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Tuesday, July 14

Section 92A proposal released for consultation

A proposal document for the review of section 92A of the Copyright Act 1994 and how to deal with repeat Internet copyright infringement has been released for public feedback by Commerce Minister Simon Power.

The document was the result of several months' work by a working group comprising intellectual property and Internet law experts assisted by officials from the Ministry of Economic Development.

"It proposes a three-phase process enabling copyright owners to pursue repeat internet offenders," Mr Power says.

Where there has been suspected infringement, rights-holders could complain to the internet service provider (ISP) which would notify the subscriber. If there was further infringement, a cease-and-desist order would be sent.
If there was further infringement, the rights-holder could apply to the Copyright Tribunal for an order to obtain the subscriber's name and contact details.
The rights-holder could then serve an infringement notice. The subscriber could elect mediation. If that failed or there was no response, the tribunal would convene, and could impose penalties ranging from fines to termination of a user's internet account.
A targeted group of internet users, internet service providers, and copyright owners has been invited to comment on the proposal, but Mr Power hopes the public will also provide feedback.

"We need to provide a fair and efficient process to address repeat copyright offending, and I look forward to hearing what New Zealanders think about the proposed procedure.

"Unlawful file-sharing is very costly to New Zealand's creative industries and I am determined to deal with it.

"I am confident that at the end of this process we will have a law that is clear, sensible, and fair to everyone."

The section 92A Review Policy Proposal Document is available at: www.med.govt.nz/section92a

Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 7 August 2009 and may be sent to: copyrightact@med.govt.nz

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