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Replacement To 'Guilt Upon Accusation' Law Approaches

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Oct-2009 14:34

The Creative Freedom Foundation say that Commerce Minister Simon Power may decide the future of the former Guilt Upon Accusation law, section 92A of the Copyright Amendment Act, within weeks. The law was described as draconian by Prime Minister John Key and it resulted in widespread public protest before being scrapped in March, pending a redraft.

CFF Director, Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, said today that "Minister Power's redrafting process has made a lot of sense so far and we have been encouraged to see that the government seems intent on avoiding going back to s92A's draconian predecessor."

"Internet termination is a major issue that is yet to be resolved. We don't terminate a family's postal service if one person uses it to break the law.
We don't terminate a family's electricity if one person plays music too loudly. The internet is part of modern participation in society, and termination will unfairly affect peoples' ability to pay bills, to do business, to read news, email friends, and participate in democracy. Simply put, internet termination is an inventive and ridiculous punishment that will harm many people for the actions of one." she further stated.

"Copyright infringement is wrong but we won't win the hearts and minds of New Zealanders with a draconian punishment like termination. We need fair, targeted penalties like fines, supported by good education about copyright."

"It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, and with that in mind NZFACT are calling for New Zealanders to be presumed guilty until proven innocent yet again. NZFACT flew an Hollywood lobbyist over to argue that New Zealanders shouldn't have the same rights that are afforded to United States
citizens."

"Here and abroad studies have shown that 30-37% of accusations of copyright infringement are false, with 57% of cases being businesses targeting competitors. These facts are backed by experts and independent studies, whereas industry claims of lost sales due to illegal downloads have been exposed as unscientific. The Australian government have labeled piracy statistics as "self-serving hyperbole" in a draft government report to their Attorney General."

"NZFACT claim that millions of dollars are lost to online infringement despite not actually selling box office movies online, which raises the obvious question of whether millions are lost due to illegal downloads, or unsatisfied customers."

"They seek have to extraordinary powers to terminate people's internet accounts, but thankfully the redrafting process shows no signs of relying on hearsay and speculation."

New Zealanders are encouraged to learn more at http://CreativeFreedom.org.nz to send respectful emails to Minister Simon Power on s.power@ministers.govt.nz about the value of due process and their thoughts on internet termination.

------------------------------------------

"FACTS AND FIGURES"

Former head of New Zealand's Copyright Tribunal, Judge Harvey, has said that 30% of New Zealand copyright litigation fails due to a failure to prove ownership, or due to the copyright not being governed by New Zealand law.

According to a UCLA study (2008), 37% of US claims of online copyright infringement are invalid, and 57% of claims are businesses against competitors.

The Australian government have labeled piracy statistics as "self-serving hyperbole" in a draft government report. A confidential briefing for the Attorney-General's Department, prepared by the Australian Institute of Criminology, lashes the music and software sectors. The draft of the institute's intellectual property crime report, sighted by The Australian shows that copyright owners "failed to explain" how they reached financial loss statistics used in lobbying activities and court cases.

Source: http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897,20713160-15306,00.html

The Creative Freedom Foundation is a not-for-profit trust representing 20,000 New Zealanders, including 10,000 artists (musicians, film makers, visual artists, designers, writers, & performers). The trust founded in 2008 in response to changes in copyright law and the effect these changes are having on creativity, the economy, and public rights. Through education and advocacy, the CFF seek to encourage, and promote New Zealand artist's views on issues that have the potential to influence their collective creativity.

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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

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