Last year Labour passed an absolutely iniquitous amendment to copyright law, and this year our new government, National, are failing to listen to united opposition from key stakeholders:
Calls to repeal a law that could mean Kiwi internet users have their connections cut if they are accused of breaching copyright have been knocked back by the Government.
The new “guilt by accusation” law would result in internet service providers (ISPs) being forced to take on the role of gatekeeper by blocking online access to anyone accused of flouting copyright laws and illegally downloading films and music.
Telecom, Vodafone and TelstraClear have spoken out against the law, joining calls by Internet NZ for the Government to repeal section 92A of the Copyright Act, due to come in on February 28.
Meanwhile, Brenda Wallace writes about the Australian situation:
Over in Oz, where copyright law is word almost the same as in New Zealand, ISPs decided it is only “reasonable circumstances” to disconnect their customer from the internet when there is a court order, and accusations in unclear cases they referred onwards to police
I think Internet disconnection is a very serious matter and appropriate only in the most extreme cases, and if ordered by a court, but it seems Australia has a more sane approach than we do.
And just for comparison: do people have their cars or bus passes confiscated if they’re found guilty of shoplifting or burglary? Is their electricity disconnected if they’re found guilty of watching cheap Asian rip-off DVDs?
This NZ copyright law amendment is just wrong on so many levels:
- we’re guilty if accused, rather than by proof
- a properly constituted court of law is not involved
- the ‘punishment’ is totally disproportionate to the so-called ‘crime’.