A More Sensible Process for Enforcement of Copyright Violations

I posted about the imminent revised copyright law (Section 92a) being published.

I must say that the process put forward does seem to make sense and the threat of disconnection can only be issued for repeat offenders.

While some are still not happy with this being the ultimate punishment, it will mean that there will not be mass disconnections that some are predicting.

Here are the stages:

  1. Complaint made to the ISP of the alleged infringer. ISP notifies the subscriber of the complaint
  2. If further infringing occurs a cease and desist order would be sent to the ISP to pass on to the subscriber
  3. If there is further infringing, the complainant could apply to the Copyright Tribunal to get the contact details of the subscriber.
    (This can then be used by the rights holder to communicate directly with the subscriber)
  4. If this communication is not successful in preventing further infringing, the Copyright Tribunal would convene to hear the case and impose penalties that could include fines or disconnection.

That is a pretty involved process.

Most people who are unwittingly violating copyright, would cease at stage 1, especially if the exact nature of the infringement is spelt out.

For people to get to the latter stages of the process, I would suggest they are either a shared IP with no easily identified source, of someone who does not care about the consequences.

The way the law is used by the right holders will be key as to whether the approach is successful, will we see a mass of complaints about all and sundry sent so the rights holders can assert their influence on the market?

I still think education is important and a agreed set of guidelines are produced to clear up grey areas including Youtube and other sites that can mix legal and illegal items on the same site.

Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 7 August 2009 and may be sent to: copyrightact@med.govt.nz

The Section 92A Review Policy Proposal Document is available at: www.med.govt.nz/section92a