What does this law actually mean? I can only work out the gist of it from the article.
Guilty by accusation copyright protestors paint it black
Tuesday Feb 17, 2009
A protest campaign against the Copyright Amendment (New Technologies) Act appears to be gaining momentum as protesters, including high profile UK celebrity Stephen Fry, black-out photos on Twitter, Facebook and various other social networking sites.
The Creative Freedom has called Feb 16 to 23 Internet Blackout Week NZ they seek to protest against the controversial 'Section 92A' due to come into force at the end of February.
Fry, who has thrown his support behind internet Blackout Week, has blacked his out, and now his Twitter site is awash with tweets asking the comedian why.
High profile mapping service provider, Zoomin.co.nz has also weighed in with support for the Blackout campaign by blacking out their maps, placing NZ in a perpetual state of virtual darkness.
Section 92A requires that ISPs must develop a code of conduct to deal with copyright infringement. So far the Telecommunications Carrier Forum (TCF) has proposed a draft code of conduct for its membership (which mostly consists of medium to large ISPs) that uses a four strike system consisting of three warnings and a final disconnection notice to penalise repeat copyright infringers.
To ensure that malicious copyright infringement accusations are kept to a minimum, and that the costs of complying with the new laws are not passed onto internet subscribers, the TCF has sensibly proposed that each infringement notice issued carry a processing charge met by the party lodging the infringement notice.
Since the TCF's draft code of conduct was launched, there has been significant amount of lobbying by all concerned parties. If industry scuttlebutt is to be believed, the various copyright industry organisations have been particularly busy, and are said to be pushing for any codes of conduct required by the pending copyright laws to be toughened up.
Central to this, they argue, is getting processing charges removed for lodging copyright infringement notices and, worryingly, giving copyright holders the ability to decide if any disputes to copyright infringement and disconnection notices are valid - effectively making copyright holders both judge and jury.
If alarm bells are going off in your head, you're not alone. Investigating the validity of any copyright infringement claims is likely to be a resource-intensive and costly undertaking for ISPs.
If the various copyright industry groups are exempted from any processing charges associated with lodging a copyright infringement, internet subscribers will probably suffer as ISPs are forced to pass the costs onto internet users' broadband plans.
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