Sunday, October 11, 2009

ISP's liability in Australia

To date, issues on copyright infringement in Malaysia is governed by the Copyright Act 1987, Australia on the other hand is governed by the Australia’s Broadcasting Services Amendment (On-Line Service) Act 1999. The Act was forced in the summer of 1999 by the Australian parliament but it only takes effect on 1st January 2000. The Act enjoins the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) as the government body which will scrutiny the particular contents which are going to be posted online. Under the ABA, there is a Classification Board which will do the task of filtering and classifying the Internet contents besides react to the complaints regarding the infringement.

According to the Act, ABA will take action on the ISPs by providing a take-down notice if they are detecting any prohibited content on the Internet hosted by the ISPs in Australia. The ISPs ought to comply with the notice within workdays and if they failed to take any reasonable actions and measures to assure that the prohibited contents are not reappearing on their server, they are liable to be fined up to A$ 27,500 per day which is a heavy sanctions!

The Act also provides the situation whereby if the prohibited contents are uploaded on the Internet but they are hosted outside of Australia, the ISPs in Australia which offered the access to the contents will be given a notice demanding to take all reasonable means to block access to the contents or to block the contents according to the relevant rules of a (business) code. After complying with the notices sent to them, the ISPs will have to follow the information duties and procedures which are laid down in the codes of practice otherwise they will face the sanctions.

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