Copyright industry contributions pay off censorship coming to Australia wrote an article about the impact the copyright industry and their lobbyists were having on the Australian political scene and the policies they were implementing that were having direct impact on the Australian public.

The first of these major policies was mandatory data retention
Now the copyright industries investment has paid off once again with Australian parliament rushing a bill through which will force ISPS to block websites deemed to ‘facilitate piracy’. The bill will allow copyright holders such as film studios and record labels to apply to the Federal Court for an injunction requiring all Australian ISPs to block overseas websites (“online locations”) facilitating piracy. The Pirate bay is a certain target to be blocked.
Rights holders must satisfy the court that the “primary purpose” of a website is to facilitate copyright infringement. Further, the court can weigh up factors such as whether a site’s operator has a “disregard” for copyright more generally, as well as the “flagrancy” of infringement that it allows.

Senator Ludlam argued that “cashed-up donors and lobbyists,” including rights holders and industry lobby groups, had managed to set the agenda on the “dangerous” bill, and that during the process Attorney-General George Brandis “had an open door to Village Roadshow and AFACT” [the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, now known as the Australian Screen Association].

Village Roadshow significantly increased its donations to political parties over the past year as the Government works to crack down on online copyright infringement. The media behemoth donated $329,919 to the Liberal Party in the 2013-14 financial year, a 20 percent increase on the $275,804 it donated to the Liberal Party in the 2012-13 financial year. It also donated $227,500 to Labor in 2013-14, well above the $22,000 it offered to Labor in the previous year, according to the Australian Electoral Commission’s annual donations discloure.

The technical details on how the blocking of websites will be achieved is still vague at this point whether it’s DNS redirection implemented by the ISPS or IP address blocking by some type of firewall. One thing is clear; customers will be footing at least part of the implementation and maintenance costs.
Oh and one can get around these types of blocks by using a VPN.



Leave a reply