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NZCS Welcomes Copyright Breakthrough

NZCS Welcomes Copyright Breakthrough

PRESS RELEASE – NZ Computer Society Inc. (NZCS)
23 February 2009
For Immediate Release

The New Zealand Computer Society Inc (NZCS) today welcomed the announcement from Prime Minister John Key that the introduction of the “Guilt Upon Accusation” Section 92a of the Copyright Act had been suspended and may be cancelled.

NZCS today described the breakthrough as a “huge relief”. “The potential ramification of this law were very serious indeed”, said NZCS Chief Executive Paul Matthews.

“Dubbed the ‘Guilt Upon Accusation’ law, Section 92a of the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act could have lead to the internet service of homes, schools, businesses and libraries being forcibly disconnected due to simple accusation alone.”, Matthews said.

After analysis of the law, last month NZCS noted that it would be unethical for an ISP to disconnect the internet account of a customer based purely on the accusation of a third party. However if they didn’t they could fall foul of the law – resulting in an untenable situation.

“NZCS strongly supports the concept of Copyright”, Matthews continued, “however this law went far beyond what is reasonable. Hence we strongly welcome the announcement today that this law will be suspended until March 27 and may be scrapped.”

“We congratulates the Government for listening to the online community of New Zealand”, Matthews said.

Spearheaded by the newly formed Creative Freedom Foundation, a massive online campaign on a scale not seen before in New Zealand was launched in recent months to raise awareness of the consequences of the new laws, culminating in hundreds of the country’s top websites being “blacked out”.

“A law such as this has no place in a free society. We hope the Government follows through and removes this from the statutes, relegating this unfortunate law to the history books”, Matthews concluded.


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