NZ Pushing for Three Strikes Copyright Infringement Laws

According to TorrentFreak, New Zealand’s government is in a huge rush to push through legislation that will target citizens who share copyrighted material online without rightsholder permission over the internet. The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill, which unanimously passed its first reading in Parliament in April 2010, will put in place a 3 strikes-style rule, where Internet service providers will be required to send warning letters to alleged infringers at the request of rights holders.

New Zealand’s "Copyright Tribunal" (the group that will oversee this new three strikes rule) will have the power to rule on cases of "repeat infringement" and will be given the authority to hand down fines up to a maximum of $15,000 ($11,733 US). That’s a lot of dough and, while I’m not familiar with the laws in New Zealand there must be some sort of rule about due process and the ability to for one defend oneself against false accusations.. Repeat offenders that break the law in a six-month period could even face an Internet disconnection.

Green MP Gareth Hughes who wasn’t aware the Bill was coming up for a vote today, thinks some aspects of the law may go too far.

"It really surprised me because we haven’t debated it since November," he said.

Of course that does not mean he is opposed to the rest of the bill or what it intends to create. Hughes later confirmed with TorrentFreak that "he would request an amendment to remove the suspension clause but a spokesperson for Commerce Minister Simon Power said it would be opposed." While the Greens are against disconnections, they support the Bill in principle.

The bill is expected to pass its third and final stage during the next few hours, according to TorrentFreak.

Source: TorrentFreak

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    Rohin says:

    Our net connection isn’t too bad, and some companies are setting up nation-wide fibre-optic cables, so the connections will just get better.

    As fo the laws, they’ve passed, they come into effect September 1st, and they suck. I’m not sure how they’re going to measure what counts; if I download music from YouTube, does that count? How about if I’m using file sharing software to download free stuff and no illegal movies/music?

    We’re not sure what the chilling effect will be on net use yet, but we’ve got some time to amend the bill.

  2. 0
    Craig R. says:

    Last I knew, New Zealand’s internet services already lack behind most of the rest of the first world. It probably hasn’t improved.

    And it’s apparently going to get much, much worse.

  3. 0
    Grif says:

    NZ doesn’t need the legislation nearly as much as Australia does. At least, Australia needs it if they decide to keep listening to the ACL and denying an R18+ rating system for their games. Piracy is through the roof because apparently freedom of choice ends when someone reaches 18 years old in Australia.

    "Power means nothing without honor and pride." My video game review site.

  4. 0
    olstar18 says:

    That copyright tribunal part has me kinda concerned about this law. I’m unfamiliar with their court system so it could be related with the way they organize it but it still makes me think that it is a seperate organization from the court system and following a different set of rules.

Leave a Reply