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New Australian law to provide further protections for copyright owners to block offshore pirate websites

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New Australian law to provide further protections for copyright owners to block offshore pirate websites

Postby MrFredPFL » Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:42 am

Story :

The Australian Senate’s Environment and Communications Legislation Committee is undertaking an inquiry into the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2018 and is due to report on 26 November 2018. Given there is bipartisan political support for the Bill, which will expand the rights of copyright holders to obtain Federal Court injunctions to block offshore pirate websites, it is expected the Committee will endorse the Bill and that it is likely to become law before the end of 2018.

The site blocking regime first commenced in 2015 (see our previous article here). That regime, as contained in section 115A of the Copyright Act 2015 (Cth)(the Act), enables a copyright owner to apply to the Federal Court for an injunction requiring a provider of internet services, a so called carriage service provider (CSP), such as Telstra or Optus, to take reasonable steps to block access to an overseas pirate website or websites. Blocking such sites is seen as an effective remedy for copyright owners, given the difficulty of pursuing infringers who do not have a presence in Australia.

Under section 115A of the Act, as it currently exists, for an injunction to be granted:

the CSP must provide access to a site operated outside Australia
the site must infringe, or facilitate the infringement of, copyright
the primary purpose of the site must be to infringe, or to facilitate the infringement of, copyright.

The Federal Court is required to take into consideration a number of factors in determining whether to grant an injunction, including how flagrant the action of the site operator is, whether the site operator has shown a general disregard for copyright and whether blocking the site is a proportionate response.

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