Australia introduces new online infringement bill

A new Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill has been introduced to the Australian Parliament this week.

The Bill provides that copyright owners would be able to apply directly to the Federal Court for an injunction to disable access to an infringing online location, without having to first establish the Carriage Service Provider's (CSP) liability for copyright infringement or authorisation of copyright infringement.

The proposed Bill acknowledges the difficulties in taking direct enforcement action against entities operating outside Australia. According to the Explanatory Memorandum, the amendments are intended to create a no-fault remedy against CSPs where they are in a position to address copyright infringement. The Memorandum also states that “Copyright protection provides an essential mechanism for ensuring the viability and success of creative industries by incentivising and rewarding creators. Online copyright infringement poses a significant threat to these incentives and rewards, due to the ease in which copyright material can be copied and shared through digital means without authorisation.”

For more information, please see the suggested text of the Bill and the Explanatory Memorandum, which are available here.