New Zealand Govt Rejects Copyright Law

The New Zealand government has rejected legislation that would have required Internet service providers to terminate accounts of chronic copyright offenders. In a defeat for content owners, the government announced that they would scrap a key section of the legislation, which was due to be implemented this Friday (3/27). Although both the copyright owners and the New Zealand industry body the Telecommunications Carriers Forum were reportedly close to an agreement on a voluntary code of practice, commerce minister Simon Power said that passing the legislation in its current form would not be appropriate given the level of uncertainty around its operation. The concept of a voluntary code was undermined when the country’s third largest ISP, TelstraClear, announced it would not sign on. Campbell Smith, chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand, pledged to work with legislators on the revised law.

“The government acknowledges that New Zealand’s creative industries are suffering because of the impact of online piracy and it recognizes that ISPs should play a key role in helping to address the problem,” Smith said. “The delay required to implement the government’s decision is obviously disappointing, but that’s a price worth paying if the result is clear legislation that effectively addresses the problem.”

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