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New Copyright Bill A Return To Guilt On Accusation

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

3 November 2010

New Copyright Bill A Return To Guilt Upon Accusation

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.”

ENDS

ABOUT THE CREATIVE FREEDOM FOUNDATION

The Creative Freedom Foundation was founded in 2008 by artists and technologists in response to changes in copyright law and the effect these changes are having on creativity, the economy, and public rights. The CFF represent over ten-thousand of New Zealand artists including musicians, film makers, visual artists, designers, writers, & performers.

The Foundation's primary goals are the education of New Zealand artists about emerging issues within New Zealand that have the potential to influence their collective creativity; advocacy to ensure that their views are taken into consideration, and the promotion and encouragement of activities that support and build the New Zealand arts community, positive relationships within that community and/or the positive wellbeing of that community.

The Creative Freedom Foundation views the internet as an opportunity for artists in New Zealand, not a threat and, through their goals, they seek to bring Copyright Law into the 21st Century.

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