back to article Australia to build a pirate-proof fence: Brace yourselves, Google

Australia is certain to have a new "site blocking" regime imposed by the government, with a Senate committee deciding to wave the legislation through. The draft law passed the Senate on Wednesday and will return to the country's House of Representatives. On Monday evening, the Standing Committee on Environment and …

  1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    "primary effect" is infringement

    That's youtube fucked then.

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: "primary effect" is infringement

      I'd argue that depends rather a lot on how and who gets to decide how "primary effect" should be assessed. Because for the deluge of copyrightwise-challenged stuff that Youtube hosts, it still drowns in at least an order of magnitude more of cat videos, fail compilations, angsty teenager rants, furious SJW rants, rants of people furious about others' furious rants, rants of Dave Jones simply furious and never needing a reason to be so, "let's play" streamers and other genuine and would-be Youtube celebrities, and generally just people making a fool of themselves in front of a webcam. Astonishingly, even some arguably watch-worthy original content, which is already infinitely more than anything on "legitimate" TV (apologies to any mathematicians offended by equating "anything over zero" with infinity) - but that's just my highly subjective opinion.

      1. rmason Silver badge

        Re: "primary effect" is infringement


        In the past Youtube themselves have stated that around 80% of the content/traffic on their network is what would be called "pirated".

        Poster #1 is correct. Youtube will either disappear in Australia or they will be presented with a very different service to what they now see.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: "primary effect" is infringement

          But a lot of copyrighted content uploaded to youtube is configured to atrribute (including financially) to the copyright holder, who is thsn happy for the content to be there, so it's not all illegal pirated stuff.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: "primary effect" is infringement

      I doubt youtube will be "fucked", regardless of what the idiots in charge of Australia do. It's not like Australia has a huge population. Getting youtube into NoRk is probably higher on the Alphabet agenda than maintaining its legal footprint in Australia.

      Note I said "legal" ... Australians who want banned youtube content will be able to access it, one way or another. The Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it may be an old saw, but that doesn't make it any less true.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: "primary effect" is infringement

        "It's not like Australia has a huge population."

        Not huge perhaps, but at 24M still bigger than plenty of European countries such as Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, or Greece.

        The population of North Korea is about 25M though, so I'd suggest that they probably would have a similar priority for Youtube, if North Korea had any money.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "primary effect" is infringement

      No that's Australians wanting to watch YouTube fucked.


  2. iron Silver badge

    Well said Ms Rice, probably the only sensible person in the room.

    1. A.P. Veening


      A sensible politician, wonders do exist.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Sensible

        A sensible politician, wonders do exist.

        Yup, it's a pity not enough of the public vote for sensible (or have some definition of sensible that I for one can't recognise).

        But mainly most people don't feel comfortable voting for an unfamiliar party brand

      2. the Jim bloke Silver badge

        Re: Sensible

        Sadly they can only be sensible in areas tangental to their core brand.

        Anything "Green" has to be promoted, regardless of how idiotic or counter-productive, otherwise they will be accused of "going soft" and "selling out" by their own loony brigade.

      3. phuzz Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Sensible

        A sensible politician == one who agrees with me

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      If people really want your stuff you have to sell it?

      Fuck off.

      1. Spazturtle Silver badge

        "If people really want your stuff you have to sell it?"

        When that stuff is not real property but 'intellectual' property then yes.

        If you don't want to sell me a painting your made that's fine, but you shouldn't be able to stop me painting my own copy to hang in my living room.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          re: stop me painting my own copy to hang in my living room.

          Is that what happens? Youtube is full of carefully crafted replicas of copyrighted material?

          If I was a painter and you wanted to paint something that looks the same that's fine. But that isn't how this works, the copies take no effort to make, involve no creativity on your behalf and are indistinguishable from the original.

          The thing is you love paintings and they bring you happiness. But you seem to think that's all the reward a painter needs.

          1. MiguelC Silver badge

            Re: re: stop me painting my own copy to hang in my living room.

            I'd say it's more akin to a musician licensing their music but wanting to stop you - specifically - from listening to it.

            So yeah, if they licence it, they can not stop you from enjoying it.

            1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

              Re: re: stop me painting my own copy to hang in my living room.

              So if Katy Perry doesn't like President Donald Trump playing "I Kissed A Girl And I Liked It" at his political rallies, it's just too bad for her? Even when he does the motions with it.

              Some content has legitimate value arguably by its artificial scarcity, such as pay-per-view shows of "Some People Hitting Each Other".

              Many art galleries prohibit photography, if you want a copy of Michelangelo's Little Willie to take home then you must proceed to the gallery's gift shop and try to get it over the counter. I think the days (several days) of lesser painters camping out in the gallery while cunningly producing a duplicate or near impression of the great piece also are mostly passed, but I haven't generally looked.

              There is much to worry about in the present Australian legislation, but happily also a fair chance that the entire continent will be razed by fire in the near future, so that those of us who don't live on or anywhere near it can cease to worry about matters that don't directly affect us.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Earth to Sabroni

        Nobody said anything about selling anything. Rice clearly said "affordably". I don't know where you come from, but where I come from it doesn't get any more affordable than being given away.

        But don't let reality stand in the way of a good rant. Do carry on.

  3. joed

    fences has surely worked for rabbits

    1. Symon Silver badge

      You need myxomatosis. Viruses work better than fences, which is why all that pirated content is full of them.


  4. caffeine addict Silver badge

    Can we have a sweepstake on how long it takes from implementation to a 14 year old blowing a hole through it you could sail the pirate bay galleon through?

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      Are you accepting negative timescales? I'm pretty sure it'll be bypassed before it even goes live.

  5. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Good news for VPN organisations and so forth...

    ...what is the current thinking in putting two fingers up to the site blocking shenanigans currently?

  6. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I doubt Google will be worried but if your a VPN provider or proxy I bet they are in the target for these new law to get blocked under the grounds that they can be used to get around the blocks put in to stop access to pirate sites..

    1. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

      That's a good point. And...

      ... I bet if you run Tor or something similar you'll be fingered (Ooh, errr)....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's a good point. And...

        @CAPS. Too late. Any VPN or Tor use makes the user a target for Federal police and has been the case for some years. Source is an official briefing. As recent events in Victoria demonstrate it is not doing any good, but lots of F5s or successors are probably being bought right now to mandate nation man-in-the-middle attacks.

        1. julian.smith

          Re: That's a good point. And...

          "Source is an official briefing."

          I call BS - provide evidence or STFU

          1. m0rt Silver badge

            Re: That's a good point. And...

            "I call BS - provide evidence or STFU"

            I would like to think this is how Snowden became incentivised to do what he did.

            Other than a moral imperative, that is.

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: That's a good point. And...

            I believe the proper expression is "post proof or retract".

            But it won't. They never do.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. adam payne Silver badge

    The test for a site's illegality will be widened from sites whose "primary purpose" is infringement, to cover sites whose "primary effect" is infringement, That's YouTube royally screwed.

    "copyright is better addressed by making the content available: conveniently, affordably, and in a timely way".

    Well there's a turn up for the books. Never expected a politician to say something sensible.

  8. msknight Silver badge

    Dentists in Queensland are quaking in their boots.

    Jocelyn Ashcroft, who runs a school canteen consultancy in Queensland, also said she had no idea why her site had made it on to the list. "The only thing I can think of is that I have emailed schools telling them about my book and CD resource How To Have A Healthy And Profitable Theme Day," she said.


    Daniel Purser, who runs a web hosting and design company out of NSW, was also shocked to learn that his site had been blacklisted. He said there was "no chance" his customers were hosting questionable content.


    The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, yesterday said the list was not genuine.

  9. The Count

    I can't wait...

    To see the outrage when the Australian population discovers it has been cut off from the Internet that most of the rest of the planet is enjoying. Australia = China South.

    1. Garymrrsn

      Re: I can't wait...

      Humans have evolved to become the most successful competitors on Earth. Unfortunately they have not evolved enough to fully understand the consequences of winning.

  10. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

    That's gone then!


    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: That's gone then!

      and a whole lot more file sharing sites, including the biggies, too.

  11. OffBeatMammal


    the consequence of this is that they'll just drive people to use VPNs (purchased from companies outside Australia) to bypass these restrictions ... leading to an increase in the other thing they fear which is evil-doers hiding behind encryption so they cant read their emails. I guess it depends on which lobbyist is shovelling cash into their pocket that wins out.

    while the rights holders make the rules about what you can watch complicated, convoluted, and feel like they're exploitative (having moved countries, and DVD regions, three times I've given up buying physical media that I can't digitise)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cut off you say?




  13. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

    The Australian legislature are IDIOTS PERIOD !!! I could just BLOW THROUGH THIS BLOCKAGE in three seconds with encrypted peer-to-peer and DISTRIBUTED search engines(of my design of course!)

    I can actually REPLACE Google and create a non-single-location search engine that can index EVERY site in the world without restrictions on search results! AND NO government could stop the technology since I can even do it wirelessly at the mobile phone BASEBAND level of communications without ANY filtering from the main Operating System using distributed mesh-based communications!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Comments are attributed to your handle

      Sure you can champ

      And under which one of your company's secret volcano lairs does this technology exist?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can COOK UP a tasty WORD SALAD

      using my OWN DESIGN of IPv10 which adds the best parts of IPv4 to IPv6 for COMPLETE RESILIENCE that the NSA can never crack using SUB ETHER harmonics. I work for the BIGGEST Canadian firm you NEVER HEARD OF because we are in SKUNK-works mode until my friend Mr Tracey who founded it is named SPACE POPE.

  14. Denarius Silver badge

    root cause?

    to my humble uneducated eyes, this looks like another "globalisation is inevitable with lots of benefits" that costs Oz citizens more as usual. Just like Oz Free Trade Treaties that seem to cost us and benefit only the other side. I for one am sick of merkin ads. At least the old Oz ones were not as infested with chunderous distorted audio. The IP cartels have long set Oz prices well above anywhere else for same product if it was even available. Inside national borders the process is called cartel behaviour. In Oz it is business as usual. This site blocking is another attempt to force Australians to buy high priced goods rather than stop the media companies discriminating against Australia. No wonder Oz had high piracy rates. It was the often only way to get what anyone else overseas could buy. This legislation looks to be bought and paid for by the Big End of Town which TweddleDee and TweedleDum have long been in thrall to. (For non Oz citizens, Liberal and Labour parties, the two pretend political entities in OZ)

    No doubt some fool fuzz thinks it might also restrict access to Daesh propaganda also.

    1. Winkypop Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: root cause?

      ^^ This

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: root cause?

      You get adverts for pubic hairpieces? I'd be pretty irritated too. On the bright side, there is a cure. You DO know that it's really, really easy to block advertising on TehIntraWebTubes, right? Use your .fav search engine to look for "ad blocker". So easy even MeDearOldMum figured it out all by herself.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. julian.smith

    Australia: where the "laws" are more powerful than Mathematics


  16. The Central Scrutinizer

    So why not use Tor within TAILS?

    MAC address spoofing included, out of the box. Good luck to the federales working that one out.

    Of course, privacy and security related software is already hated by those who must spy on us.

    I CAN'T WAIT to start using the Chinese version of the Internet.

  17. SNAFUology

    fair dealings - fair use

    Much comment has been passed that Australia hasn't dealt well with fair dealings / fair use.

    See how we go ;-)

    from Conversation EDU "Explainer: what is ‘fair dealing’ and when can you copy without permission?"

    "Australian copyright law sets out five situations where use of copyrighted material without permission may be allowed:

    research or study

    criticism or review

    parody or satire

    reporting the news

    provision of legal advice."

    link here

    It mentions copyright reform at the bottom.

    I would hope that the site blocking would not prevent the above allowances or fail to recognise the laws of other countries in relation to copyright.

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