Senate report on website-blocking bill pushed back

Report on anti-piracy bill now due before 9 June

The parliamentary inquiry into the government's online copyright enforcement bill, which will under certain circumstances compel ISPs to block access to pirate websites, has pushed back its reporting date.

The Senate Standing Committees on Legal and Constitutional Affairs has been examining the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015.

The bill will allow copyright holders to apply for a court order to force an ISP to block access to a particular "online location", such as a website.

The Senate inquiry had been due to report today, after earlier this month pushing back the reporting date from 13 May.

The committee said it now expects to table its final report on the bill by 9 June.

So far the inquiry has held only one public hearing. That hearing was attended by two senators.

Although it has been lauded by rights holders and met with support from some telcos, the website blocking bill has been slammed by critics as a quasi Internet filter.

Attorney-General George Brandis yesterday indicated that the government wants the bill passed next month before parliament rises on 25 June for a recess.

The draft legislation program (PDF) for the House of Representatives has debate on the bill listed as due to resume on 1 June.

Brandis yesterday told a Senate Estimates hearing that the government was also interested in "root and branch" reform of the Copyright Act.

Yesterday it was also revealed that a second key component of the government's copyright crackdown, the introduction of an industry code that will see ISP customers sent a series of warning notices if they engage in illicit downloads, was stalled.

Negotiations between telcos and rights holders over funding to establish and operate the scheme are continuing.

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Tags copyrightCommunications AllianceAustralian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)piracyAustralian Communications and Media Authoritycopyright infringement

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