SOPA lessons for Australia

PIPA and SOPA may be dead in the water for now, but it’s worth remembering that the most controversial part of the legislation is something the Australian Government has been thinking about for years.

One of the provisions in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that raised the most amount of anger, and was also one of the first to be quickly removed, was that the US Government would be able to force US-based internet service providers (ISPs) to block overseas websites found to contain copyright-infringing material.

Outrage ensued, the provision was removed, Wikipedia blacked out and the legislation was ultimately shelved.

In Australia, the Attorney-General’s Department has reassured us that the government currently has no plans of bringing in any new SOPA-style laws, instead preferring an industry-based model for dealing with piracy.

But website blocking has been on the cards for the Australian Government for many years, in the form of the mandatory internet filter — via

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