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Replacement To 'Guilt Upon Accusation' Law

MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

6 October 2009

Replacement To 'Guilt Upon Accusation' Law Approaches

The Creative Freedom Foundation say that Commerce Minister Simon Power may decide the future of the former Guilt Upon Accusation law, section 92A of the Copyright Amendment Act, within weeks. The law was described as “draconian” by Prime Minister John Key and it resulted in widespread public protest before being scrapped in March, pending a redraft.

CFF Director, Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, said today that “Minister Power's redrafting process has made a lot of sense so far and we have been encouraged to see that the government seems intent on avoiding going back to s92A's draconian predecessor.”

“Internet termination is a major issue that is yet to be resolved. We don't terminate a family's postal service if one person uses it to break the law. We don't terminate a family's electricity if one person plays music too loudly. The internet is part of modern participation in society, and termination will unfairly affect peoples' ability to pay bills, to do business, to read news, email friends, and participate in democracy. Simply put, internet termination is an inventive and ridiculous punishment that will harm many people for the actions of one.” she further stated.

“Copyright infringement is wrong but we won't win the hearts and minds of New Zealanders with a draconian punishment like termination. We need fair, targeted penalties like fines, supported by good education about copyright.”

“It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, and with that in mind NZFACT are calling for New Zealanders to be presumed guilty until proven innocent yet again. NZFACT flew an Hollywood lobbyist over to argue that New Zealanders shouldn't have the same rights that are afforded to United States citizens.”

“Here and abroad studies have shown that 30-37% of accusations of copyright infringement are false, with 57% of cases being businesses targeting competitors. These facts are backed by experts and independent studies, whereas industry claims of lost sales due to illegal downloads have been exposed as unscientific. The Australian government have labeled piracy statistics as "self-serving hyperbole" in a draft government report to their Attorney General."

“NZFACT claim that millions of dollars are lost to online infringement despite not actually selling box office movies online, which raises the obvious question of whether millions are lost due to illegal downloads, or unsatisfied customers.”

“They seek have to extraordinary powers to terminate people's internet accounts, but thankfully the redrafting process shows no signs of relying on hearsay and speculation.”

New Zealanders are encouraged to learn more at http://CreativeFreedom.org.nz and to send respectful emails to Minister Simon Power on s.power@ministers.govt.nz about the value of due process and their thoughts on internet termination.

ENDS

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