Regulation Impact Statement Updates

Official website for publishing regulatory impact analysis information for regulatory decisions announced by the Australian Government, COAG and COAG Councils.

Copyright Website Blocking Scheme

Aust Gov
28th November 2018

Regulation Impact Statement – Department of Communications and the Arts

On 18 October 2018, the Government introduced the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2018 to amend the online copyright infringement scheme.

The Bill amends section 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 to enable copyright owners to more effectively enforce their rights by blocking Australian users from accessing overseas online locations that facilitate large-scale infringement of copyright. The amendments will:

  • provide that an injunction may be granted in respect of an online location that has the ‘primary purpose or primary effect’ of infringing copyright (or facilitating copyright infringement), updating the current ‘primary purpose’ threshold
  • enable a copyright owner to seek an injunction against online search engine providers, adding to the existing provision for an injunction against carriage service providers
  • provide a rebuttable presumption that an online location is outside Australia
  • clarify that the Federal Court may grant injunctions in terms that allow copyright owners and service providers (including carriage service providers and online search engine providers) to agree to take certain further steps to disable access or not provide search results
  • enable the Minister to declare that particular online search engine providers, or classes of online search engine providers, be exempt from the scheme.

A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was prepared by the Department of Communications and the Arts, and has been assessed as compliant by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR). While the RIS would have benefited from greater analysis of the market and the impact on Australian copyright holders, the OBPR assessed the overall level of analysis in the RIS as commensurate with the likely impacts, consistent with best practice. 

The Department estimates the reforms will result in a one-off regulatory cost of $0.5 million. The OBPR has agreed to this estimate.

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