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InternetNZ calls for S92A of Copyright Act to be repealed following TelstraClear pullout from industry code of practice

Posted on 11-Mar-2009 16:16 by Juha | Filed under: News

TelstraClear today announced that it isn't "our role to make bad legislation work" and won't support the Telecommunications Carriers' Forum Code of Practice.

Without uninamous support, TCF won't be able to implement the Code of Practice, but its Chief Executive Ralph Chivers says work will continue on it nevertheless. Without a Code of Practice in place, Prime Minister John Key has said the contentious Section 92A that calls for ISPs to implement a policy to disconnect customers accused of repeat copyright infringement, will be permanently suspended.

Full release from InternetNZ below:

TelstraClear decision must mean end of 92A

InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) says TelstraClear's decision not to support the Telecommunications Carriers' Forum Copyright Code of Practice means the Government should promptly repeal Section 92A of the Copyright Act.

Executive Director Keith Davidson notes that the TelstraClear decision means the TCF cannot now implement the Code.

"It is clear that the agreement that the Government sought will not now be reached between ISPs and rightsholders. To attempt to bring 92A into force now would invite disaster,� Davidson says.

"The problems with the Code have come to a head because the Government made the future of Section 92A dependent on agreement between a limited group of rights holders and a small number of ISPs.

�What about everyone else who is affected? Section 92A applies to any business that provides Internet services to its staff or hosts a website, and can be triggered by any rights holder or claimed rights holder with a genuine complaint or a malicious axe to grind," says Davidson.

InternetNZ acknowledges the work done by the TCF Working Party including TelstraClear in attempting in good faith to make Section 92A workable. InternetNZ is also a member of the Working Party.

�The Working Party�s efforts have made the best of an impossible job, and the work has not been wasted. InternetNZ will continue to contribute to the development of the Code, while recognizing that it can no longer be implemented in the way that was expected,� says Davidson.

Davidson says InternetNZ broadly agrees with the issues raised by TelstraClear, some of which are reflected in its own submission to the Forum on the draft Code.

InternetNZ has always maintained that Section 92A is poorly drafted and that cutting off people's Internet is a disproportionate response to issues of copyright infringement. "Section 92A should never have been brought in and this Government should not hesitate to repeal it," says Davidson.

InternetNZ stands ready to enter further consultation on appropriate legislation in respect to copyright and dealing with repeat copyright infringement.

InternetNZ would like to see a first principles review of the Copyright Act to take account of the digital age, with full public and stakeholder consultation.

For more information contact:

Jordan Carter

InternetNZ Deputy Executive Director