- Australia is currently attempting to implement site-blocking legislation by involving search engines and various online platforms.
- Google has already refused such injunctions from Russia and has given the same reaction to Australia.
- The tech giant has been called out by mass media company Village Roadshow for supporting piracy.
Site-blocking legislations may soon become a norm, but as of now, Google is not supportive of such intervention by governments. The tech giant believes that such implementations are usually rushed and many websites that do not deserve to get blocked end up being blacklisted despite a lack of evidence.
Australia has been attempting to implement direct injunctions under Section 115a of the country’s Copyright Act. The system has been in effect since 2015, but Google is yet to comply with it. Russia has also implemented a blacklist to weed out pirate websites, but Google offered Russia the same response and may be fined for it as well.
Mass media company Village Roadshow called out Google and said the company’s fight against piracy is nothing but a sham. CEO Graham Burke went as far as to call the tech giant ‘no different from stealing a loaf of bread from a 7-11 store‘ due to the search engine not taking any action. The media group feels that the tech giant is simply helping Internet users download pirated content instead of actually stopping them from doing so. Google’s search engine currently does block all links to pirated content but torrent website URLs that do not contain links to downloads are allowed, which makes it easy for users to get access to such websites through a simple search.
The tech giant submitted a statement to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications revealing that “Google opposes Section 115(2B)(a)(ii) and (b)(ii) of the Bill, which would have the effect of removing the direct oversight of the Federal Court over the site blocking process and instead leave it to commercial entities to decide which websites Australian users may access.”
Google believes that the current injunction system where Federal courts grant orders is quite effective which is proven by the declining rates of piracy in Australia. The company wants to retain its own voluntary measures to fight results instead of adopting the recommended takedown regime.