3 Count: Australian Blockade

3 Count: Australian Blockade Image

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1: Australian Website-Blocking Laws Get Green Light

First off today, Ben Grubb at the Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Australian Senate Standing Committees on Legal and Constitutional Affairs has given its approval for the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 to be passed, which the full Senate is expected to do shortly.

The legislation requires ISPs to block access to web sites that are used for the purpose of copyright infringement once a court order has been issued. The committee only proposed a handful of amendments to the bill, one of which would require the effectiveness of the measure to be reevaluated in 2 years time.

The bill has been deeply controversial not just due to its proposed blocking of websites, but that the language of the bill may result in the blocking of virtual private networks (VPNs), which are often used to circumvent such blockades as well as provide privacy and security to users. The committee did not address the issue directly but did say that it would be “reassured” if the issue were addressed but said that VPNs would not likely qualify for blocking under the law.

2: Pirate Party Adopts Torrent Tracker to Fight Legal Pressure

Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that the Greek Pirate Party has announced it will adopt the BitTorrent tracker Coppersurfer to try and defend it from legal threats.

The tracker, which was removed from its Dutch host and then a German host this year is facing continued challenges with its new host, also in the EU. Though the site claims to be complying with local laws, the legal challenges are continuing.

Though the Greek Pirate Party says they will not be able to shield the site from the legal challenges, they believe that they are in a better position to protect and defend the service than the site’s original operator. In the meantime, German Pirate Party MEP is going to see if there is some way to get the site’s eviction from its German host overturned.

3: The Guardian Uses Copyright to Shush a Critic of its Cultural Criticism

Finally today, Jon Healy at the L.A. Times reports that the London-based newspaper The Guardian has ordered the removal of a YouTube video posted by a critic of the paper’s reporting on cultural issues.

The video, posted by a YouTuber who goes by the name of Sargon of Akkad. The video was a teardown of a Guardian video created by Eliza Anyangwe about Africa. Sargon was calling attention to stereotypes and other issues he took with the video. However, in his video, Sargon showed the entire content of The Guardian’s video, but with his own commentary and thoughts overplayed.

The move drew strong criticism from Sargon’s followers and others on YouTube. The Guardian, however, said that it was willing to work with Sargon to get the video back online in a way they didn’t feel was infringing. However, Sargon’s video is already back on YouTube though it is unclear why or if the move is permanent.

Suggestions

That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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