From The Sydney Morning Herald:
Australia’s Copyright Agency has welcomed a decision by the British High Court requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to websites hosting millions of pirated e-book titles.
The decision comes as a Senate Committee is due to submit its final report next week on site-blocking legislation in Australia, which would allow copyright holders to force Australian ISPs via the courts to block copyright infringing websites such as these.
The decision means Britain’s five major ISPs – BT, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk and EE – will be asked to block seven offshore-hosted websites within 10 working days.
The sites – AvaxHome, Bookfi, Bookre, Ebookee, Freebookspot, Freshwap and LibGen – are currently accessible in Australia and host download links to full copies of e-books, including from best-selling Australian authors such as Tim Winton and Fiona McIntosh.
If passed, the federal government’s Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015, currently before the House of Representatives, would allow Australian publishers to apply through the courts to block “online locations” which facilitate piracy of content such as films, TV series, e-books and news articles.
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Other parties, such as consumer rights group CHOICE, have called site-blocking “demonstrably ineffective”, arguing that determined pirates can circumvent blocked sites with the aid of tools such as virtual private networks (VPNs). They also argue the costs of administering site-blocking will ultimately be passed on to consumers.
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The British High Court case marks the first time e-book publishers have sought an order forcing ISPs to block access to infringing sites.
The British Publishers Association said about 80 per cent of the 10 million or so titles hosted on the websites named in the case – and in some cases as much as 90 per cent – were found to be infringing copyright.
Publishers had already issued 1 million take-down notices relating to infringing material on the sites, the association said.
Link to the rest at Sydney Morning Herald