The fight back to get rights back

Friday, 08 May 2015

Frustrated by the ‘digital decimation’ of the livelihoods of its 87,000 Australian songwriter and composer members, rights owners have lobbied the Federal Government to give artists ammunition in the fight against web pirates.

After engaging in a consultation process with rights holders and ISPs regarding the best way to reduce online copyright infringement, in December 2014 the Government wrote a Ministerial letter to stakeholders advising that the Government proposed to introduce legislation in 2015 aimed at reducing copyright infringement and requiring parties to jointly draft and implement an ISP copyright notice scheme.

As promised, the Government released the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 in March of this year. If passed, the Bill will allow rights holders to seek an injunction in the Federal Court to block access to websites such as The Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrents which unlawfully distribute their music.

Earlier this month APRA AMCOS’ CEO Brett Cottle AM took a pivotal role in a special Senate Committee Hearing convened to investigate the merits of the Bill. Brett Cottle

 It will give to creative industries a means to fight back, it will assist in changing the behaviour of Australian consumers and, most importantly, it will send a powerful, practical and symbolic message to the artists and creators of Australia 

“Australia's creative industries have been waiting for a very long time for Parliament to provide an expression of support and respect for their work and their place in the life of the nation."

The Senate Committee is due to report back to the House of Representatives by 29 May with the Bill to be considered by Parliament in its June sittings.

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