In 2022, rightsholders obtained permission in Austria to block several pirate site domains and a list of IP addresses that actually belonged to Cloudflare. ISPs had no choice but to comply with the court’s instructions which took out countless Cloudflare customers in Austria. According to reviews conducted by local telecoms regulator TKK, the IP address blocking violated net neutrality regulations and will no longer be allowed.
With momentum building in favor of pirate site blocking measures elsewhere in Europe, Austrian ISPs took their opposition all the way to the country’s Supreme Court.
Despite concerns over the implications for net neutrality, rightsholders’ interests prevailed. Like many of their foreign counterparts, Austrian ISPs soon found themselves compelled by court order to block torrent and streaming sites, those offering unlicensed musical works, plus scientific article and textbook repositories.