Proposed amendments to Australia's Copyright laws have been
making headlines in recent weeks. According to a leaked copy of its
discussion paper, the Australian Federal government is proposing
that internet service providers (ISPs), such as Telstra and Optus
take measures to discourage or reduce online copyright
infringement. If such changes are implemented, Australia would have
some of the most stringent anti-piracy measures in the Western
The draft discussion paper set out various suggested amendments
to copyright laws, including proposals to block overseas websites
that host pirated content and to compel internet service providers
(ISPs) to stop users illegally downloading movies and music. The
paper further proposes to make it easier for owners of copyright
material to litigate if ISP's don't takes steps to prevent
their users illegally downloading content and to force ISPs to
block access to sites hosting pirated content. The proposed
measures also include both a graduated response ("three
strikes") regime and internet filtering as measures to fight
illegal file sharing.
If the proposals come in to force, they would overrule a 2012
High Court decision that found ISPs cannot be found liable for
authorising an act by a subscriber infringing copyright.
Australia has been noted as being one of the worst offenders in
illegally downloading content from file sharing sites and the
proposed changes have been praised by film production companies and
the music industry.
Critics of the proposed regime have noted that there is a real
risk that if the radical changes are implemented, legitimate social
networking sites, and their users, could find themselves in strife
as it is possible that they could be caught by a filtering regime.
This will mean that all social media users will need to be even
more cautious about the content that they post and share on ever
growing array of social media platforms.
Watch this space for further news on the proposed amendments to
copyright and anti-piracy laws.
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