premiere was pirated an estimated 90 million times. Other content cited in the case included The Lego Movie and The Big Bang Theory.

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The antipiracy group Creative Content Australia has also said it will pursue lawsuits against individuals who continue to pirate content.

The decision comes as many content creators and distributors shift focus away from cracking down on piracy and towards making paid services better. That includes HBO itself, which has said that Game of Thrones piracy may actually be beneficial, particularly by leading consumers to its HBO Go streaming service. Notably, piracy sites are not blocked by ISPs in the U.S., HBO’s home country.

Many piracy sites are already blocked in Australia, with the total number of blocked sites now 340, according to the BBC.

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