Australia gets its Internet filter after Senate vote

Opposition? We've heard of it

Australia is to get its not-an-Internet-filter, with the government and the opposition joining forces to pass the bill in the Senate.

“This bill will make a contribution” to copyright remedies, Labor's Jacinta Collins told the Senate, calling it a “modest” proposal bill.

Saying that deterrence is only a partial solution, Collins also noted that rights holders' reluctance to release material in Australia in a timely manner contributes to a willingness to copy material.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said the bill is “lazy and dangerous”, the first because the government that's introducing the filter site-blocking bill without acting on the recommendations of a report into copyright law reform.

Explaining his view that the bill is dangerous, Ludlam said “perhaps it's a modest little filter, but from little things, big things grow.”

The law allows content owners to request a court to block sites on the basis that their primary purpose is to infringe copyright, or to facilitate infringement.

Neither the detailed mechanisms – for example, how an address is defined – nor how the costs of the regime have been determined.

The bill passed 37 votes for (the government and the "opposition") to 13 against.

An activist site has been set up to track sites blocked under the legislation. ®

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