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Australian Film & TV Bodies Congratulate Parliment’s Vote

by Media Release - Thursday Nov 29

A group of Australian Film and TV bodies are welcoming the passage of the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2018 in Parliament yesterday with broad support across the political spectrum, strengthening the capacity of Australia’s screen industries to invest in new screen content.

The Bill will enable the creative industries to obtain injunctions requiring search engines to delist pirate domains and provide a means to block pirate site proxies more swiftly.

Furthermore, under the new Bill, copyright owners now only have to prove that an infringing website’s primary effect is piracy, as opposed to the higher bar of proving primary purpose.

Michael Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Association of Cinema Operators (NACO), is thrilled for the industry and its creators. “Creators have been given stronger tools to protect their works, and in turn everyone from the artists who create films to the cinema operators who screen them will have a more supportive environment in which to compete”.

Paul Wiegard, President of the Australian Independent Cinemas Association (AIDA), has also welcomed the bill. “More effective means to block piracy is critical for the ongoing development of the Australian film industry and film investment. Distributors and Producers continue to evolve the business model and this bill is a very positive step forward”.

Simon Bush, CEO of the Australian Home Entertain Distributors Association (AHEDA) said “These new laws will ensure Australia’s creative industries remain protected against online piracy and, importantly, extend the site blocking orders to include search platforms, allowing for de-listing of infringing sites”.

Scott Seddon, President of the Independent Cinemas Australia (ICA), added; “ICA applauds the decision of Parliament to toughen online anti-piracy laws. In these turbulent times in Canberra it is refreshing to see such a positive outcome which helps protect businesses and jobs, but more importantly reinforces the moral decisions of the vast majority of Australians that if you don’t pay for something legitimately, then you are not morally entitled to enjoy its benefits”.

Paul Muller, CEO of the Australia New Zealand Screen Association (ANZSA), concludes; “We congratulate and thank the Government and Opposition for their support for creators. The changes contained in the new bill will improve the site blocking process and give artists a fairer environment to work in”.