Four record labels have joined together in Australia in an effort to block the public’s access to piracy sites like Kickass Torrents. Universal Music Australia, Warner Music Australis, Sony Music Australia and J Albert & Sons, along with mechanical rights society APRA AMCOS, have filed an application under the nation’s new Copyright Amendment Bill.
In a joint statement via industry group Music Rights Australia, the labels say Section 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 gives owners the right to compel ISPs like Telstra , Optus and TPG to block access to infringing sites. The straightforward language of the law, which was amended last June, is below:
"Online infringement continues to be a major threat to the sustainability of the Australian music industry," said Jenny Morris, chair of the APRA Board. "Illegal offshore sites like Kickass Torrents show a complete disrespect for music creators and the value of music."
Morris went on to note that there are more than 20 legitimate licensed online music services operating in Australia, including ones, like Spotify, with no cost to the listener.
"Blocking access to sites like Kickass Torrents is all about supporting those services and allowing the writers whose songs are available on them to be paid for their work," she said.
Laurie Patton, chief executive of Internet Australia, a user advocacy group, issued a statement saying that "blocking Internet sites will not solve the problem," adding, "It’s been tried without success elsewhere. We need to educate people that breaching copyright is wrong and potentially defrauds the very artists they are listening to and we need to encourage them to use legitimate sites."