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.

Tech Liberty is disappointed to see that internet disconnection remains an option. Disconnection from the internet equates to disconnection from participation in civil society, and we do not believe this is an appropriate punishment for infringing copyright. However, we are pleased to see that it can only be applied by a court and the court must take into account the effect of termination on the users of the connection.

Thomas Beagle, Spokesperson for Tech Liberty: “Disconnection is a serious consequence, one we do not apply to other utilities that are used as part of a crime. However, the overall effect of the bill is positive and provides certainty to ISPs, users, and copyright holders on how infringement will be handled.”

About Tech Liberty

Tech Liberty is dedicated to protecting people’s rights in the areas of the Internet and technology. We make submissions on public policy, help to educate people about their rights, and defend those whose rights are being infringed.

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