Contentious s92a clause of copyright act gets makeover

New Zealand Justice Minister Simon Power has just released the government’s proposed makeover of the contentious Section 92a of the Copyright Amendment (New Technologies) Act. Section 92a was the clause that would have seen internet users suspected of downloading ripped-off material cut off from their ISP account on the basis of the accusation. This managed to offend many people from ISPs and even some copyright holders, through to civil libertarians while it appeared to please no-one.

Power’s proposal is to bring to the fore the little-known Copyright Tribunal, a 30 year old statutory body that has heard just seven cases in its history. It’s likely to become much busier if the new process becomes law. Suspected offenders will still be given warnings and the opportunity to voluntarily comply or opt for mediation but the Tribunal will step in and hear the case if the parties can’t agree.

See NBR article for more analysis.

Link to the government’s proposal document (PDF). Submissions must be in by 5pm Friday 7 August 2009.

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