Guilt by Accusation

Copywrite sees internet users cut off on accusation

7th January

Not in my Name...

New Zealand campaign opposing 1 strike internet ban

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Update: S92A Not to be Repealed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.


27th February

Update: Unjust Law Delayed...

New Zealand blackout protests get 3 strikes issues aired

The ‘guilty-on-accusation' law in New Zealand has been delayed for another month.

A quick recap. Last year, the New Zealand government passed 3-strike legislation, aimed at having copyright infringers thrown off the Internet, based only on the accusations of those claiming copyright infringement.

Earlier this month a code of practice was drafted by the copyright holders and ISPs which should outline the manner in which the new Section 92 3 Strikes regime should be handled by the ISPs. However, the parties involved couldn't agree on the content of the code and Prime Minister John Key has just announced that the law has been delayed until a workable solution can be found. If the parties involved can't reach an agreement, the law might be changed, he noted.

Most of the opposition is worried about the Guilty Upon Accusation part of the law, and rightly so. Regular readers know how shoddy anti-piracy groups are at accurate take-down notices, either they're for stuff that you can share, never had, or are incapable of having.

For now the recent blackout protests have resulted in a delay of the law, perhaps not directly, but we are pretty certain that it would have been in effect already without all the opposition.


26th March

Update: Struck Out...

New Zealand to rework its overbroad 3 strikes law

The New Zealand government has scrapped a three strikes law for Internet copyright violators.

The controversial Section 92a of New Zealand's Copyright Amendment Act would have disconnected users after a third violation downloading or uploading music, film or other digital material illegally.

The law was scheduled to take effect last month, then was postponed until late March due to massive Kiwi protests, including staged blackouts by Internet users.

The government now plans to rewrite the law from scratch, according to Yahoo/AFP: Section 92a is not going to come into force as originally written. We have now asked the minister of commerce to start work on a replacement section, Prime Minister John Key told the press: There is a need for legislation in this area. Some progress was made between copyright holders and the ISPs but not enough to agree a code of conduct. While the government remains intent on tackling this problem, the legislation itself needs to be re-examined and reworked to address concerns held by stakeholders and the government.


10th September

Update: On the 3rd Stroke...

New Zealand 3 strikes file sharing law now in effect

New Zealand's long-delayed three-strikes law has taken effect.

The law allows for fines of up to NZ$15,000 ($12,000) and Internet account suspensions for up to six months.

The law takes effect despite a UN report that concluded disconnecting Internet users, regardless of the justification provided, is a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights because it limits the type of media individuals are allowed to use to express themselves.

UN Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue said that he was alarmed by disproportionate Internet disconnection proposals, and that individuals should never have their Internet access terminated for any reason, including copyright infringement.


23rd April

 Offsite Article: How 3 strikes law is panning out in New Zealand...

ISP issues first music piracy 3rd strike, movie biz can't be bothered.

See article from


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