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Government copyright proposals a mixed bag - InternetNZ

Media Release – 14 July 2009 – InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) describes the Government’s proposals to fix Section 92a of the Copyright Act as a mixed bag that tries to combine the benefits of a notice and notice approach with the toxic remains of a termination regime. Also, issues of ISP definition and safe harbour do not appear to have been addressed.

Executive Director Keith Davidson says “The Phase 1 concept of notice and notice would provide useful education and likely result in a significant reduction of copyright infringement, as rights holders have found internationally.”

“However, the procedures elevating through Phase 2 and Phase 3 create undue complexities and compliance costs for both ISPs and rights holders.”

Davidson says “While the decision to terminate Internet accounts is moved from ISPs and rights holders to the Copyright Tribunal, InternetNZ is disappointed that termination still remains one of the punishments.”

“Retaining termination of Internet accounts repeats the mistakes of the previous law and risks another public backlash, as was seen in the blackout campaign in February and March 2009.”

“Nobody condones copyright abuse, but the termination of a household or business Internet account is simply out of proportion to the alleged offence."

“The demand for this remedy comes from a subset of the music and movie industries who are pleading for special treatment they do not deserve. Such pleading has been faced down in France and in the UK and our Government should follow suit. Termination should be off the table.”

Davidson says to reduce abuse of copyright, the Government can implement a straightforward notice and notice regime, whereby those alleged to be infringing copyright receive a notice educating them about the problem.

"Overseas experience shows this cuts repeat infringement by around 70%," says Davidson. "This fairly balances copyright rights holder concerns with the public interest in the ongoing development of an open and accessible Internet."

For more information contact:

Keith Davidson
Executive Director


+64 4 495 2112
+64 21 377 587


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