‘Blackout’ organisers call supporters to Parliament

National and Labour remind each other they both supported the law

United Future leader Peter Dunne will be handed a petition on the steps of Parliament tomorrow (Thursday) in the latest act of a wide-ranging campaign against controversial new copyright laws. The Creative Freedom Foundation is calling supporters to Parliament at midday in a demonstration against section 92a of the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act, which the group styles as a “guilt upon accusation” law. “This is a positive event where we will hand out hundreds of CDs and thank the politicians that support us — so please keep it friendly and polite,” the Creative Freedom website says. Across social media websites this week, users were replacing their pictures with a simple black square in protest at the new law. Creative Freedom is seeking to reference that at Parliament tomorrow, asking supporters not to wear all black as that has “negative associations with other demonstrations” but instead to wear bright clothes and carry black plackards. “We want everyone reading this to email everyone they know in Wellington about this,” the group says. “We can't let this be another internet protest that results in few people turning up. This is important so we need to prove it in numbers.” Meanwhile, Labour ICT spokeswoman Clare Curran asked minister of commerce Simon Power in Parliament today (audio) whether he intended to respond to public concerns about the implementation of section 92a. Power said he was mindful of the concerns and also of the industry-wide code of practice, developed by the Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum, to implement the law “passed by the Labour government”. Curran then asked if implementation would be delayed or the law amended and reminded Power that National had also supported the law when it was passed last year. Power responded he was confident the code would be produced and the government would do everything it could to assist the parties implement it. On Friday, Dunne called for the repeal of the law. “All of us who brought in this Act last year believed we were protecting artists from piracy and illegal downloads. However, it is now clear that we have a situation where internet users are vulnerable to the mere accusation of piracy, and that is simply neither fair nor just,” Dunne said in a statement.

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