The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has issued three virtually identical Default Judgement and Permanent Injunction Orders against Israel.tv, Israeli-tv.com, and Sdarot.tv for copyright infringement. The three orders include directions requiring all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the United States of America to block access to the named websites. In addition, the court ordered third parties to cease providing services of any kind used in connection with the defendants’ operations, including web hosting and banking.
The cases were filed by “movie, television, sports and news content producers and providers in Israel” alleging copyright infringement against the owners and/or operators of the websites, which are “re-broadcasting and streaming, in the United States, Hebrew-language television and online channels and content.” The defendants apparently failed to appear in court or answer the complaints, and used “multiple false identities and addresses associated with their operations.” The court ordered the defendants to pay $7,650,000 in damages plus attorney’s fees and interest.
The orders appear to be unprecedented in scope and impact on ISPs and third parties, requiring much the same level of blocking that would have been required by the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, which was abandoned after widespread protests in 2012. It is unknown at this time how large ISPs such as AT&T, Charter, Comcast, and Verizon will respond to the orders, whether to implement the blocking or possibly challenge them legally.