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No surprise at growing dismay over Copyright Act

No surprise at growing dismay over Copyright Act
Media Release
18 February 2009

InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) is not surprised at the spread of
local and international reaction against Section 92A of the Copyright
Act, noting that InternetNZ has consistently urged the Government to
repeal or at least delay introduction of the Section.

However, InternetNZ believes it is still not too late for the Government
to resolve the issue, which was not, after all, of its own making.

Executive Director Keith Davidson says the National Government simply
does not need to take the rap for this error in judgment by the previous

"We believe it is unfortunate timing and that the Ministerial workload
following the change of Government has prevented Ministers acting
to-date. However, the issue has come to a head and there is nothing to
lose by taking action now.

“The public backlash, the risk of business disruption, and the
introduction of onerous compliance costs on business are big negatives
for the Government that can be avoided.

Davidson says it is not far wrong to say that New Zealand has become an
international laughing stock, but it is more serious than that.

“This is an assault on basic human freedoms on the Internet, and it has
not gone unnoticed by the general populace here and abroad. The protest
involving blacking out of Internet photos and websites has grown legs
and spread internationally across social networking groups including
Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, and through exposure in high profile
publications such as The Guardian and music magazine NME."

Davidson says there is deep concern in the Internet community, and
beyond, at the attempts to introduce these types of laws globally, and
it is dismaying that New Zealand bought into it.

"As in other areas of global society New Zealand has long been a strong
example to the global Internet community, showing leadership in
technological development and public policy, through enlightened
self-regulation and careful Government intervention as required.

"In the global Internet community New Zealand stands for a democratic
and highly principled approach to policy. The world benefits from our
example through knowledge exchange and decision-making at the highest
levels of Internet governance.

"Ploughing on with Section 92A tarnishes that reputation for the sake of
an ill-thought-out experiment pushed for by global corporations with no
apparent concern for the rights of New Zealanders.

"It is clear that the global entertainment industries pushing for this
type of law either don't understand the Internet technologically and/or
have no concern for the public good. Cutting off people’s and business'
Internet without proper adjudication of their guilt is simply wrong, and
it won’t work any - it’s just a huge and expensive disruption for ISPs
and businesses and distressing for the public at large."


© Scoop Media

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