FOXTEL will be the first rights-holder to begin launching legal proceedings, with the company confirming it is receiving legal advice on how it can best put the new anti-piracy legislation into effect.
If Foxtel does launch a case in the coming months, it would be aimed at blocking websites such as The Pirate Bay, which Australians flock to to illegally download shows such as Game of Thrones, which Foxtel has the exclusive rights to in Australia.
A Foxtel spokesman told news.com.au: “The Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill does nothing more than give copyright holders similar rights in relation to foreign websites which steal their content to those they would have if the sites were based in Australia.
“Because these pirate sites do not exist in Australia, rights holders are not able to take direct legal action against them.
“Similar laws exists in Europe, the UK, Singapore and many other jurisdictions.
“Foxtel and other rights holders are currently assessing what action can and should be taken to give effect to the legislation.”
The news pirates have been dreading. Source: Supplied
While it might seem as simple as presenting the Federal Court with links of illegal content, rights holders have to present a list of things to prove that one of the website’s main purposes is to host copyrighted content.
This includes testing whether people will be impacted significantly by blocking the site and seeing whether it’s in the public interest to block the site.
If successful, it would force internet providers such as Telstra and iiNet to block access to those sites from Australia.
However, similar systems have been used overseas in countries including the UK, with little success. Some of the most popular torrenting sites in the world, including The Pirate Bay and Kick Ass Torrents have all been blocked, but locals have continued to find ways to download content.
Typically, within hours of a site being put on the block list by an internet provider, hundreds of mirror sites that offer the same content pop up for users to access. When the first wave of mirror sites are taken down or blocked, more sites will crop up to replace them. It’s a never ending circle.
However, The Pirate Bay, the world’s biggest torrenting site, now uses a new service to stop most internet service providers from blocking it. It works by effectively hiding identifying information about The Pirate Bay from internet providers, making it harder for it to be blocked.
James Brandes from ORGZine, a UK digital rights magazine, said: “Not only is the block policy fundamentally failing, but it raises important censorship.