Australia passes controversial website-blocking law to curb piracy of entertainment content
Australia has passed a controversial anti-piracy law allowing right holders to approach a Federal Court judge and get foreign-hosted websites that have the “primary purpose” of “facilitating” copyright infringement blocked at the ISP-level.
Dubbed Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015, the bill – which was introduced back in March this year – got passed the Australian Senate by a vote of 37-13.
“This is a watershed moment,” said the head of the Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association Simon Bush. “It’s a fantastic day and a really positive sign for the creative content industry, who can invest more as a result.”
However, critics of the bill are arguing that it could be misused given that the terms “primary purpose” and “facilitating” aren’t properly defined. For example, they say that websites, like Dropbox, which do not intend to host pirated material could get blocked, and the government could also use the bill to cut off access to data disclosure websites like WikiLeaks.