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Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011
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 27 Aug 2011

Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011


The New Zealand Government has passed a law called the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011. This law allows the owners of copyrighted material (rights owners) to enforce their rights against people who use file sharing applications to illegally download copyrighted material (content).

The purpose of the bill is to amend Part 6 of the Copyright Act, to allow copyright owners to enforce their rights more effectively against Internet users who are downloading their material illegally. It increases the options copyright owners have to crack down on illegal breaches of copyright. In allowing for this, the bill repeals section 92A of the Copyright Act.

In brief, the low says:
• Liability for alleged copyright infringement lies with the person who ‘owns’ the Internet account. If the account is in someone’s name then the liability, according to the law, is with that person, no matter who pays the bill or who used his account, whether with or without that person permission.
• Rights owners can record the internet protocol (IP) address of who has downloaded their content and pass this on to the internet service provider which owns that IP address so that a notice can be sent.
• All internet service providers (Internet Protocol Address Providers as defined in the Act), must action an infringement notice received from a rights owner, which may include sending to the user an infringement notice.

Starting on September 1st, 2011 residents of New Zealand can be disconnected from their Internet for six months if they’re charged with pirating thanks to the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2010.

So if your flatmate downloads something they shouldn’t have and the internet is in your name so you get a $15,000 fine, or your whole flat loses the internet.

And how about people who use the internet in the library? It could be heaps of files which are shared via the libraries IP address, and will our library continue to offer internet services when they face a decent chance of being fined? Thus the government is considering giving exemptions to libraries or universities since they cannot control everyone who uses their Internet.

And the same thing applies for wireless hotspots, this bill has the potential to drive our current internet services backwards, which sounds as paradox when you consider how much our government goes on about Ultra Fast Broadband.

Some history:
In 2009 the New Zealand government had tried to introduce a similar bill where Internet service could be allegedly discontinued if someone was simply accused of copyright infringement. There were petitions on parliament grounds and web blackouts as a backlash to the bill. A web blackout is when web pages are taken down by the owner as a form of protest such as seen on one of our images below. Other users changed their avatars to black blocks in honor of the blackout to symbolize what opponents to the bill regard as guilt by accusation. A petition by Creative Freedom Foundation NZ gained some 17,000 signatures. Their current webpage discusses the updated bill but also still has writing on the one from 2009. Due to the amount of protests done the original bill 92A had not been brought into force.

This is a sample of web blackout - when web pages are taken down by the owner as a form of protest

Internet under control!

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 Tags: SoftFern News, SoftFern Tech News, SoftFern Sport News, New Zealand, Copyright Infringing, File Sharing Amendment Act , New Zealand Government, copyright, Internet users, downloading, record internet protocol address, pirating
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