NZFACT welcomes progress on amendments to Copyright Law relating to new technologies

Mumbai: The New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft (NZFACT) welcomed the announcement by Associate Commerce Minister Judith Tizard that recent amendments to copyright legislation, that reflect current advances in digital technology will soon come into force.

While the Act will come into force on 31 October, section 92A will be effective only on 28 February 2009 allowing time for rights holders and internet service providers (ISPs) to seek agreement on implementing regulations for it to be effective.  Section 92A of the Act contains a requirement for internet service providers to have, and reasonably implement, a policy for termination of accounts of repeat copyright infringers in appropriate circumstances.

"We are pleased to see this important piece of legislation being enacted, providing the opportunity to enhance new ways to bring filmed entertainment to New Zealand audiences, the protection of creative content that is being developed in New Zealand," said NZFACT executive director Tony Eaton.  "We are looking forward to working with ISPs and other rights holders to ensure the law works to protect our creative industries and the jobs they create. Protecting copyright is good for innovation, good for business and good for New Zealand."

"ISPs are best placed to assist in the creation of this ideal safe digital environment as they have the ability to take steps to protect legitimate consumers and to reduce piracy" said MPA president and managing director, Asia-Pacific Mike Ellis. "A graduated response system is a reasonable and fair approach that ISPs can implement which will promote the further development of new and existing business models offering a rich variety of content online".

"This legislation goes a long way towards protecting copyright owners in the digital environment and provides a good example for other governments in the region and around the world who may be contemplating similar issues.  The New Zealand Government’s recognition of the shared rights and responsibilities for the secure distribution of intellectual property rights over the internet is indeed welcomed and timely, and raises performance measurements for the world community to an even higher level."