Winter is coming for illegal downloaders

Posted February 14th, 2019 by admin and filed in 杭州夜生活
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The days of illegally downloading popular TV shows like Game of Thrones could soon be over for Australians.


The House of Representatives passed amendments to the Copyright Act on Tuesday and if passed in the Senate, the controversial bill will mean websites that provide illegal content will be blocked.

Some see the bill as a threat to internet freedom, but the Abbott Government said it is a crucial step towards wiping out internet piracy.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the changes will reduce internet copyright infringement.

“There is no silver bullet to deal with piracy, but this bill provides an important part of the solution to the problem of online copyright infringement,” he said.

“It’s vital that online copyright owners have an efficient mechanism to disrupt the steady supply of infringing content to Australian internet users from overseas-based websites.”

While Labor supported the bill and has promised to ensure it will pass the Senate, the Greens oppose it.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam told the ABC he believes that if passed, the law could encourage lobby groups to push for internet censorship. 

“We’ve already had the Australian Christian lobby out saying they want to use it to block pornography,” he said.

“Goodness knows what other interest groups are going to be out there seizing on the fact that the government’s just introduced a new site-blocking regime.”

David Vaile – co-convenor of the Cyber Space Law and Policy Community at the University of New South Wales – has voiced concerns that the potential law has grounds to discourage carriage services from challenging it.

“They become liable for costs,” he said.

“There’s a note that they’re not liable for costs unless they put in an appearance, so it gives the form of a hearing that basically says, ‘If you turn up, we will be trying to impose court costs upon you.'”

Earlier this year, contentious data-retention laws passed the Senate.

The legislation forces telecommunications providers to keep records of phone and internet use for two years, as well as allow security agencies to access the records.

Both major parties argued the laws are important in assisting counter-terrorism and serious crime investigations.

The Greens argued against it, saying it would entrench a system of passive, mass surveillance, but Mr Vaile said the latest bill poses more of a threat to internet freedom than the data-retention laws.

“The data-retention laws are part of the general push to get [internet service providers] to be working for interests which may be against your interests and may be before other third-party interests, like governments,” he said.

“In terms of content blocking or filtering or censorship, this one, at present, is probably the most successful of the four or five different attempts to impose various sorts of internet censorship or filtering in Australia so far.”

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