The Federal Government wants legislation to block sites linked to online piracy pushed through Parliament by the end of June, meaning hosting websites such as The Pirate Bay could be blocked within months.
Attorney General George Brandis told a Senate Estimates hearing today the bill was of great importance to the creative industries who had seen the “fruits of their labour” eroded by piracy.
The bill, introduced by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull in March, would allow copyright holders to apply for court orders forcing internet service providers to block websites linked to piracy.
“We hope to have that legislation through the parliament before parliament rises for the winter recess,” Mr Brandis said.
Sites such as The Pirate Bay act as hosting websites for torrents which allow users to transfer files, in the form of movies, TV shows and music, to one another.
The piracy site-blocking move is part of a two-pronged approach to the Government’s piracy crackdown, with the Communications Alliance — under the guidance of Mr Brandis — releasing a code to give internet users accused of illegal downloading “three strikes” before ISPs hand over their personal details to copyright owners for potential legal action.
The three strikes would come in the form of three educational warning letters.
Under the code is currently being reviewed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Mr Brandis also flagged a review of the copyright act during the hearing, highlighting how it was formed when John Gorton was Prime Minister.
“It is a major, major piece of law reform,” he said.