Government throws out section 92A

Delayed implementation now scrapped

Cabinet today announced that section 92A of the Copyright Act will not come into force on 27 March as scheduled, but will be amended to address "areas of concern", says commerce minister Simon Power.

The clause requires ISPs to have a policy of disconnection in place for repeat infringers of copyright online.

The legislation was put in place to combat unlawful file-sharing which facilitates copyright infringement on a large scale, but "...allowing section 92A to come into force in its current format would not be appropriate given the level of uncertainty around its operation," says Power. The legislation needs to be re-examined and reworked to address concerns held by stakeholders and the government, he says. The government will begin the review process immediately.

Prime minister John Key stepped into the controversy last month, delaying implementation of S92A to allow more time for the code to be negotiated. He said if the parties could not reach agreement the section would be suspended.

Two weeks ago, ISP TelstraClear told the Telecommunications Carriers' Forum (TCF) and a working party trying to thrash out a draft code to implement section 92A of the Copyright (New Technologies) that it no longer supports the effort, making industry consensus impossible.

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