Australia’s New Copyright Law to Shutter PirateBay and Kickass Websites

In yet another swing on Pirate Bay, Kickass Torrents and other sites hosting pirated contents, the Australian government is on the verge of a copyright law that will compel ISP’s to pull down such sites. The news proposed law has received criticism and praise in equal measure.

The Pirate Bay, Kickass Torrents and other sites thriving on distribution of pirated contents may soon be a thing of the past at least in Australia, if an initiative by the government to pass a law that compels Internet Service providers to sabotage such sites will sail through.

Reports from Fairfax media indicate that  Australia’s attorney George Brandis and country’s Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who have been in long standoff over the issue, are now working on a common submission to present to cabinet before Christmas.

Sources close to the matter revealed the cabinet submission was “nearly complete” and the proposal could be in parliament in a matter of weeks.  Mr. Turnbull on his part refused to divulge on how far his team has gone with the submission.  “I think our work on [online copyright infringement] is fairly well advanced but I regret to say I’m a traditionalist here; I don’t comment on what happens in the cabinet let alone what is being brought to the cabinet,’’  said Turnbull, adding that it was “no secret” the government was moving fast to nip copyright offenders at the nip.

Most likely, the Brandis-Turnbull proposal will compel Internet service providers to send notices of copyright infringement on Movies and TV shows to their customers. Experts also expect the proposed law to make it easier for content developers to get acourt injunctionto pull down websites hosting or linking pirated contents.

Currently, only a few internet service providers in Australia notably, TPG and Exetel are providing a copyright infringement notice to their Customers, while other providers areunwilling to commit to such a program.  iiNet CEO David Buckingham, is on record saying iiNet won’t transform into an copyright enforcer, citing a need to draw the line between provision of internet servers and enforcing copyright.

The news comes in the wake of an ongoing legal battle between internet service provider iiNet and Dallas Buyers Club LLC (Dalls LLC) over copyright infringement. It all started after the copyright litigant Dallas LLC initiated a “Preliminary Discovery” in an effort to obtain personal details on iiNet’s customers who purportedly infringed on its copyrights. iiNet declined to release such information, citing fear of speculative invoicing. If it sails through, the proposed copyright Law is likely turn tables on iiNet in ashowdown expected in court early next year.

In recent months,the office of the Attorney General has been under intense criticism for failure to publish hundreds of submissions made to the copyright infringement discussion paper in July. Apparently, the AG’s office only published submissions from the elite groups, ignoring hundreds of other recommendation from the public despite the government promising that all submissions would be published. Industry experts postulate that Brandis and Turnbull considered the recommendations from the public when drafting their final submission or risk a backlash from the public.

Top/Featured Image: By Marcin n® / Wikipedia (

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Lawrence Mwangi Lawrence is a technology and business reporter. He has freelanced for a number of tech sites and magazines. He is a web-enthusiast, with a special interest in Online security, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. When not writing about tech he can be found in a Tennis court or on a chess board.
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