- Anti-piracy legislation has been passed in Australia, which will enable rights-holders to ask the Federal Court to block overseas websites or “online locations” where their primary purpose is the facilitation of copyright infringement.
- Where an order is made by the Federal Court, Australian internet service providers must comply by disabling access to the infringing location.
- Support from the Coalition and Labor led to The Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 being passed 37-13.
- While the legislation has been met with approval from bodies affected by online piracy, others are less than pleased.
- Australian Greens senator reportedly labelled the Bill “lazy and dangerous”. Dr Matthew Rimmer, an associate professor at the ANU College of Law, says this is a “very dark day for the internet in Australia”, noting that the “radical” bill could result in sites being blocked even where they don’t intend to host infringing material.
- In support, Dr Rimmer noted that there are currently no definitions for “primary purpose” or “facilitation”, which creates a risk of collateral damage.
- Dr Rimmer also added the Government information (often protected by copyright), such as that provided to sites like WikiLeaks, could be removed in this manner.