New Zealand’s controversial 3-strikes law, that was abandoned earlier this year, is making a comeback:
In 2008, the New Zealand government passed so-called ‘3-strike’ legislation designed to have alleged repeat copyright infringers disconnected from the Internet. A code of practice was drawn up by the entertainment industries and ISPs, which attempted to create a framework for ISPs to disconnect alleged infringers. But it wasn’t to be.
After outrage in the Internet community coupled with resistance by ISPs led to a failure to reach agreement in the allocated period, Prime Minister John Key announced that the law would be have to be delayed. In the end not even a delay would be enough to reach consensus and it was announced that Section 92A of the Copyright Act 1994 would not come into force on 27 March as scheduled, but instead would be amended to address areas of concern.
Prime Minister Key set Minister of Commerce Simon Power to work on a replacement and today he put those proposals to the cabinet.
The new proposals are:
Step 1: In the event that a copyright holder records an infringement of its rights by an Internet user (unauthorized uploading), they will be required to send an initial infringement notice to the corresponding ISP. Once the account holder is identified by matching the alleged infringing IP-address with customer records, the initial infringement notice will be passed to him or her, via the ISP.
Step 2: Should there be another infringement, the above process would be repeated but this time the account holder would also receive a ‘Cease and Desist’ notice. At this point an account holder would have the opportunity to respond to copyright holders.
Step 3: If after issuing a Cease and Desist notice infringements continue, the copyright holders can then apply to the Copyright Tribunal to require the corresponding ISP to hand over the personal details of the account holder. Interestingly copyright holders can already achieve something similar, simply by going directly to the courts.
Step 4: At this stage copyright holders are free to issue a complaint with the Copyright Tribunal, who will in turn notify the account holder that an additional complaint has been made against him or her. The account holder is then given the opportunity to put their side of the story and move to mediation. In this instance costs would be shared and a government-approved mediator would be provided. Should this step fail the Copyright Tribunal would decide from a range of penalties such as fines or ultimately, disconnection.
If you’re in New Zealand and you don’t want the music industry to take away your internet access, you should consider joining the Pirate Party New Zealand.