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The Australian parliamentary committee investigating the government's 'pirate' site-blocking Bill has given the legislation the green light. In a report published this morning the committee recommends that following several amendments the Bill should be passed. As a result, sites such as The Pirate Bay will soon by off-limits to Aussie subscribers. Late 2014, Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked the Australian Cabinet to approve the development of a new system which would allow rightsholders to obtain site-blocking injunctions against ISPs. In March a draft of that legislation was introduced to parliament. Since then the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 has been under investigation by the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee. After examining the framework which allows rightsholders to apply for blocks against â€˜pirateâ€™ sites located overseas, this morning the Committee published a report that notes four recommendations but otherwise gives the legislation a green light. Recommendations When an application is made by a rightsholder for a blocking injunction, the Bill in its current form requires the Court to consider at least eight factors when determining whether an application should be granted. These include whether a site shows a general disregard for copyright, whether it has been blocked already in another jurisdiction, and the â€˜flagrancyâ€™ of any infringement. Responding to rightsholder complaints that the bar had been set too high, alongside a belief that the thresholds for proving infringement had been narrowly established elsewhere in the Bill, the Committee advised an amendment from â€œis to take the following matters into accountâ€ to the watered down â€œmay take the following matters into accountâ€. The recommendations also address VPNs, noting that â€œthe Bill does not explicitly contemplate the introduction of injunctions against VPNsâ€, adding that â€œVPNs are unlikely to meet the â€˜primary purpose testâ€™ [designed for infringing uses].â€ The Committee noted, however, that it would be â€œreassuredâ€ if the government clarified the status of such tools. In respect of the â€œreasonable stepsâ€ ISPs will be expected to take in order to â€œdisable access to an online locationâ€, the Committee advised that these may include the posting of a landing page, similar to those currently used in the UK, which advise visitors that the site in question has been blocked alongside details of the order. In another recommendation the Committee calls upon the government to provide greater clarity and guidance on the issue of costs and liability for ISPs after they comply with a court order to block a site. â€œThe committee urges the government to clarify its position regarding the attribution of costs of compliance with orders where injunctive relief is granted,â€ the report reads. â€œThe committee notes the persuasive evidence of service providers to the effect that as [an ISP] bears no fault or liability for the infringement of copyright by its subscribers, [the ISP] should not be required to contribute to the cost of the remedy. The committee is of the view that more clarity is required to reassure [iSPs] that the costs associated with site-blocking will primarily be borne by those parties who are seeking the remedy.â€ In other words, if rightsholders want to benefit from a site block, they should be the ones to pay for its implementation. Finally, the Committee advises that the new legislation should be given an initial 24 months to do its work. At this point it should be re-examined to assess its performance. â€œThe committee recommends that the government conduct a formal review of the effectiveness of the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill2015, to be completed two years after its enactment,â€ the Committee concludes. Dissenting Report â€“ Australian Greens In a second report published alongside the Committeeâ€™s this morning, Senator Scott Ludlam of the Australian Greens slams the Bill as the â€œlatest in a long line of misguided attempts by the government to monitor, control and censor the Internet.â€ Noting that the Bill hands â€œsignificantâ€ new censorship powers to the court, Ludlam says that the evidence shows that it will be relatively easy to bypass the Billâ€™s provisions. Furthermore, the Bill lacks safeguards to ensure that legitimate online sources arenâ€™t subjected to overblocking. â€œMost importantly, there is also a significant weight of evidence showing that the Bill will not meet its aims, as it does not address the underlying cause of online copyright infringement: The continual refusal of offshore rights holders to make their content available in a timely, convenient and affordable manner to Australians,â€ Ludlam concludes. https://torrentfreak.com/aussie-pirate-site-blocking-bill-given-the-green-light-150611/