New Copyright Bill A Return To Guilt Upon Accusation

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Creative Freedom congratulate the Commerce Select Committee on releasing their report on the draft Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill earlier today

CFF Director Bronwyn Holloway-Smith says “It's great to see further progress on this Bill, however, we're disappointed to see that Internet Termination is still making an appearance, and there is an alarming return to the Guilt Upon Accusation.”

Prime Minister John Key described the former Guilt Upon Accusation law as "draconian".

“Temporarily disabling Internet Termination just delays the problem because the government has no independent statistics about infringment in New Zealand. This means that any decision to enable termination would have to be based on lobbying, and it could be enabled in Cabinet any week in the future – without a vote in parliament.”

“Alarmingly, the report recommends a return to Guilt Upon Accusation. This is despite hundreds-of-thousands-of people protesting against such a law in last year's Internet Blackout campaign. Rather than the presumption of innocence, there is a presumption of guilt under section 122MA. This is exacerbated by the lack of any sanction for false or malicious accusations, making the process ripe for abuse.”

There are some positive improvements – notably the decision to revert back to the current copyright law's allowances of artistic reuse.

"Until New Zealand artists enjoy the same parody and satire protections that Australian artists do, lawmakers must be careful to ensure that fundamental existing public rights to access and remix our culture are not impinged.”

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