1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Monday, 22 June 2015

Critics blast Australian web block reforms

Australian Green party senator Scott Ludlam has branded the government’s controversial website blocking bill a "lazy and dangerous" piece of legislation that wouldn’t been happening if the Labor government “hadn’t gone completely missing". The Australian Parliament which has begun debating the Copyright Amendment (Online infringement) Bill 2015 which, if it becomes law, will enable rights holders to apply to the Federal Court for an injunction that will force ISPs to block its customers from accessing a website. The scheme applies to websites based overseas that are involved in or facilitate copyright infringement. Senator Ludlam said the debate had begun at the behest of foreign rights holders and lobbyists who have “collectively donated millions of dollars to the Liberal and Labor parties" adding“The Greens will move a series of amendments to try and blunt the worst impacts of this bill, but passing them would require the Labor Party to reappear. If anyone has seen them, please let us know”.

And Peter Sunde, the former official spokesperson for The Pirate Bayhas added his voice to those criticising Aiustralia's plans to implement a system for blocking access within its borders to piracy websites based outside Australia,  Speaking to Laterline on ABC, Sunde said that the new laws would be unpopular with voters, and wouldn't deter illegal downloading: "For instance, in Denmark they tried to block Pirate Bay" he said "What happened is that people found very easy ways to circumvent the block, and the traffic from those countries to Pirate Bay spiked afterwards". He added: "People aren't stupid and there's really easy alternatives to circumvent most of these laws. So it becomes a kind of whack-a-mole game, and like a nuclear arms race as well, because you will have to block the next thing that will help people to circumvent things" and "So it becomes a kind of whack-a-mole game, and like a nuclear arms race as well, because you will have to block the next thing that will help people to circumvent things."

More here and on ABC here and on the 1709 blog here

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