NZ Introduces Copyright Amendment, Avoids “Three Strikes”

TorrentFreak has the details. The language in the bill that will repeal the controversial section 92a and replace it actually seems pretty consistent with changes to the British Digital Economy Bill. The rhetoric has been softened, avoiding the word “disconnect” in favor of “suspend”.

Despite the more-gently named “three notice” regime (versus the more commonly used “3 strikes” term) the effects are the same. The bill will enable copyright owners to claim damages and make requests for the Internet subscriptions of infringers to be suspended.

Like yesterday’s statement from Downing Street, it isn’t clear where, if any, judicial oversight has been added to the process. Both seem like a mere softening of language but not effect. With the trend toward network access being critical to public life and access tom services, even the limited, six month suspension is still disproportionate and public interest group, InternetNZ, agrees.

I am also worried that the focus on disconnection or suspension will distract public interest groups from the other measures. Have they considered whether the new statutory damages are appropriate? It looks like it may still be possible for rights holders to exaggerate damage claims. The whole package needs to be held up for scrutiny, to determine if the rights and limits are reasonable, not just the most onerous measures from past drafts.

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