ACTA Shenanigans Disappoint

Posted on: December 16, 2009 - 14:22 By: Feynmanfan

The Ministry of Economic Development have continued to refuse opening of the text of the ACTA agreement currently under negotiation. In a meeting with the Ministry today Don Christie, President of the NZOSS, asked if the Ministry could publish a section of the text. After leaks of the text earlier in the year there is concern that the agreement will force legislative changes that were strongly opposed by a large portion of the New Zealand IT industry, including the NZOSS and InternetNZ.

Earlier this year there was a campaign by Creative Freedom against Section 92a of the new Copyright Bill. John Key had deferred implementation of the controversial section, and has conducted a review. The review has suggested a tribunal approach rather than disconnection based only on accusations by rights holders. However, it is well known that the US wants to introduce stronger legislative protections for copyright, including disconnecting the Internet connections of those accused of copyright infringement.

Bruce Simpson on his blog and news site Aardvark.co.nz suggests that "...such backwards-looking legislation is doing little more but hindering progress and innovation in the area of marketing intellectual property in a way that suits the demands of the consumer." He points out that the organisations that are crying the loudest about copyright infringement have been making record profits in a receding economy.

Clare Curran, Labour MP for Dunedin South, has also asked whether termination of an internet connection is included as a penalty for repeat copyright infringement. She question what mechanism and process will be used to deal with copyright infringements, will it be the Copyright Tribunal? If so, how much will it cost and who will pay for it?