Tag Archives: s92A

Copyright Bill Roundup

A round-up of comments and information about the latest report on the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill.

First, the report of the Commerce Select Committee (PDF).

We found that the bill raised complex issues around the challenges faced by rights holders in an environment of rapidly-developing technologies, which are changing consumer expectations and behaviours. We have attempted to strike a balance between the rights of copyright holders to have their intellectual property rights protected, and the reality that the Internet has now allowed far greater access to copyrighted works through file sharing.

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Replacing ISPs with IPAPs – How well have they done?

The Commerce Select Committee has reported back on the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill (PDF).

One of the problems in the drafting of such a law is how to define what an ISP is. The obvious approach is “provides internet services” but what about a cafe that gives free wireless access to customers? Or a university that provides services to staff and students? The problem is a lot harder than it looks.

The latest report suggests replacing the definition of “Internet Service Provider” with one for “Internet Protocol Address Provider” or IPAP.

This would avoid ambiguity and focus on the function of an Internet service provider that is relevant to infringing file sharing, namely the provision of Internet protocol addresses.

Of course, this does no such thing as anyone providing any form of internet service must provide an “Internet protocol address” to each person using it. It’s inherent to the nature of an Internet connection and, once again, shows that Government isn’t very good at technology. Edit: This may be trying to protect providers of low level services such as cabling and fibre.

However, when we look at the full definition, maybe it’s not so bad:

IPAP means a person that operates a business that, other than as an incidental feature of its main business activities,

(a) offers the transmission, routing and providing of connections for digital online communications, between or mong point specified by user, or material of the user’s choosing; and

(ab) allocates IP addresses to its account holders; and

(b) charges its account holders for its services; and

(c) is not primarily operated to cater for transient users.

A discussed, the inclusion of “(ab) allocates IP addresses” seems a bit unnecessary but overall the definition seems to hold up under scrutiny.

  • Orcon and other ISPs would obviously be an IPAP.
  • Cafenet supports both transient and account-based users. Should it be an IPAP?
  • Universities and libraries would not be an IPAP because of (b) (there is no direct charging although student fees do include provision for services).
  • Someone sharing a connection with their friends would not be an IPAP because of (b).
  • Citylink would be an IPAP. (Should it be? See discussion in comments.)
  • The local coffee shop would not be an IPAP because of (b) and (c).
  • Would an Internet cafe be included? They do charge, the users vary between transient and regular.
  • Mobile data from Vodafone/Telecom/2 Degrees will not be included for now, because a separate clause delays their inclusion until 1 August 2013.

How have they done? Please help.

Can you think of any cases:

  • Where a person or company will be included as an IPAP that shouldn’t be?
  • Where a person or company that should be an IPAP won’t be?

Submission about Digital Enforcement Provisions in ACTA

The Ministry of Economic Development asked for submissions about the Digital Enforcement Provisions in the ACTA treaty.

While we object to New Zealand’s participation in the treaty, we still thought it was worthwhile to respond. The full text follows (headings correspond to those in the request for submissions), but the 8 recommendations we made are:

  1. The ACTA treaty should note that ISPs are not liable for the actions of their users.
  2. That ACTA includes a “notice and counter-notice” regime where complainants can pay ISPs to deliver a notice to the account holder for an IP address at a particular time, and the ISP can pass responses back to the complainant.
  3. That ACTA specifies that complainants should be able to obtain the identity of a user from the ISP only after a court order has been obtained.
  4. That ACTA makes no attempt to encourage mutually supportive relationships between ISPs and rights holders.
  5. That ACTA should recognise that anti-TPM measures have a useful and lawful purpose.
  6. That ACTA should insist that participating countries allow consumer rights-holders the right to create, buy and use anti-TPM software and devices if these are used for lawful purposes.
  7. That ACTA should forbid the use of TPMs that limit the reasonable and customary rights of people to enjoy the use of the rights that they have purchased or otherwise legally obtained, unless the supplier also undertakes to provide unprotected versions when required.
  8. That ACTA should not include enforcement measures concerning the removal or modification of copyright management information.

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Media Release: Tech Liberty supports new copyright bill

New copyright infringement act fair and practical

23 Feb 2009
Wellington, New Zealand

With the release of the text of the new copyright bill proposed at the end of 2009 we finally see the end of guilt on accusation, and see in place a sensible and well reasoned process around protecting copyrighted material. The new text deals with the majority of the issues that Tech Liberty has been concerned about, restores due process and privacy for those accused, and spells out a fair set of obligations and responsibilities for ISPs in handling users who infringe on copyright via their services.

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Internet disconnection is impractical

We’ve already discussed why disconnecting the Internet to punish someone is an inappropriate response. We don’t cut off people’s power or water if they commit a crime using them, and the Internet is becoming as important as those infrastructural services. We need the Internet to communicate with family, to perform our jobs, to deal with the government, for education and for entertainment. The Internet is becoming increasingly vital to participating in modern society.

But, ignoring this important point for now, there are also a number of practical reasons why Internet disconnection doesn’t work as a punishment for downloading unauthorised material.
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Internet disconnection is not an option

Even so! Look! We live in a computerized world. I can’t do a thing anywhere – I can’t get information – I can’t be fed – I can’t amuse myself – I can’t pay for anything, or check on anything, or just plain do anything – without using a computer.

– A Perfect Fit, Isaac Asimov, 1981

Why are we so interested in civil liberties? Surely they’re a luxury that we can’t afford in these economically depressed times, with war and terrorism on the international horizon?
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Media Release: Tech Liberty welcomes planned Section 92A revision

New section 92A of Copyright Act does a far better job of balancing civil liberties and copyright enforcement.

Commerce Minister Simon Power released a statement revealing an intended framework and policy to replace Section 92A of the Copyright Act. This section, meant to come into force this year, was suspended after a broad coalition of rights holders, ISPs, and stakeholders opposed the original vague and ill-defined wording.
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