'Three strikes' NZ file sharing law coming sooner than you think
Posted in: Government & Policy at 04/08/2011 14:46
InternetNZ has launched a site that explains the coming 'three strikes' Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act - which will effectively come into force three weeks before its official date of September 1.
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Get ready for 3strikes law infringements by 11 August [news release]
InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) has launched a new website 3strikes.net.nz to help people and organisations get ready for the new copyright law. While the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 comes into force on 1 September 2011, copyright infringements start counting towards the new notices and penalty regime under it from 11 August 2011.
InternetNZ Chief Executive Vikram Kumar says, "With just one week to go, the time for people and organisations to get ready for the new law is now. We've set up a new website 3strikes.net.nz to provide information about the law changes as well as practical ways to get ready for 11 August."
"The website and associated social media (primarily Twitter and Facebook) are clearly pro-consumer. This will, hopefully, be a way to balance some of the enormous resources of organisations representing the big and powerful copyright owners.
"People and organisations should get both sides of the story. They also need to take some important yet simple steps before 11 August which can significantly reduce their risks from the new law. The biggest issue at the moment is a lack of accurate information and, in some cases, complacency. As we get closer to 1 September, the day the law comes into force, we will put up more information and advice about notices and the Copyright Tribunal.
"We don't like the new law, and will continue to advocate for change, but it is the law. InternetNZ therefore doesn't want the website to help or encourage others to break the law. Our focus is on giving information; helping people and organisations protect themselves; and giving friendly advice.
"We urge people to visit 3strikes.net.nz and our Facebook page www.facebook.com/3strikesNZ for help and advice. Also, follow us on Twitter @3strikesNZ and the discussion using the hashtag #3strikesNZ. A vibrant discussion on both Twitter and Facebook has already started.
"We need to get the messages out to everyone in New Zealand, especially young Kiwis. Schools, universities, libraries, and free wifi providers face big risks and really must act before 11 August to address them. We hope they will help spread the word.
"In addition, parents are important as they are usually the account holder and so liable (which could be a penalty of up to $15,000) for what happens on their Internet connection at home. We strongly recommend that parents have a discussion with their kids about their use of peer-to-peer software and online file sharing in the next week."
InternetNZ is also working with its strategic partner NetSafe to set up a second website, thecopyrightlaw.org.nz. This site will provide a pure information resource that organisations may be more comfortable linking to regardless of their views of the law. Further information will be advised once thecopyrightlaw.org.nz is ready for launch soon.
Non-profit fills education gap on Skynet law [news release]
The Green Party congratulates InternetNZ's campaign to educate New Zealanders in not falling foul of the Government's draconian anti-file sharing legislation which is being introduced over the next month.
Green Party technology spokesperson Gareth Hughes said individuals, schools, libraries and small businesses could be hit with heavy fines and the Government had so far failed to provide adequate education about risks posed by the new law.
"Thankfully, InternetNZ has filled the gap left by the Government's inaction and created a brilliant resource which can be used to learn how to not be accused of illegal file sharing."
Mr Hughes said the Skynet law would be a heavy burden on internet providers such as schools and small businesses.
Under the law, the account holder is liable for all of its users suspected infringements. This would place a heavy burden on schools, small businesses and libraries.
"It won't be easy for organisations to ensure all people using their internet connections are not doing activities which could be considered illegal file sharing.
"The Government has put small organisations at risk of $15,000 fines, but hasn't yet provided enough information to help educate those affected.
"This is an issue because suspect infringements will start counting from next Thursday (August 11)."
The Green Party calls on the Ministry of Education to provide schools with the information needed to ensure they could continue to operate within the law.
The Green Party opposed the Copyright Amendment Act because it allowed people to be considered guilty upon accusation and allowed people's internet accounts to be terminated.