An Australian court has ordered all the ISPs operating in the country to take all the necessary measures to block all the sites that are associated with online copyright infringement practices. The Federal Court of Australia ruled that all the sites in Australia that enable individuals to pirate content and infringe upon the rights of copyright holders should be blocked.
Following the issuance of the court order, leading ISP providers in Australia expressed their willingness to comply with the order. A representative of Telstra, one of the leading Australian ISPs, said that the company is ready to comply with the court order, considering the gravity of the issue of online piracy.
It appears that other leading ISPs such as Optus will follow the example set by Telstra and block access to sites that allow users to infringe upon copyrights.
Copyright holders have also been celebrating the recent developments. Graham Burke, the CEO of Village Roadshow says that the new court order will go a long way in protecting intellectual property rights in the country.
However, one thing that many who are celebrating the court order miss is the ease with individuals can still bypass restrictions and access content using VPNs. Other observers have said that the new rules may be inconsequential, given the ease at which individuals can access VPN services. VPNs help internet users to successfully dodge geographical restrictions, bypass government censorship and access content from anywhere in the world.
According to Chris Fox of Inabox, a company, many people will adopt VPN services to beat the new order. It will be easy for people to bypass the restrictions and still access the pirate-enabling sites because ISPs cannot tell who is using a VPN service. He also adds that VPN services are relatively cheap and this makes them a perfect solution to the current problem.
Recently, the University of Queensland, in a study, said that Australia has the highest rates of online piracy. It added that many people in Australia seek to pirate content online because they feel that they do not have the right channels to access the content legally.
However, Burke argues that the new order will be effective, given that VPN services cost money. It appears that many copyright holders are of the opinion that the use of VPNs will be inconsequential once ISPs fully implement the new order in the country. It, therefore, remains to be seen how Australians will react to the recent developments, given that they can access VPN services easily.