The Austrian Association for Anti Piracy (VAP) has won an injunction against UPC Telekabel, in which the provider has to block access to the www.kino.to website, which the association claims offers illegal movie downloads.
Before the decision can be exercised, the VAP has to pay a security deposit with the court. The court ruling is highly controversial, as ISPs usually refuse to block individual websites. UPC is expected to appeal the decision.
The VAP is the association of Austrian movie distributors, with the aim to fight illegal distribution of their products. In this particular case, the VAP claimed before the court that the movie Das weiße Band from director Michael Haneke was illegally offered on the website. Kino.to is hosted in Russia and the owners cannot be traced by the VAP, hence the case was started at the Handelsgericht Wien (commercial court of Vienna).
The VAP case was based on the Copyright Act and EU law, which, according to the association, requires ISPs to block websites that infringe those rights. The court followed the reasoning of the plaintiffs and ordered the requested domain and IP blocking on.
Dr. Werner Müller, managing director VAP, welcomed this landmark decision in a statement: “Internet providers cannot escape their responsibility for the content of. When they receive information that their services are abused with actual copyright infringement, they must take countermeasures.”