Culture

Turns Out Australia’s Anti-Piracy Legislation Is Actually Working?

RIP The Pirate Bay.

Remember when The Pirate Bay and a bunch of other torrenting  sites were blocked in Australia back in December 2016? Well, despite the naysaying at the time, it looks like the strategy is sort of working to prevent piracy.

A new report released today by Incopro, a company that specialises in research on intellectual property, reportedly shows that Australian traffic to the blocked sites has dropped by 53 percent in the last year.

It’s more than just a couple of blocked sites too. Since the government passed legislation making it easier for websites to be blocked, film and TV copyright holders have been going absolutely gangbusters with their court orders, succeeding in getting hundreds of sites blocked by internet service providers.

I mean, sure, many of those sites are just different web addresses you can access The Pirate Bay at (this whole blocking system is a little like whack-a-mole), but still.

Anyway, the findings about the piracy reduction are a little surprising, given the criticism the ban faced when it was first being considered. At the time, opponents pointed out that the blocking system is fairly easy to bypass, and that other countries that tried a ban had reportedly just inspired more people to visit sites like The Pirate Bay.

Who knows, maybe Australians are just lazy. Or maybe it has something to do with the streaming services that have become available down under since the piracy bans. Incopro’s full report doesn’t seem to be available to the public yet, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.