'It’s been three years since Australia adopted a national copyright blocking system, despite widespread public outcry over the abusive, far-reaching potential of the system, and the warnings that it would not achieve its stated goal of preventing copyright infringement.
Three years later, the experts who warned that censorship wouldn’t drive people to licensed services have been vindicated. According to the giant media companies who drove the copyright debate in 2015, the national censorship system has not convinced Australians to pay up.
But rather than rethink their approach — say, by bringing Australian media pricing in line with the prices paid elsewhere in the world, and by giving Australians access to the same movies, music and TV as their peers in the US and elsewhere — Australia’s Big Content execs have demanded even more censorship powers, with less oversight, and for more sites and services.
The current Australian censorship system allows rightsholders to secure court orders requiring the country’s ISPs to block sites whose “primary purpose” is to “is to infringe, or to facilitate the infringement of, copyright (whether or not in Australia).”
Under the new proposal, rightsholders will be able to demand blocks for sites whose “primary effect” is copyright infringement. What’s more, rightsholders will be able to secure injunctions against search engines, forcing them to delist search-results that refer to the banned site.
Finally rightsholders will be able to order blocks for sites, addresses and domains that provide access to blocked sites, without going back to court.
Taken together, these new measures, combined with the overbroad language from 2015, are a recipe for unbridled, unstoppable censorship — and it still won’t achieve the goals of copyright law.'
Read more: SOPA.au: Australia is the Testbed for the World’s Most Extreme Copyright Blocks
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11 January 2019
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