It's Laughably Easy To Circumvent Australia's Torrent Site Blocking

Requiring ISPs to be copyright police

The Anti-Piracy Site Blocking Law Is Already In Effect In Australia
Australian ISPs have been under a lot of pressure over the past few years to help copyright owners police their rights. Create one here Forgot your password? It's worth mentioning to start that it's entirely legal to download torrents. Your email must be valid for account activation. If a court order is granted, the ISP must take reasonable steps to disable access to the online location. This case is the first use of a new law, introduced in , that allows copyright owners to apply to the Federal Court for an order requiring ISPs to block access to foreign-hosted websites. There is a point to clear.

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Blocking Access To Illegal File-Share Websites Won't Stop Illegal Downloading

The court ordered ISPs to block access within 15 business days of its decision. After this time, any user trying to access one of the blocked domains will be redirected to a webpage established by copyright owners, which will inform them that the domain has been blocked because of copyright infringement.

This case is the first use of a new law, introduced in , that allows copyright owners to apply to the Federal Court for an order requiring ISPs to block access to foreign-hosted websites. Under the new provision, section A , copyright owners must show that the foreign-hosted website has the primary purpose of facilitating copyright infringement. If a court order is granted, the ISP must take reasonable steps to disable access to the online location.

The Federal Court has further powers make orders about the technical means by which the ISP must disable access. These laws are becoming more common around the world, as major copyright owners try to find legal solutions to copyright infringement.

An important concern about the Australian law is that it is potentially very broad in scope. But these words are not defined in the Act or in existing case law. This uncertainty creates a risk that section A may be applied sweepingly, with potentially serious consequences for internet users. Australian ISPs have been under a lot of pressure over the past few years to help copyright owners police their rights. In the iiNet trial , the High Court found that iiNet had no obligation to terminate the internet access of subscribers suspected of using BitTorrent to download and share copyrighted files.

But in the end, nobody could agree about who would pay for the scheme. The ISPs in this case, as with the three strikes agreement, seemed mostly concerned about who should bear the costs of the blocking scheme.

Because this is a case between large copyright owners and ISPs, the interests of consumers have not been well represented. The court also ordered that addresses belonging to SolarMovie be blocked, even though it is no longer operational. This is a win for due process, because it ensures that the court maintains control over the process.

But it also shows that this is largely a symbolic victory. The experience from overseas shows how easy it is for a site such as The Pirate Bay to change its address faster than courts can keep up. Consumers can also easily use VPNs and proxies to access the sites through private and secure connections. The court ordered ISPs to block access within 15 business days of its decision. After this time, any user trying to access one of the blocked domains will be redirected to a webpage established by copyright owners, which will inform them that the domain has been blocked because of copyright infringement.

This case is the first use of a new law, introduced in , that allows copyright owners to apply to the Federal Court for an order requiring ISPs to block access to foreign-hosted websites.

Under the new provision, section A , copyright owners must show that the foreign-hosted website has the primary purpose of facilitating copyright infringement. If a court order is granted, the ISP must take reasonable steps to disable access to the online location. The Federal Court has further powers make orders about the technical means by which the ISP must disable access. These laws are becoming more common around the world, as major copyright owners try to find legal solutions to copyright infringement.

An important concern about the Australian law is that it is potentially very broad in scope. But these words are not defined in the Act or in existing case law. This uncertainty creates a risk that section A may be applied sweepingly, with potentially serious consequences for internet users. Australian ISPs have been under a lot of pressure over the past few years to help copyright owners police their rights.

In the iiNet trial , the High Court found that iiNet had no obligation to terminate the internet access of subscribers suspected of using BitTorrent to download and share copyrighted files. But in the end, nobody could agree about who would pay for the scheme. The ISPs in this case, as with the three strikes agreement, seemed mostly concerned about who should bear the costs of the blocking scheme. Because this is a case between large copyright owners and ISPs, the interests of consumers have not been well represented.

ISPs are concerned film owners might follow a trend from overseas jurisdictions and send letters demanding excessive and speculative damages from the subscribers.

Other countries have considered or implemented similar three-strikes or graduated response schemes. Some of these schemes have been implemented by government including a scheme in New Zealand and one in France which has since been discontinued , whereas others have been negotiated directly between copyright owners and ISPs and implemented voluntarily including US and UK schemes.

The proposal by the Communications Alliance is more limited than those contemplated in other jurisdictions: There has also been international concern that graduated response schemes which cut off internet access raise freedom of expression issues and are generally not proportionate. It should be noted however that a number of areas of disagreement still exist between rights holders and ISPs over the proposal, including the way that the scheme will be funded.

This is a significant remaining area of dispute as the costs of such systems can be very high. In circumstances where the effectiveness of such schemes have been called into question, the prospect of such costs being passed on to consumers either indirectly by copyright owners or ISPs is a matter of concern.

Still, while there remains the possibility of changes before the 8 April deadline, the graduated response scheme as drafted is significantly less burdensome on Australian internet users than might have been expected.

Whether such a scheme with a predominately educative focus is capable of changing the behaviour of Australian copyright infringers remains to be seen. Write an article and join a growing community of more than 72, academics and researchers from 2, institutions. Available editions United States. Follow Topics Free trade Unemployment Prescription drugs.

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SBS News App. Download our free app on the App Store or Google Play for the latest headlines and breaking news alerts. Some reports have suggested this reset feature will permit Australian users to download infringing material twice a year with minimal risk of . Australian court cracks down on illegal downloads. But after Australia'sparliament last year amended a law to crack down on illegal downloads, Foxtel and Village Roadshow applied to the Federal Court to demand the file-sharing websites, such as Pirate Bay, Torrentz, TorrentHound and five dozen other sites be blocked.