InternetNZ gives alternative vision for section 92A

Internet body's submission calls for notice-and-notice system

InternetNZ is calling for a “notice and notice” system to replace section 92A of the Copyright Act.

In its submission to the Ministry of Economic Development on the section 92A review, InternetNZ says a notice and notice system, in which alleged copyright infringers are sent notices about the infringement by ISPs if the ISP receives complaints from owners of copyright material.


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According to the submission, “ISPs would be obliged to retain a record of the number of notices sent to a particular customer, and to maintain an anonymised register of frequent infringers.

“If rights holders become convinced of significant infringement by the customer or customers of a particular ISP, they could apply to the courts for the release to them of the customer details of the most frequent infringers of their rights.

“ISPs would not be required to identify repeat alleged infringers themselves.”

It is non-commercial copyright infringers — private citizens using the internet who are infringing copyright — that any replacement for section 92A should target, not commercial operations engaging in mass copyright infringement, the submission says.

“Commercial, large-scale infringement of copyright by any person or organisation is criminal behaviour and should remain subject to strong action by the courts and if necessary by the police.

“It should not therefore be the objective of the submission to deal with it,” the submission states.

“Similary, large-scale infringement by technologically competent internet users should be dealt with by the existing penalties under the law.”

Termination of users’ accounts, as proposed by the original section 92A, is opposed by InternetNZ.

“InternetNZ reiterates in its submission its absolute opposition to termination being a remedy for copyright infringement by New Zealanders,” InternetNZ deputy executive director Jordan Carter says in a media release announcing InternetNZ’s submission.

“Termination is an inappropriate and disproportionate remedy that will not work.

“Whatever approach the government takes to replacing section 92A, termination must be off the table,” Carter says.

InternetNZ’s submission can be viewed in full here.

For background to the controversy over section 92A, see the Ministry of Economic Development’s website.

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