Reading time: 3 minutes

In a society entertained by movies, music and TV shows, chances are that you know someone who has watched something online for free or perhaps downloaded music without paying for it. There have been some recent changes that will affect the way online piracy has proliferated on the internet. Below, we set out the three key things you should be aware of as a consumer.

1. Website Blocking

February of this year saw the first application of the new website blocking provisions in s 115 of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) by Village Roadshow and seven other multimedia companies. They have initiated an action to block access to popular video sharing sites including SolarMovie, Torrentz and The Pirate Bay. More recently in April, some of Australia’s biggest music companies have joined to file an application under the same provision to block access to popular torrent site KickassTorrents.

The new provision in question gives the Federal Court the power to order an injunction requiring Internet Service Providers to block websites that facilitate infringement of copyright. It was specifically enacted to tackle online piracy on a massive scale. At the moment, however, Village Roadshow’s case has been waylaid by cost disputes – and it is unlikely the outcome of the case will come soon.

2. You’re Unlikely to Be Targeted – Yet

The Government’s development of a Copyright Notice Scheme also dubbed the “three strikes code”, that would allow copyright holders to send notices to all alleged pirates ordering them to cease illicit downloads appears to have been stalled. The high costs of the scheme and financial constraints placed on ISPs have caused copyright holders to hit pause on a national code – for now.

As an individual, it is unlikely that copyright holders will come after you directly. The outcome of the Dallas Buyers Club last year saw copyright holders’ attempt to gain access to the names and addresses of alleged pirates from ISPs fail. However, the case was important in that the Court did deliver its preliminary discovery decision in favour of rights holders – it was only the additional restrictions and the fact that the cost of communicating with alleged infringers would outweigh the penalty ordered that ultimately stopped Dallas Buyers Club from proceeding. It is important to note that a penalty on copyright infringers is still a possibility in the future.

3. Piracy is Illegal

The commonality of online piracy makes it easy to forget that it is, essentially, illegal under the law. Copyright is inherent and automatic in Australia, and by knowing distributing or possessing copyrighted material without the consent of the copyright holder will violate copyright law.

There are now various sites that allow you to easily access new movies and music online legally with little cost, e.g. Netflix and Spotify. While it is still possible to download pirated material online, the Government, as well as copyright holders, have made it clear they are determined to stop online piracy. While accessing pirated materials is unlikely ever to become impossible, it could soon become much more challenging. If you have any questions about copyright, get in touch with our IP lawyers.

Webinars

Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Online
Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards