Next month, New Zealand is scheduled to implement Section 92 of the Copyright Amendment Act. The act provides Guilt Upon Accusation, which means that if a file-sharer is simply accused of copyright infringement, they are immediately guilty. The
punishment - summary Internet disconnection.
However draconian other country's 3 strikes policies are, they are nothing compared to the proposed Section 92 of the Copyright Amendment Act in New Zealand. Scheduled for introduction at the end of February 2009, the act assumes that any
individual simply accused of sharing copyright works on the Internet, is guilty. The punishment for guilty is summary disconnection from the Internet.
Understandably, this proposal hasn’t been well received by many outside of the entertainment industries. One group voicing dissent is the Creative Freedom Foundation. On January 2nd the group launched with the aim to unite artists who are
against the removal of New Zealander’s rights through proposed changes in Copyright law, done in the name of protecting creativity.
Foundation Co-Founder and Director, Bronwyn Holloway-Smith is strongly opposed to Section 92, which she says threatens Internet disconnections without evidence or even a trial. The result of this law could be that one rogue employee or even one virus
infected computer could bring down a whole organization’s internet and it’s highly likely that schools, businesses, hospitals, and phone services will be harmed by this.
Hollyway-Smith warns that as the government has shown support for the bill, unless there is a major public protest against it the proposals will roll over into law - just 54 days from now. To this end, the foundation has started a petition and
campaign against the Guilt Upon Accusation laws, called Not in my Name . The petition can be signed on the Creative Freedom Federation website.
Update: S92A Not to be Repealed
1st February 2009
The new National government finally made their intentions clear: they will stick with S92A, removing New Zealander's right to due process and court trial before being found guilty.
Communications and Information Technology Minister Stephen Joyce announced that the government would take no action to repeal the law.
It seems that NZ is the only one remaining willing to punish citizens before a trial and before any evidence has been held up to court scrutiny.