The ongoing fight over online piracy in Australia
stepped up a notch this week, as Attorney General George Brandis
and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull issued a statement
setting up a new anti-piracy regime.
What's the gist?
The Government is forcing ISPs and rights holders to develop an
industry code to address:
ISPs taking steps to deter infringement when they are made
aware of pirating, such as an education and warning notice scheme;
a process for discovery to assist rights holders in taking
Court action against a subscriber after an agreed number of
Basically, if you get a few notices and you don't stop
pirating you'll be handed over to the rights holders and the
courts to be dealt with.
If the code cannot be agreed by 8 April 2015, the Government
will step in and take over. The clear message to the ISPs and
rights holders it to make friends, or Dad is going to step in and
make rules which neither of you might like.
Courts will be given the power to block overseas websites which
facilitate online copyright infringement. Watch out Pirate
George and Malcolm have also said they will review the
effectiveness of any code or standard within 18 months of it coming
into effect. If it's no good Dad may step in again.
This is pretty big news. It is recognition of the problems that
rights holders and ISPs have had in finding common ground on how
better to deal with infringing subscribers and the widespread
availability of pirated content online.
The fact that it will be implemented as an industry code is
important - ISPs will be bound by it. It is also sending a clear
message to pirates that the Government is serious about tackling
the issue and it expects ISPs to assist in monitoring pirates on
their networks. The Government has firmly planted its flag in the
camp of the rights holders, for now anyway.
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