Press Release – InternetNZ

InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) Policy Lead Susan Chalmers will speak on New Zealand’s three strikes copyright law before intellectual property negotiators for the Trans Pacific Partnership in Dallas today.InternetNZ Speaks On Copyright Issues At Dallas TPP Discussions

Media Release 11 May 2012

(This release also available at: http://bit.ly/JmSsPd)

InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) Policy Lead Susan Chalmers will speak on New Zealand’s three strikes copyright law before intellectual property negotiators for the Trans Pacific Partnership in Dallas today.

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement being negotiated by New Zealand and eight other countries, including the United States. InternetNZ has been following the TPP closely because of the potential impact that US copyright demands will have on the Internet. One such demand could require New Zealand to revert back to the infamous language of Section 92A, which would force Internet Service Providers to be both judge and jury when it comes to alleged copyright infringement of customers.

“This is one of several US copyright demands in the TPP that is counterproductive, outmoded and completely unnatural in today’s digital environment,” says Chalmers. “It imposes an unnecessary and impossible burden on ISPs at great cost to them, and to account holders as well.”

The language in question comes from a 1998 US law that predates Napster, the first mainstream file-sharing service that allowed its users to exchange music files before online services like iTunes were commercially available. New Zealand almost enacted the language in 2009 under Section 92A. Due to the public’s overwhelmingly negative reaction and the failure of copyright owners and ISPs to come to an agreement on how to deal with Section 92A, it was repealed. The 3 strikes law replaced Section 92A last September.

Chalmers says “My overall goal is to emphasize to negotiators that these maximalist copyright laws are inherently suspect for two main reasons. First, they come only from one perspective – that of rightsholders. These are incredibly powerful rights we’re talking about, so the whole of the Internet community, not just one part, should weigh in on their appropriateness for New Zealand and other countries. Second, a lot of this language is ancient in Internet terms. The pace of technology far outstrips the pace of legislation. We have to come at this issue from a fresh angle and make copyright laws that work with the Internet, not against it.”

Chalmers will be joined by Gwen Hinze from the Electronic Frontiers Foundation, attorney Jonathan Band, representing, and Rashmi Rangnath from Public Knowledge.

ENDS

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