The Media, Entertainment, and Arts Alliance has withdrawn its submission to the Australian government's online copyright infringement discussion paper, stating it never intended to support an internet filter to block websites such as The Pirate Bay.
This morning, ZDNet reported that in the MEAA's submission to the government's consultation on ways to reduce Australians downloading infringing TV shows and films, the union said it supported allowing rights holders to get an injunction to force ISPs to block websites, such as The Pirate Bay, that contain copyright-infringing TV shows and films.
"It was never our intention to make a submission which could in any way be interpreted as supporting an internet filter. We have previously campaigned against Government proposals for an internet filter and will continue to do so, as we also continue to campaign against data retention," MEAA said.
The MEAA, which was supportive of other government proposals in the discussion paper, including a graduated response scheme alerting customers to when they are caught downloading infringing shows or films, said it would continue to fight for copyright protection, but said it would consult more widely amongst its membership before making a new submission.
"MEAA has always fought for the fair recognition and proper remuneration of our members' creativity through effective copyright protection. Copyright infringement is a real and serious threat to the livelihood of many of our members – journalists and performers," the MEAA said.
"We will seek to make a new submission to government based on a broader consultation with all sections of our membership."
The statement was also emailed out to the union's member base this afternoon.
Guardian Australia reported this morning that the MEAA was also opposed to the Australian Law Reform Commission's proposal for a new 'fair use' exemption in the use of copyright-protected works.
The backflip in the MEAA's position comes almost a year to the day since the Coalition backflipped on its own initial policy support for an opt-out internet filtering system in just five hours.
Josh Taylor is a member of the Media, Entertainment, and Arts Alliance