Australia's current stance on internet piracy harkens back to 2015 when the government passed the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill. With that backing, the Federal Court ordered a huge number of pirate sites to be blocked, including the likes of The Pirate Bay, in December 2016.
Since then, online copyright infringement has been reduced, the government has announced, but there are plenty more injunction applications pending in the court.
Before those hearings get underway, the Australian Government is keen to determine if the current anti-piracy mechanism is strong enough or not. The Department of Communications and the Arts is now looking for feedback on the efficacy of the site-blocking laws.
Reeling it in
On the current state of affairs, a consultation paper entitled Review of Copyright Online Infringement Amendment says, “Case law and survey data suggests the Online Infringement Amendment has enabled copyright owners to work with [internet service providers] to reduce large-scale online copyright infringement. So far, it appears that copyright owners and [ISPs] find the current arrangement acceptable, clear and effective.”
The government is open to suggestions from the public, with the paper adding, “The Department of Communications and the Arts is seeking views from stakeholders on the questions put forward in this paper. The Department welcomes single, consolidated submissions from organizations or parties, capturing all views on the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act 2015 (Online Infringement Amendment).”
Anyone interested in submitting to the consultation can do so until 5pm AEST on March 16, 2018, via the Department of Communications’ website.