Controversial copyright clause to be amended

Parliament will look at section that has drawn ire of ISPs, TCF

Section 92A of the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Bill will be considered by Cabinet on Monday, following controversy over the implications of the Bill.

ISPs, the Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum (TCF) and other parties were concerned about how the proposed act could affect them.

For example, TCF CEO Ralph Chivers said “While we recognise that the Act has introduced a number of positive measures, some hastily inserted last-minute changes have placed an unacceptable burden on internet service providers and have the potential to significantly undermine the legal rights of internet users”.

The TCF says Section 92A will require ISPs to "reasonably implement” a policy to disconnect ”in appropriate circumstances” internet services of users who have repeatedly downloaded or uploaded infringing music, movies, games and other copyright material.

“The Act gives no guidance on what ‘reasonably implement’ or ‘in appropriate circumstances’ means” Chivers says. “This leaves the door wide open to those who seek disconnection of an alleged repeat infringer based on flimsy evidence, or worse, allegations alone”, he says.

A statement from Associate Commerce Minister Judith Tizard says “Cabinet will consider this matter on Monday.

“A formal announcement can be expected early next week regarding the implementation of regulations to enact the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act,” the statement says.

“The requirement is intended to provide a framework for the development of fair and effective systems for dealing with behaviour which clearly infringes copyright, recognising that this behaviour can be very costly for New Zealand’s creative industries.

“There has been consultation with a wide range of interests, including ISPs, the TCF, and representatives of copyright owners, on the process required to enable illegal and pirated material to be removed from offending websites.

“Both sides need to work together to find a practical solution that ensures fair access while protecting the important rights of our creative people.”

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Tags tcfchiverscopyright (new technologies) amendment billTizard

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