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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Simon Power replies on s92

At least he has had the decency to reply to my email.

Dear Sir/Madam,

The Minister of Commerce, Hon Simon Power, asked me to thank you for your email regarding section 92A of the Copyright Act 1994. Your concerns have been noted.

Section 92A allows for termination of accounts of repeat infringers in appropriate circumstances. A purpose of this provision is to provide an effective means for dealing with behaviour which clearly infringes copyright, recognising that this behaviour can be costly for New Zealand’s creative industries. This is especially important given recent technological developments which now make it easier for online copyright infringement to occur. This amendment is not intended to deprive law-abiding businesses or private users of access to the internet.

Some have interpreted this legislation to assume guilt upon accusation of copyright infringement. There are concerns that this could lead to the termination of an alleged infringer’s internet account without evidence or opportunity for a user to provide a defence. In order to clarify the operation of section 92A, a voluntary code of practice (the Code) is being developed by internet service providers (ISPs) in consultation with the public and copyright holders.

In brief, the Code will likely outline that in accordance with section 92A, a user will receive fair warning regarding an alleged infringement. The user will then have the opportunity to refute any or all of the alleged infringements. As a backstop, section 92A only allows for account termination in appropriate circumstances. It is unlikely that termination will be appropriate where an alleged infringement has been disputed.

Section 92A has been delayed from coming into force by one month until 27 March 2009. The purpose of this delay is to allow ISPs and rights-holders time to complete the joint development of the Code. If a voluntary code is developed and the new section is implemented, both will be reviewed within six months to see how they are working.

It is important that the Copyright Act achieves an appropriate balance between the interests of copyright creators, owners and users.

Thank you for taking the time to raise this with the Minister.

Yours sincerely,

David Lilly

Private Secretary – Commerce

I remain unconvinced that this is nothing but another part of the Kiwi Stasi. It appears that although bloggers like me and others have had their say, no notice is being taken and the same law will be activated forthwith at the end of the month.

Why the exact termination process is not defined in law, but some external, open to mis-interpretation, guidelines of no legal standing is beyond me. Guidelines are liable to changed or dispensed with, dependent on circumstance to suit whoever is power on the day. A fish-and-chip clause if I ever saw one.

Such vagueness of law left to voluntary guidelines is in the same realm of our number one cultural atrocity at law. That of the 'Waitangi principles'. Written into anything and everything that needs a palm greased.

Make no mistake, a different set of palms are being greased here. Mainly ones in california in the entertainment industry.

If you stand accused, you are guilty, without any formal proceedings.

What a load of bollocks!

1 comment:

LaFemme said...

Allthough I like most of what the Nats are doing, never forget that these are the same operators who enabled anti-smacking.
Maybe what we need to do in order to be heard is act like the French, just get in our cars, trucks, haywagons, anything with wheels (or hooves), whatever, and tie up commerce until the government does what we want.