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Draft ISP Copyright Code for Public Consultation

Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum

Auckland, 4 February 2009

TCF Releases Draft ISP Copyright Code for Public Consultation

The Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum has today released a Draft ISP Copyright Code of Practice for public consultation.

“The Copyright Act was amended in 2008 to include s92A which requires Internet Service Providers to have a policy to terminate the accounts of repeat copyright infringers in appropriate circumstances,” Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum CEO Ralph Chivers said. “This Draft Code is intended to be a template policy for ISPs, to assist them in meeting their obligations under the Act.”

The Draft Code has been developed by a TCF working party that includes representatives of NZ’s leading ISPs, the Internet Service Providers Association of New Zealand (ISPANZ) and Internet NZ. “This has been a very challenging piece of work given the importance of the issues involved,” Mr Chivers said. “I sincerely thank all those involved for the many hundreds of hours of effort that it has taken to get the Draft Code to this stage.”

“While TCF members consider that s92A is seriously flawed, we are nevertheless acting responsibly to ensure our Members have guidance when implementing the law. Ultimately, though, there are a number of issues which the government needs to address to ensure that New Zealand’s copyright law is fully reflective of the realities of the internet age.”

Mr Chivers noted that s92A has generated significant controversy – a debate that is mirrored in a number of countries overseas. “Much of the debate locally is a result of the very vague language of s92A. What constitutes ‘repeat infringement’ and ‘appropriate circumstances’ is open to a wide range of interpretations. We are therefore particularly interested in receiving feedback from the public and government on whether the approach to these issues in the Draft Code is appropriate, and whether consumers’ interests are adequately protected.”

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“In developing the Draft Code, the TCF has engaged with a number of organisations that represent copyright holders in the music, performance, movie and software industries. Understandably, there have been a number of difficult issues for us to work through. Despite this, the engagement has been positive and constructive, and will continue.”

Submissions on the Draft Code close at 5pm on Friday, 6 March 2009. “This date was chosen to ensure that the public and interested parties have an opportunity to fully consider the Draft Code and provide considered feedback,” Mr Chivers said. “While the submission date is shortly after s92A comes into force, it is important that we have a fulsome debate about the appropriate approach to its implementation.”


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