In 2015, a bill that passed into law made it possible for copyright holders to apply to a court to block websites that provided links to copyrighted material.
The efficacy of the measure — the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 — was supposed to have been reviewed after 18 months.
The Department of Communications and Arts, which is carrying out the consultation, says the review was delayed to allow more evidence to surface, the website TorrentFreak reported.
The review asks three questions of stakeholders:
- How effective and efficient is the mechanism introduced by the Online Infringement Amendment?
- Is the application process working well for parties and are injunctions operating well, once granted?
- Are any amendments required to improve the operation of the Online Infringement Amendment?
As to the degree to which the law has curbed downloading, the government had this to say:
"The Department is aware of evidence correlating a reduction in copyright infringement in Australia with the introduction of the Online Infringement Amendment. Kantar Public conducted research for the Department showed that downloading fell slightly from 2015 to 2017.
"The same research showed a 5% to 10% decrease from 2015 to 2017 in individuals consuming any unlawful content across movies, music and television, although there was a slight increase for video games.
"The Department is aware that other factors — such as the increasing availability of television, music and film-streaming services and of subscription gaming services — may also contribute to falling levels of copyright infringement.
"The Kantar Public research showed consumption of digital content by streaming is rising across all categories, particularly in television and film. The findings of the Kantar Public report are broadly consistent with other research into this area."