NetGuide NZ - Copyright law changes before Parliament

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Copyright law changes before Parliament

A bill repealing Section 92A of the Copyright Act is being
introduced into Parliament today by Commerce Minister Simon Power. The
Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill repeals Section 92A and
replaces it with a three-notice regime which is intended to deter illegal file

"This amendment
puts in place a fair and balanced process to deal with online copyright
infringements occurring via file sharing," Power said. “The major feature
is the three-notice process, which educates the public about illegal file
sharing and provides effective methods for copyright owners to enforce their
copyright. It ensures that file sharers are given adequate warnings that
unauthorised sharing of copyright works is illegal.” 

The bill also extends
the jurisdiction of the Copyright Tribunal, enabling it to hear complaints and
award penalties of up to $15,000 based on the amount of damage sustained by the
copyright owner. Power says the bill will also enable copyright owners to seek
the suspension of internet accounts through the District Court for up to six

“It's important that
account holders are given a reasonable time to stop infringing before
enforcement takes place,” Power said. “The bill prescribes timeframes so
account holders have the opportunity to address illegal file sharing activity
occurring on their internet connection before enforcement action is taken. They
will also have the chance to challenge notices and may request hearings at the
Copyright Tribunal to contest infringement claims. 

“Regulations will
outline the awards the tribunal may make and they'll be drafted later this year
when the bill has been enacted. Online copyright infringement is a problem for
everyone, but especially for the creative industry, which has experienced
significant declines in revenue as file sharing has become more prevalent. This
bill is the result of extensive consultation with stakeholders and is an
important step in addressing a complex issue.”

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