URGENT: Submission to Ministry for Economic Development

The New Zealand Ministry for Economic Development has released a Discussion Document, Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Regulations 2011, as follow-up to the Copyright Infringing File Sharing Amendment Bill, to which I ask you to give your urgent attention, not least because submissions on the Document may be received by May 27 2011, tomorrow. Here is the Discussion Document: http://www.med.govt.nz/upload/Copyright_regulations_discussion_doc.pdf

A brief description and statement opposing the Discussion Document follows. Please forward it to [email protected] with the subject line:

Submission on the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing),Regulations 2011 Discussion Document

We are utterly opposed to the Discussion Document in its current or any form that may be derived from it in discussion.

Far from protecting intellectual and artistic property, far from protecting from infringement the rights of holders of copyright, the Discussion Document requires the infringement of the right to privacy of legitimate users of the internet.

The Discussion Document proposes that holders of copyright pay ISP’s to issue notices where they suspect internet users have shared files under copyright.

It requires that three notices are sent, of detection of suspected infringement, warning and enforcement, the latter entailing punitive actions against the internet user.

There is in the Document no provision for appeal by the internet user, since at this stage legal sanction only extends to the ISP.

The Discussion Document further requires that the alleged offender – who is found such before any legal process of determination – is identified to the Ministry of Justice by his or her ISP.

The Discussion Document suggests the imposition of a fine of not more than NZ$15 000, which may be used to recompense the holder of copyright and the ISP.

It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice to impose punishment not to hear the case of the internet user. The principle asserted is guilt before innocence.

We suggest that the Discussion Document is already a political, moral and legal embarrassment.

We urge that it is torn up and public apology is made by the parties responsible for drafting it.

We further insist on the repeal of the Copyright Infringing File Sharing Amendment Bill.