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BDFL
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  Reply # 301580 23-Feb-2010 17:00 Send private message


Section 92A bill introduced to Parliament today

A bill repealing Section 92A of the Copyright Act will be introduced into Parliament today by Commerce Minister Simon Power.

The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill repeals Section 92A and replaces it with a three-notice regime which is intended to deter illegal file sharing.

"This amendment puts in place a fair and balanced process to deal with online copyright infringements occurring via file sharing," Mr Power says.

"The major feature is the three-notice process, which educates the public about illegal file sharing and provides effective methods for copyright owners to enforce their copyright.

"It ensures that file sharers are given adequate warnings that unauthorised sharing of copyright works is illegal."

The bill also extends the jurisdiction of the Copyright Tribunal, enabling it to hear complaints and award penalties of up to $15,000 based on the amount of damage sustained by the copyright owner.

Mr Power says the bill will also enable copyright owners to seek the suspension of internet accounts through the District Court for up to six months.

"It's important that account holders are given a reasonable time to stop infringing before enforcement takes place.

"The bill prescribes timeframes so account holders have the opportunity to address illegal file sharing activity occurring on their internet connection before enforcement action is taken.

"They will also have the chance to challenge notices and may request hearings at the Copyright Tribunal to contest infringement claims.

"Regulations will outline the awards the tribunal may make and they'll be drafted later this year when the bill has been enacted.

"Online copyright infringement is a problem for everyone, but especially for the creative industry, which has experienced significant declines in revenue as file sharing has become more prevalent.

"This bill is the result of extensive consultation with stakeholders and is an important step in addressing a complex issue."

Questions and Answers:

Why are we amending the Copyright Act?

Peer-to-Peer file sharing involves the sharing of music, video and game files over computer networks such as the internet.  Often this sort of sharing is without authorisation from the copyright owner, breaches their copyright, and denies them revenue they might otherwise earn if they sold these creative works.

Current enforcement measures under the Copyright Act are not considered effective. Section 92A of the Act was intended to provide a way to address this problem but was met with a lot of public concern.

A review of section 92A was undertaken, and the result of the review is that the government has decided to repeal section 92A and amend the Copyright Act to make it easier for copyright owners to enforce their rights against peer-to-peer file sharers.

What does the new legislation say?

The bill repeals Section 92A and puts in place a three-notice regime intended to deter illegal file sharing.

Copyright owners who can provide evidence of infringements will be able to request Internet Service Providers (ISPs) give alleged infringers notice to stop infringing activity.

The first notice will inform the account holder that infringing activity has occurred and that it is illegal.  A second and third notice may then be sent if the account holder ignores notices and continues infringing.

Account holders will also be able to challenge notices.

If the person continues to infringe, the copyright owner may seek a compensation award at the Copyright Tribunal. The amount of the award will be up to $15,000 based on the amount of damage caused to the copyright owner.

Account holders will be able to request a hearing if they feel they should not be penalised.

The bill prescribes time frames for all aspects of the notice regime.

Why is it up to ISPs to issue notices rather than right holders?

The responsibility for issuing notices is with ISPs because only they have access to account holders' personal information. Accordingly, only they can match evidence of peer-to-peer infringement with that account holder.

Why is there a new ISP definition?

A new definition of ISP will be added into the Copyright Act specifically for the new regime.  Public submissions demonstrated a concern that some organisations that aren't traditional ISPs, including businesses and universities, could be required to send notices to infringers under the current definition.

Will the new legislation allow the suspension of internet accounts?

Yes, but copyright owners must seek the suspension of an internet account through the courts. An internet suspension will only be ordered under specific and appropriate circumstances, and will only be for up to six months.  The Bill requires a court to consider factors like the account holder's reliance on access to the Internet.  It is expected this remedy will only be used for serious cases of infringement.

Why is this remedy up to the courts?

The decision to suspend an internet account will be up to the courts because only the courts can adequately consider both parties' arguments and take into account natural justice issues.

How much will it cost copyright owners to pursue a claim?

The fees have not been set yet and will require further consultation with stakeholders. These will be included in the regulations that will go with the new legislation. However, copyright owners will pay a fee to ISPs for the costs ISPs will incur matching evidence and sending notices. .

Copyright owners will also pay a fee to take a claim to the Copyright Tribunal.  At this stage the application fee will be similar to the fee charged by the Disputes Tribunal which is between $30 and $100.

Account holders intending to defend a claim before the Tribunal will not be charged a fee.

Will this new process cost the taxpayer and if so, how much?

Yes, the Crown will need to cover the costs of setting up the Copyright Tribunal for its extended jurisdiction. Some of the cost will be recouped by the fee necessary to take a claim to the Tribunal. The cost will depend on the number of cases taken to the Tribunal which should decrease as the public become familiar with the new notice regime.

Work around this is ongoing.

This seems to have taken a long time. Has it?

No. Officials and government have been moving this process along as quickly as possible. However, there was a large volume of submissions received and they all needed to be addressed. Also, the new regime affects several Ministries so adequate inter-departmental consultation was important.

It has been a complex issue and the focus has been to provide the best possible solution that is workable and effective.

How does ACTA relate to the review of section 92A?

It doesn't. The review of section 92A is on a separate track from the ACTA discussions.

What is the process from here?

The bill has been introduced into Parliament.  Following its first reading it will be referred to Select Committee, where the public will have another opportunity to make further submissions on the legislation. The Ministry of Economic Development will continue to consult with stakeholders on certain parts of the regulations that set fees and confirm how the system will work.

It is expected that the legislation will become law this year. 

Where can I get a copy of the bill?

A copy of the bill can be obtained from here.





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  Reply # 301581 23-Feb-2010 17:00 Send private message

Comments from the InternetNZ:


Section 92A bill is a step forward – InternetNZ
Media Release – 23 February 2010

InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) has welcomed the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill, introduced to Parliament today by Hon Simon Power.

The Bill will repeal Section 92A of the Copyright Act 1994, which the Government deferred after public protests last year.

“The draft legislation is broadly in line with the Cabinet paper released in December, and incorporates some improvements that InternetNZ suggested before Christmas,” says InternetNZ Policy Director Jordan Carter.

“I commend Simon Power and the Government for following through the direction they set out in December, and taking on board the constructive suggestions many have made for how to respond fairly to copyright infringement on the Internet.

“As drafted, this Bill sets out a regime that is focused on educating the public about their responsibilities to not infringe copyright, and provides an independent process that tests allegations of infringement before anything happens to ISP subscribers.

“The only major flaw remaining in the legislation is that its provision for the suspension of people’s Internet accounts. Internet users would simply start a new account at another ISP. While suspension would require an order of the District Court, it is still unworkable and unnecessary. InternetNZ will argue strongly that suspension be deleted by the Select Committee.

“InternetNZ will carefully analyse the detail in the Bill in the coming days. It is important that definitions are clear and workable. We have initial concerns about the definition of ISP, what ‘suspension’ means, and that the matters left to regulation are considerable. Getting the detail right is vital.

“Given the breadth of the matters left to regulation, the Government should guarantee public consultation and involvement during the regulation-drafting process.

“Overall, the draft Bill puts the mistakes of the original Section 92A behind us, and allows for a workable regime that will reduce copyright infringement in New Zealand,” says Carter.

InternetNZ will convene public forums in Auckland and in Wellington next month, inviting the public to find out more about the draft Bill and how to make submissions on it. Details about these events will be released shortly.





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  Reply # 301585 23-Feb-2010 17:05 Send private message





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  Reply # 301601 23-Feb-2010 18:03 Send private message


Peer-to-Peer file sharing involves the sharing of music, video and game files over computer networks such as the internet.  Often this sort of sharing is without authorisation from the copyright owner, breaches their copyright, and denies them revenue they might otherwise earn if they sold these creative works.


[citation needed]

The worst part about this whole thing is that the Government has made no effort to actually establish that downloading material against copyright has a negative effect on creativity (that is, after all, the reason copyright was established in the first place). Instead, they allude to supposed loss of income. Copyright is not about ensuring record label CEOs get a fat paycheck. So even if it does cause loss of income (which is very debatable - some argue it actually results in more sales) or even the destruction of the recording industry, etc, that would be irrelevant.

Unfortunately this isn't unique. Many laws of many countries are like this - forget the science and economics of the situation, just make laws based on what large corporations whine about or public emotion/kneejerking.


edit: from the pdf above:

Other potential costs can also have serious impacts on individuals and businesses. Illegal file sharing sites increase a user’s exposure to viruses, loss of business intellectual capital, and identity theft. The technical nature of file sharing technology allows access both ways. In other words, while it opens another server to download material, in return, it allows access to a downloader’s computer.


I'm honestly at a loss for words. The last sentence in particular. Wow. THIS is the tripe that is used as justification for our laws. No matter which side of the fence you sit on this issue, you have to admit that stuff like this is just absurd.

Oh and would you look at that, parts of it are censored.

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  Reply # 301606 23-Feb-2010 18:29 Send private message

Obviously it's a bunch of uneducated double-talk. The question is, what are we going to do about it??

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  Reply # 301613 23-Feb-2010 18:55 Send private message

Realistically there's little we can. The crux of the issue is mentioned in the pdf:

New Zealand will need to ensure its regulations are on a par with its trading partners so that it can access the latest technology and avoid potentially damaging trade disputes. New Zealand is currently involved in negotiations with a number of trade partners to develop a treaty known as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement(ACTA).


This is the reason for this legislation. NZ is trying to appease the overlords. Everything else is just fluff to make it seem like a good idea.

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  Reply # 301766 24-Feb-2010 11:30 Send private message

Why is it that the MED have not independently tested for the figures of how many people are filesharing vs the profits lost by content owners? It seems like they've just taken figures handed to them by lobby groups like RIANZ and NZFACT.

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  Reply # 301798 24-Feb-2010 13:52 Send private message

URL for Frietasm's quote above :)
http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/section+92a+bill+introduced+parliament+today

BTW, what's the BBCode to embed urls in text?

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  Reply # 328407 10-May-2010 10:23 Send private message

Just received:


Media Release - 10 May 2010

InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) will host seminars this month on the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing Amendment) Bill, to assist with submissions to the Select Committee.

The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing Amendment) Bill is a replacement for the much-criticised Section 92a of the Copyright Act 1994.

The InternetNZ seminars will provide for sharing of information and enable critical analysis of the Bill for those who wish to contribute to the policy discussion or make their own submissions. These seminars will take place from 9am to 1pm in Wellington on 25 May and in Auckland on 26 May.

A powerful line-up of officials and experts has been assembled to present details and examine aspects of the planned changes. Speakers include Kim Connolly-Stone and Peter Bartlett from the Ministry of Economic Development, technologist Nat Torkington, ISP industry stalwart David Diprose, Creative Freedom Foundation’s Matthew Holloway and ICT lawyer Rick Shera.

InternetNZ Policy Director Jordan Carter is to MC the event. “InternetNZ is supportive of changes to the legislation but has reservations about some of the detail, particularly in respect to its provision for the suspension of people’s Internet accounts,” says Carter.

More information and a draft programme is available at http://internetnz.net.nz/content/copyright-seminars-may-2010.






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  Reply # 343701 21-Jun-2010 11:11 Send private message

Received today:


InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) has filed a thorough submission on the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill, noting that illicit file sharing is not proving as damaging as some anticipated.

For example, figures from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) show that in 2009 New Zealand and Australia digital sales increased by 41.4% and performance rights returns were up 8.6% - for an overall revenue industry increase of 3.5%.

“Despite the claims, the sky is not falling,” says InternetNZ Policy Director Jordan Carter. “While there is no doubt that infringing filesharing is happening - and cannot be condoned - the copyright content industries have been doing exceptionally well in a recessionary environment.”

“Sales are up and more money than ever before is going to Kiwi artists. Furthermore, recording industry ‘evidence’ of massive losses has recently been deemed unreliable by, among others, the United States government.

InternetNZ argues that since the purported impacts of file sharing have not arisen, Parliament should not take complicated and expensive steps to address it, nor impose significant cost on third parties. A proportionate approach, notice and notice, should be taken instead.

“The obvious and proven way to tackle file sharing is to impose a notice and notice regime, where those found infringing are told their activity has been picked up. This is much lower cost to the Crown, to ISPs, to the content industry and to citizens, while still reducing file sharing by as much as 70%.

“It creates the opportunity for all involved to collaborate on educational messages, particularly to younger New Zealanders who are just starting to use and create digital content,” he says.

InternetNZ also continues to absolutely oppose termination of Internet accounts as a sanction for copyright infringement.

“Parliament should not impose termination as a remedy for infringing file sharing. That remedy would be disproportionate to the problem, and would not solve it,” says Carter.

InternetNZ’s submission contains much more detail and can be found at:
http://internetnz.net.nz/our-work/submissions/submission-commerce-select-committee-copyright-infringing-file-sharing-amendmen





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  Reply # 343718 21-Jun-2010 11:57 Send private message

It is good to see that someone with a logical mind is finally looking at this issue. I personally take the view that Spanish judges did recently in likening file sharing of copyright content to lending a book to a friend. (link).

I think that if there is commercial or monetary gain for copyright infringers they should be punished harshly but if it is for personal consumption there is no crime.

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  Reply # 343742 21-Jun-2010 12:42 Send private message

1080p:  Spanish judges did recently in likening file sharing of copyright content to lending a book to a friend. (link).


And isn't it like lending a book to a friend? The reason lending a digital copy of a movie to your friend is illegal is because of the limited rights that come bundled with information now. In essence, we aren't purchasing the material anymore; simply purchasing the rights to consume it in a narrow context. Can you imagine if the media industry were as powerful as it is now 150 years ago when libraries were becoming popular? Imagine a world without libraries, and the lack of cultural and scientific progress that we would have experienced. Indeed, publishers of the era did actually oppose libraries, particularly in the US. I think we can all agree it's a good thing they didn't get their way.

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  Reply # 343766 21-Jun-2010 13:30 Send private message

So.....with all the new laws etc etc etc has anyone here actually had a letter saying they have been caught?

Plenty of people I know havent moderated their downloading one bit and have yet to receive a notice from their ISP.

Of course, I dont agree with copyright infringement.





The force is strong with this one!

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  Reply # 343772 21-Jun-2010 13:55 Send private message

rossmnz: So.....with all the new laws etc etc etc has anyone here actually had a letter saying they have been caught?

Plenty of people I know havent moderated their downloading one bit and have yet to receive a notice from their ISP.

Of course, I dont agree with copyright infringement.


S92a is not active yet. The government retired secion 92a and that's why there are submissions now.





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  Reply # 343774 21-Jun-2010 14:10 Send private message

Some people have received letters from their ISP, eg WorldxChange, stating that they were downloading xyz, at 123, on abc, according 789 copyright holder. But this has been happening for a few years now, there are some cases here on geekzone already.

Unless you meant cases directly related to S92a, in which case, ignore me, and see what the BDFL said.

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