Tips for lawyers
- Be tech savvy; know what kind of block will be most effective.
- Cover all bases; the primary purpose test and the discretionary matters in subsection (5) mean you need evidence about the website, its owner and its functions.
- Investigate; no matter how hidden they are, you need to at least make reasonable efforts to determine the website operator’s identity and notify them of the proceedings.
- Co-operate with the ISPs; this is a no fault provision- therefore, the proceedings don’t have to be adversarial. The more issues that can be agreed, the easier the application will be.
- Think past the orders; have a mechanism in mind for expanding/modifying the initial orders to cover domain shifting etc.
Online copyright infringement has been a problem for content owners since the inception of the internet. The unauthorised downloading (and uploading) of copyright material is especially prevalent in Australia, where a 2015 survey estimated that Australians download movies, songs and television programs in the hundreds of millions each year.1 While content owners have been criticised by some for not making content available in Australia (or making it available at a comparatively inflated price), the unauthorised downloading of copyright material is a clear infringement of content owners’ rights.