A leaked discussion paper from both Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has floated the possibility of websites being blocked, and measures to compel ISPs to take steps to prevent their customers infringing on copyright online.
Five months after first flagging a crackdown was on its way, Brandis appears to be pushing ahead with plans to crack down on Australians using programs such as BitTorrent to obtain copyright-infringing content such as TV shows, music, and films.
The discussion paper, leaked to Crikey, had been expected to be released this month, following Brandis meeting with representatives in the US and UK governments on their respective copyright infringement deterrence schemes.
It outlines a number of potential legislative measures the government can implement to deter what the paper said is a "long standing issue" with Australians having "high illegal download rates".
The government states in the document that it believes even if an ISP doesn't have a direct power to prevent its users from infringing on copyright, there are "reasonable steps" it can take to deter infringement.
In a move to undo the 2012 High Court judgment that iiNet did not authorise its users' copyright infringement, the paper proposes amending the Copyright Act to extend authorisation of copyright infringement and the "power to prevent" infringement would just be one factor the courts would consider in determining whether an ISP was liable for infringement.
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