Australia blocks another 59 popular pirate sites

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340 domains relating to pirate sites will soon be blocked in Australia

Australia's federal court has ordered internet service providers (ISPs) to block dozens of popular pirate sites.

The crackdown prevents users from accessing 59 illegal torrent and streaming sites including Demonoid, EZTV, YTS, RARBG, 1337x and Putlocker.

A total of 160 domains have been blocked in two orders, including alternative routes to the Pirate Bay.

The blockades were requested by film studio Village Roadshow and Australian broadcaster Foxtel.

Many pirate websites are already banned in Australia, with the two new court cases bringing the total number of domains blocked in the country to 340.

The country has wrestled with curbing citizens' illegal downloading habits for some time.

In 2014, Attorney General George Brandis told reporters that Australia was the "worst nation for piracy on the planet".

Individuals caught offering pirated material can face fines of up to A$117,000 (£72,000) - up to five times more for corporations - and may also receive a prison sentence, according to the Australian government website.

In 2016, the Hollywood studio behind the US film Dallas Buyers Club announced that it would not pursue a piracy case it launched against Australians accused of illegally downloading the film.

The studio said at the time that it had identified 4,726 unique IP addresses from which the film had been shared online using BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file-sharing network.