Australian copyright holders take advantage of new piracy laws

An amendment to current copyright laws in Australia has brought beneficial changes to intellectual property (IP) rights owners, especially those with original creations on content-sharing platforms such as YouTube. The Copyright Amendment Bill was passed in November 2018 and amends the 1968 Copyright Act.

The update on the regulations concern primarily copyright infringement and will see changes in search engine results, mirror sites and how illegal websites hosted overseas are handled, amongst other subjects.

One of the main changes is the extension of current legislation to include websites whose primary effect is to infringe on copyright, and not solely sites whose primary purpose is copyright infringement. This includes websites that allow individuals to convert YouTube videos to MP3 or MP4 files and to download the converted files, thereby downloading copyrighted original creations.

Rights holders can now seek injunctions to have fraudulent material on these types of websites removed from search engine results. So-called mirror sites, copies of illegal websites that have been taken down with very similar URLs, can also be easier to take down once discovered. The amendment has also made it easier for rights-holders to have infringing websites taken down despite being hosted in other countries.

The Australian Government’s aim is to help rights-owners protect their intellectual property from copyright infringement.


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