The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) has thrown its support behind the latest draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) on the basis it might force ISPs to cooperate to combat "rampant" online piracy.
"The signatories to ACTA agreed that they should engender cooperation between ISPs and right holders to deter rampant online infringements that limit the growth of legitimate digital economies," AFACT executive director Neil Gane said in a statement today.
"We support this position and continue to advocate a robust legal framework and active global cooperation that prevents online piracy and duly respects creative rights."
The Australian Visual Software Distributors Association also supported the draft, saying it would help local films find a "legitimate export market".
The final draft text was released by Australia and other countries earlier this week ahead of the signing of a treaty, which was expected within weeks.
The rights holders' comments came despite widespread belief that the treaty had been substantially watered down.
For example, the US had pushed for the introduction of statutory damages for copyright abuses, for three-strikes-and-you're-out rules against internet users found to have downloaded pirated content, and for injunctions to be levelled at intermediaries such as ISPs, web hosts and universities over the actions of their subscribers or users.
Both items appeared not to have made the final cut but analysts warned that the agreement could be extended in future if Australia became a signatory.