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Internetnz Supports Digital Copyright Bill

Internetnz Supports Digital Copyright Bill

Media Release 11 December 2006

InternetNZ (The Internet Society of New Zealand) welcomes the Copyright (New Technologies and Performers' Rights) Amendment Bill, known informally as the Digital Copyright Bill. The Society has been keen to see legislation in this area since the policy reviews began in 2003, and urges MPs to support the Bill being referred to a Select Committee for consideration.

Executive Director Keith Davidson says New Zealanders will welcome the clauses which legalise format shifting. "This covers everyday activities such as copying a song from a CD to an IPod. It is ridiculous that this is technically prohibited by current law."

An area of some concern in the Bill is that of technological protection measures and the new criminal offences around software that may spoil technological protection measures.

"We believe the select committee should consider carefully whether there is a need for such provisions and what the scope of them should be. Our initial analysis is that the provisions are not as draconian as the widely criticized US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), but that there are certainly areas of concern," says Davidson.

"Also, law which criminalises discussion about security can have a 'chilling effect' and an adverse impact on security for us all."

InternetNZ believes the Internet industry will welcome the section restricting ISP liability. InternetNZ is keen to ensure that ISPs do not end up being forced to take down material, just because an allegation of copyright breach has been made, and that there is a balance between the rights of copyright holders and for fair use by the public.

"We congratulate the Hon Judith Tizard for her work in bringing this bill before Parliament, and look forward to working with both the Government and all parties in Parliament on improving the bill at Select Committee stage."


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