Web piracy law back on NZ agenda

Gov't coy about inclusion of  'three strikes' provision

AUCKLAND, New Zealand-- The first draft of New Zealand's revised copyright legislation will be ready for analysis next month.

In March, the government ordered a rewrite of a contentious new clause in the Copyright Act, which would have required Internet service providers to terminate the accounts of repeat offenders under a "three-strikes" system. The original Section 92A was scrapped following fierce opposition from telecommunication groups and consumer advocates.

Officials from the ministry of economic development have been working on a new draft with independent intellectual property and Internet law experts; the proposals will be presented to groups representing copyright owners and ISPs in July.

The intention is for a new law to be introduced to parliament in September or October and it would then follow the usual select committee process, which will provide an opportunity for members of the public to comment on the proposals.

The government remains coy on whether the new legislation will include a graduated response - or "three strikes" - provision.

A spokesperson for commerce minister Simon Power said the revised clause will take "full consideration" of the concerns raised earlier by copyright-holder groups, ISPs and Internet users.

She adds that that MED officials have been charged with ensuring that the scope of any legislation leading to the termination of Internet accounts is clearly spelled out and takes into account issues of "due process, practicality and enforceability."

The global push from content owners for "three strikes" legislation received a blow last week when a French court curtailed controversial copyright legislation introduced in May.
comments powered by Disqus