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Need for independent dispute tribunal on copyright

Labour calls for independent dispute resolution tribunal on copyright

Labour spokesperson on communications and IT Clare Curran today called for an independent tribunal to be established by the Government to solve copyright disputes and resolve the differences of opinion between rights holders and internet service providers (ISPs).

Clare Curran said there are already existing organisations that fulfil this function such as the Copyright Tribunal and the Intellectual Property Office of the Ministry of Economic Development.

“It may be that one of those bodies could step up to perform the important role of mediation and adjudication on copyright disputes between rights holders and internet users, while not forcing ISPs to act as police and judge,” Clare Curran said.

Ms Curran welcomed the Government's decision today to defer the commencement of Section 92A of the Copyright Act until March 27 and to suspend the Section if no agreement can be reached.

“This is a small step towards resolving the impasse between the ISPs and rights holders,” Clare Curran said.
“Despite official advice on the importance of finding a solution to the copyright issue, the National Government has missed an opportunity to take steps in that direction when it refused leave for an Amendment Bill to the Copyright Act to be introduced last week.

“Labour sought leave to introduce a Bill to amend the Act to ensure a workable code of practice was in place with the approval of the relevant Minister before Section 92A came into force.

“The National Government needed to show leadership on the issue and it’s good that they have taken action today.
“Instead of allowing the situation to drag on, they should intervene to establish an independent third party to adjudicate on disputes over copyright,” Clare Curran said.


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