The Pirate Bay must be blocked in Australia, court rules
Australian internet providers must block file-sharing site The Pirate Bay, the nation's Federal Court has ruled.
The website, founded in Sweden, is arguably the world's best-known hub for downloading pirated content.
It and four other copyright-infringing sites - Torrentz, TorrentHound, IsoHunt and SolarMovie - must be blocked within 15 days, the court said on Thursday.
The case was a victory for pay television operator Foxtel and media company Village Roadshow.
The judge agreed with internet service providers including Telstra, Optus, TPG and M2 that rights holders should pay the cost of blocking the websites.
How they are blocked is up to the service providers.
The operators of the websites did not appear at the hearing, and were not represented.
"This judgement is a major step in both directly combating piracy and educating these sites is not OK, in fact it is theft," Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh said in a statement.
The case is the first successful use of site-blocking laws in Australia.