Members of the Motion Picture Association (MPA) have today won an injunction against three pirate websites which are providing film and television content illegally to consumers in Ireland.

The landmark legal case, which was heard in the Commercial division of the High Court in Dublin, will block access to notorious pirate websites, make the streaming of movies and television programmes into people’s homes and devices safer, and protect jobs in Ireland’s thriving film industry. Mr Justice Brian Cregan granted the injunction against the pirate websites.

Stan McCoy, MPA EMEA President and Managing Director, welcomed the Commercial Court ruling which he said was designed to tackle piracy and safeguard the future of the film and television industry in Ireland and around the world.“Ireland has a fantastic film industry which provides thousands of jobs and it is important that we protect it from corrupt operators who profit by stealing and selling content illegally. Piracy is a borderless issue with pirate site operators often hosting their websites overseas in an attempt to shield themselves from the law. That’s why the creative community worldwide must work together to solve it,” Mr McCoy said.

“The MPA works with local partners in markets all over the world to fight piracy, including Ireland. Stopping theft and creating space for ever more legal offerings will help to cement the future of Ireland’s thriving film sector. This ruling is the first step towards that.”

Investigations carried out for the legal action found the three target websites – Primewire, Watchseries and Movie4K domains – received respectively 1.26 million, 1.93 million and over 200,000 visits that emanated from Ireland in October 2016 alone*.

Piracy cost the Irish exchequer an estimated €71m** euro in 2015. Hundreds of jobs have been lost in the industry in recent years, including in the high-profile closures of Xtra-Vision and HMV.

At the same time, there has been a proliferation of choice for consumers, with plenty of legitimate sources to watch popular content like Sky, Volta.ie and Netflix.