Words by: Jonathon Denholm
On Monday, new anti-piracy laws were passed through the senate. The new laws are an attempt to make accessing illegal, film, music and TV content more difficult for Australians.
You won’t notice any immediate changes, but the content right holders will soon enter legal battles in an attempt to impose injunctions on specific sites.
If the federal court agrees that a websites “primary purpose” is to “infringe, or facilitate the infringement of, copyright,” then a court order will ensure that internet service providers (ISPs) such as Telstra, Optus and iiNet block users form accessing the content.
There are a number of concerns with the new laws, primarily in the broad wording of the new law. The term “primary purpose” could lead to sites such as Dropbox and YouTube being inaccessible from Australia.
The greens attempted to amend the law, but failed. They attempted to add a stipulation that would allow any third party the right to review a website block as well as tighten the definition of “primary purpose.”
“We are trying to minimise the risk of collateral damage,” Greens senator Scott Ludlam said.
“Does anyone seriously believe that this scheme won’t be expanded in the future to cover more categories of content? Of course it will. It has scope creep absolutely built into it. It is lazy, and it is dangerous.”
As for those of you who want to avoid the impending blocks, you will still be able to do so with a VPN service. A VPN sends your internet traffic via an overseas server, essentially masking your location and allowing you to access content blocked to Australian users.
The government has agreed to review the anti-piracy laws after an 18 month period.