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S92 - businesses unfairly responsible for breaches

Media release

Newmarket Business Association

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Section 92A makes businesses unfairly responsible for internet copyright breaches

The controversial Section 92A of the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act set to come into law on 28 February is potentially going to unfairly penalise businesses providing an internet service if individual users infringe copyright laws, claims an Auckland business group.

"We believe it is very tough on downstream ISPs such as businesses that provide the internet to employees, internet cafes, libraries and schools to potentially have their internet connection terminated or website shutdown because of the actions of individuals who breach copyright,” says Cameron Brewer, head of the Newmarket Business Association.

“How can an internet cafe, for example, be expected to control members of the public who walk off the street and break copyright laws?"

"These days the internet is an essential business utility like electricity or water. It's very difficult to make utility providers responsible for the unlawful actions of the public.

“What’s more it is unsustainable for a business to potentially lose its internet access simply because of the suspected actions of possibly just one person. It is the individuals who have broken the law who should be held liable, not the internet service provider. After all the providers have very little control over what their users do," says Mr Brewer.


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