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Austria Blocks Streaming Sites

Austria Blocks Streaming Sites and were ordered to be blocked by Austrian Court after a year long battle in court.

In 2014 the European Court of Justice declared that ISP can block pirating sites in “reasonable situations”.  Following the ruling, Austrian anti-piracy body VAP ordered their ISPs to block popular steaming sites, but most of them appealed the ruling.

After the refusal, VAP sued sued the individual Internet Service Providers. They won the ruling late last year, but ISPs took their appeal further and appealed with the Austrian Supreme Court.

Despite the determination, the ruling was not in favour of ISPs – just recently, Austrian Supreme Court confirmed the streaming sites violate the copyright laws. The ruling also clarifies, that ISPs should bare the cost of implementing the blocking of streaming sites.

What’s next? As often in the case of internet censorship – immediate question is – how will this affect the end user?

  1. Once the site blocking is implemented, users can get a VPN service to by-pass this and any other regional website geo-blocking.
  2. Internet service cost might go up, if providers choose to download the fees to the users.
  3. More web-sites might be blocked with this precedent setting decision, and Austria is probably not the only country that will cite this ruling as an example for policy.

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