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Section 92A bill is a step forward – InternetNZ

Media Release – 23 February 2010 - InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) has welcomed the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill, introduced to Parliament today by Hon Simon Power.

The Bill will repeal Section 92A of the Copyright Act 1994, which the Government deferred after public protests last year.

“The draft legislation is broadly in line with the Cabinet paper released in December, and incorporates some improvements that InternetNZ suggested before Christmas,” says InternetNZ Policy Director Jordan Carter.

“I commend Simon Power and the Government for following through the direction they set out in December, and taking on board the constructive suggestions many have made for how to respond fairly to copyright infringement on the Internet.

“As drafted, this Bill sets out a regime that is focused on educating the public about their responsibilities to not infringe copyright, and provides an independent process that tests allegations of infringement before anything happens to ISP subscribers.

“The only major flaw remaining in the legislation is that its provision for the suspension of people’s Internet accounts. Internet users would simply start a new account at another ISP. While suspension would require an order of the District Court, it is still unworkable and unnecessary. InternetNZ will argue strongly that suspension be deleted by the Select Committee.

“InternetNZ will carefully analyse the detail in the Bill in the coming days. It is important that definitions are clear and workable. We have initial concerns about the definition of ISP, what ‘suspension’ means, and that the matters left to regulation are considerable. Getting the detail right is vital.

“Given the breadth of the matters left to regulation, the Government should guarantee public consultation and involvement during the regulation-drafting process.

“Overall, the draft Bill puts the mistakes of the original Section 92A behind us, and allows for a workable regime that will reduce copyright infringement in New Zealand,” says Carter.

InternetNZ will convene public forums in Auckland and in Wellington next month, inviting the public to find out more about the draft Bill and how to make submissions on it. Details about these events will be released shortly.

For further information contact:

Jordan Carter
Policy Director
021 442 649

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