It wants broadcasters, copyright owners and ISPs to work together on a warning notice scheme for infringements, but will also introduce legislation to block piracy websites.
Attorney General Senator Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull wrote to “industry leaders” advising:
We expect the code to address the following objectives:
- that ISPs take reasonable steps (including the development of an education and warning notice scheme) to deter online copyright infringement on their network, when they are made aware of infringing subscribers, in a manner that is proportionate to the infringement
- informing consumers of the implications of copyright infringement and legitimate alternatives that provide affordable and timely content
- providing appropriate safeguards for consumers
- fairly apportioning costs as between ISPs and rights holders
- ensuring smaller ISPs are not unfairly or disproportionately affected, and
- include a process for facilitated discovery to assist rights holders in taking direct copyright infringement action against a subscriber after an agreed number of notices.
The Government has also decided to introduce legislation that will enable a court to order the blocking of overseas hosted websites that can be shown to be primarily for the purpose of facilitating online copyright infringement.Foxtel today welcomed the Government’s decision to legislate to help address the issue of online piracy.
Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein was quick to welcome the steps.
“We recognise that there are a number of things that need to be done to address this problem. At Foxtel we are addressing the issue by making content available quickly, through our Express from the U.S. initiative, and affordably, with new pricing and the launch of the Presto service,” he said.
“The introduction of legislation will have two main effects. First, it gives us tools to deal with the operators of pirate sites. The people who run pirate sites are criminals who steal content from creators and profit from their theft.
“Secondly, it will allow us to reach out to people who download illegitimate content to educate them that what they are doing is wrong and that there are many legal options they could take. The fact that there will be legislation will itself be an important factor in sending the message that piracy is wrong.
“We look forward to working with the Government and other industry participants to develop a workable regime.”
In unrelated news raids this week by Swedish police saw torrent sites The Pirate Bay, EZTV, Zoink, Torrage and the Istole tracker all taken offline.
According to TorrentFreak, a police raid targeted a data centre in Nacka which is ‘built into a mountain.’
Paul Pintér, Sweden’s police national coordinator for IP enforcement, said “There has been a crackdown on a server room in Greater Stockholm. This is in connection with violations of copyright law.”
But the move appears to have been short-lived with The Pirate Bay already back online at a Costa Rican top-level domain.