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Aussie web-blocking costs discussed in court

By | Published on Wednesday 26 October 2016


Earlier this year the Australian music industry decided to take advantage of a new law in the country that allows rights owners to seek web-blocks against copyright infringing websites by going to court and demanding that local internet service providers block access to top piracy hub KickassTorrents. Then the Americans went and forced that website off the internet entirely, so that’s annoying isn’t it?

Don’t worry, some mainly partial and temperamental Kickass clones have appeared online since the main site was shut down by the feds, so the Australian labels and music publishers are continuing with their web-block action against those, the pesky movie industry having already nabbed The Pirate Bay for its first big utilisation of Aussie web-blocking laws.

This means that the Australian music industry was back in court again this week seeking a web-block against a dead website, but not really, actually against the clones, because God knows, we really need to stop those damn clones. It’s a development which is only really interesting because Australian web-blocking is brand new, and that means there has been much debate about how exactly the web-blocking process should work.

The country’s net firms are no longer objecting to the concept of web-blocks, but they are still bickering about who should pay for the technology and admin costs of putting blockades in place and then subsequently blocking all and any proxies that pop up to help naughty file-sharing types still access their piracy sites of choice. Which may or may not be dead piracy sites that no longer exist, except in a second rate partial unofficial form.

Different ISPs have made different proposals about what they may charge for instigating the web-blocks, while rights owners obviously want to keep their costs to the absolute minimum. It remains to be seen what is agreed in this case, and whether that sets a cost effective standard that will allow the Australian music and movie industries to follow their UK counterparts in applying for a stack of blockades down the line.