Australia has joined the growing number of countries to pass anti-piracy laws in an attempt to help protect the music, publishing and entertainment industries. The law in question allows publishers or rights holders to challenge various torrenting websites. The challenge can force the pirating websites to close in order to maintain the rights of the copyright holders.
This legislation is expected to greatly decrease the number of piracy websites that have eBooks, movies, music and more available for download for free or at reduced prices from those of the original owners. While the legislation does require the original owners to challenge the websites, it does allow them with a governmental route to help protect their assets and property. The challenge requires internet providers to block the websites in question. Some are seeing this as an infringement of personal right, but the government has sided with the entertainment industry in this case.
This is not the first instance to be seen of internet providers being required to block pirating websites at the insistence of the government and copyright holders. A similar program has been established in the UK and actually had its first big court case last year. The outcome of the case required internet providers to block access to multiple websites that were hosting pirated eBooks. It will be interesting to see how the legislation works in Australia.