We’ve reported several times on the various take-down notices and site blocking orders dished out by the courts over the last year or so as rights-holders have fought back against services that share or facilitate access to copyrighted material without permission. But an analysis shows that while political donations by Village Roadshow aren’t new, they spiked significantly at about the same time the current, tougher legislation was being developed and passed.
Last week, the government passed tougher laws, upping the ante on sites offering copyrighted material by compelling search engines to remove piracy websites from search results – a piece of legislation that I can imagine could be easily abused.
Village Roadshow donated about half a million dollars each year on roughly equal terms to Labor and the Coalition. There are some years when one side of politics scored more that the other. But in 2015-2016, the donations topped $1.2M after pulling right back last year. One assumes that the $1.2M and change delivered Village Roadshow’s preferred outcome so there was no need to keep making such generous donations.
Of course, as The Guardian reports – they conducted this important analysis – there’s no way of knowing precisely when the donations were made as we lack that kind of transparency in or electoral donation laws. But the provision of donations, more or less on partisan lines when the parliament is tightly balanced, the passing of the laws and their favourability to Village Roadshow is probably just a coincidence – right?
The federal government has tabled new draft legislation that will further empower rights holders as they try to block and take down sites that either directly distribute or enable access to licensed content. The Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2018 expands the scope of existing laws and will result in sections of the internet being blocked in Australia faster. Here's what you need to know.Read more
That’s not to say the intent of the laws is wrong. But when the forces that influence the drafting and passing of laws are opaque then the purpose of the parliament is tainted. Instead of being our elected officials, the parliament could be seen to be acting in the interests of a small number of